Tag Archives: sunrise

Garie Beach First-Light

I love the subtle lighting of the foreground, and the the way the blue and pink tones mesh with the orange and yellow in the sky. What an awesome sight!

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Garie beach, royal national park, seascape, ocean,beach,  pre dawn, first light, cloud

Garie Beach – A secluded beach south from Sydney, along a small section of the east coast, in The Royal National Park, New South Wales, Australia. It’s a very popular location for surfing and said to have the ‘best waves in Sydney’, several competitions are held here annually.

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Cronulla Rock Pool sunrise shoot with Lee Big stopper Filter – Part 2

Lee filters test shoot and product review – Day 2

Sunday (the second round), I got to the Rock pools at Cronulla 10 minutes before sunrise and claimed my spot, this time only 2 other photographers were there.

The environmental conditions were much better today than yesterday, however there was a long stretch of cloud off to the horizon that covered and delayed the sunrise shot by around 10 minutes. I wasn’t using a chart or app to calculate exposure times with the Big Stopper so this gave me plenty of time to compose the shot and get a feel for how long to expose each shot for.  To get a properly exposed pre-dawn shot using the Big Stopper, I exposed for 160 seconds, using f/11 and ISO 100.

Cronulla Sunrise

Unedited – Sunrise delayed by cloud cover in the horizon.
160 sec exposure on F/11 ISO 100
Taken with the Big Stopper

When the sun was half way up the clouds, the exposure was dropped to 61 seconds (using the same setting as above image), and once the sun was just above the clouds, I exposed for 39 seconds, using the Big Stopper and the 0.9 (3 stops) soft gradient neutral density filters to reduce the glare and brightness of the sun.

I felt more comfortable now with the Lee filters, knowing beforehand which ones I wanted to use helped me focus more on composition.

Next time I will implement the use of an exposure calculator so speed up my process of capturing these seascapes.

Cronulla Rock pool Sunrise

Sun salutation at the Rock pool
39 sec exposure on F/11 ISO 100
Taken with Big Stopper and 0.9 (3 stops) Grad ND filter


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Cronulla Rock Pool sunrise shoot

Lee filters test shoot and product review – Day 1

OK, by the time I was finished with my 1 hour yoga session at 6:20 a.m. I didn’t really have much time to look for a spot, compose the scene, setup the camera and test which Lee filters would give the best results. Plus, there were 6 other photographers already there, taking the prime spots!

By 6:45 a.m. the sun had risen above the horizon, we got about 5 mins of sun before it was covered by the clouds, luckily I managed to capture the shots I wanted.

But in saying that, the Lee filter system did take some time to setup and get used to. The first test shots were with the 0.9 Soft Grad filter on it’s own, I was rushing so I actually forced it into the mount crossing the first and second slots, which I found was easy to do, fortunately it didn’t damage the mount. A couple minutes later I tried the Big Stopper filter and achieved the nice looking effects I wanted. But noticed that the sun was flaring up a bit in the shot so I added the 0.9 (3- stops) Soft Grad ND filter and this seemed to control the harsh light in the horizon better.

Cronulla Sunrise at the Rock pool

Sun Salutation – Cronulla Sunrise at the Rock pool
Taken with the Lee Big Stopper + 0.9 ND Soft Grad


I tried the polariser on it’s own and it didn’t make too much difference to the quality of the shot, just darkened the image and perhaps saturated the clouds a bit more, I should also note that and at 11mm on my wide-angle lens (actually 17.6mm on cropped sensor), there was some harsh vignetting occurring at the corners but not too much. Anyways, I used the Big stopper with it to get a decent shot, just crop off the vignette at the top and bottom to make the panoramic style shot.

Cronulla Sunrise at the Rock pool, Lee big stopper and CPL

Unedited – Taken with the Lee Big Stopper and CPL – Notice the vignette at 11mm (17.6mm equiv. on cropped sensor)


It was another learning experience and I will keep going back for more!

Also spotted Women’s Health & Fitness Magazine’s glamour girl and former Hockeyroo Kate Hollywood snapping pics, enjoying the sunrise and going for a swim… boy does she have a fit and strong body!

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