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Just another dawn

Lost horizon

The sky was particularly clear of clouds last night so I made a point of checking before dawn whether it was still that way. At the moment I am after a “pure” look to the horizon so that the pre-dawn glow stands alone.  I was a bit late getting to the beach so only managed a few images before the sun rose and I think that if I had been 20 mins earlier the glow would have been more saturated and higher above the horizon; another day perhaps.

Here is my favourite.

Lost horizon

Why do I like this? A few reasons. A have in interest in the horizon; how it marks that boundary between earth (or sea) and sky but at some times it is distinct, like on a perfectly clear day, and other times it is not, like here with a little sea haze and the dawn glow blurring the line a little. I like the diffuse light and colour that occurs on the horizon at the start and end of the day. And I like the reflection in the wet sand after a wave retreats which makes that boundary between sea and sky even less distinct; imagine if you turned that part of the scene upside down and just looked at the reflection. As I have done below. As for the ships, well I don’t know whether they add to the image or not; they give it reality but then is that what I want?

reflection or skySea? Sky? Reflection? Clouds?  Birds?

I do find myself going for the long exposures in this sort of image without being able to say why, so I did an experiment.  A series of shots at 1/5 second, then 1.5 secs, etc. up to 30 secs. Essentially there is little difference between 1.5 secs and 30 secs except that at 30 secs there is increased risk of a wave in the foreground blurring out the reflections. This image shows on the left 1/5 sec and on the right 13 secs. If my aim is to express all the things I talked about about then the waves just draws too much attention away from those other things; it becomes a picture of the sea and not the things I saw when I was there.

exposure times compared

Something else which I find myself drawn to is capturing change in an image. Not motion, although the distinction is vague, like that of a wave or a passing car, but the more gradual changes like those of clouds passing overhead or my current project, the shadow of the earth rising.  The sort of thing that cannot be captured with just a longer exposure time.  That will be the subject of a future post.

Return home

Jimmy's Island, Guerilla Bay

I only took a couple of days to get home after the Snowy River – the weather didn’t look too good and I had a toothache developing which I needed to get seen to before the long weekend. Apart from that I was getting a bit photoed out and lacking inspiration, especially after a night in a tent. A couple of spots did strike me though:

on delegate road, 10 km from Bombala

10 km from Bombala

I deliberately started the coastal part of the drive home from Eden as we have never travelled the South coast before. The highway and the coastal towns are reminiscent of the Pacific Hwy and the NSW north coast 10 years ago before the highway upgrades. On the advice of the man behind the counter in the Moruya petrol station I drove the short stretch of coastal road from Moruya to Bateman’s Bay and stumbled upon this photographic gem – Jimmy’s Island in Guerrilla Bay.

Jimmy's Island, Guerilla Bay

You may have noticed that I have taken a liking to extra wide panoramas and long exposures (2 seconds in this case). I know some people think it is overused but in this case I think the blurred detail and the motion that the longer exposure invokes work well against the sharp angles and colours of the island. Thoughts?

Finally, I am always moved by these when I pass them alongside the road:

roadside memorial, South Pambula

Red Poppy, (36º 56′ 39″S 149º 50′ 15″)

I counted at least a dozen memorials on the Hume between Sydney and Goulbourn and I think we all know of one or two that we pass regularly.  They represent such powerful stories and I think a photographic series on roadside memorials would make a great portfolio. I will try it soon as it something I could tackle to get me out of my landscape comfort zone. In this example the red reflector reminds me of a Flanders poppy, which itself holds a strong meaning, and the anonymity of the marker suggested the latitude/longitude reference.

The Snowy River

Snowy River campsite at McKillops Bridge

A night camping in the remote centre of the Snowy Mountain National Park.  The road in is described as one of the most precarious in Victoria; a fair assessment!  The campsite was at McKillops Bridge, which is a great spot and I shared it with only 2 other campers.

Snowy River campsite at McKillops Bridge

Under the stars, and maybe a few dead branches.

A chance to practice my newly gained streaky cloud skill at sunset:

McKillops Bridge on the Snowy River

McKillops Bridge

Lots of interesting potholes in the riverbed.

Snowy River potholes

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