Just Another Sunday Morning

Well, it wasn’t, really.  I actually got up in time for a dawn session.  But here’s the whole story:

The photography bug must’ve been flying around and it bit me on Saturday morning.  I said to Dylan, “Let’s go somewhere and take photos”.  He replied, “Sure, where do you want to go?”

Hmm.  Where DID I want to go…?

I didn’t know.  How ironic is it that when you plan a holiday, you know all the photogenic places you want to go to and know exactly when to go to get the best shots; but when you’re home, you have no idea?  At least, I didn’t.  I thought of all the beautiful rainforests in Queensland, the iconic locations of the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, the gorgeous waterfalls in Tasmania… but SA?  In Adelaide?

Well when all else fails, surely the beach must be able to give some good shots.  So in the end, on Saturday night we went out to Merino Rocks.  There’s a campground/caravan park right on the water’s edge; we parked our car in the carpark, lugged all our gear out and went for a stroll.  It was high tide, which meant that while there was not a lot of sand visible on the beach, there were wonderful waves of water washing over the rocks – perfect for long exposures, and for an image I’ve been wanting to try and capture for a while now.  I set up my tripod and began the process of finding a composition (Dylan went his own way further down the beach).

Sunset was happening pretty slowly, so I turned away from it to see if I could catch the ‘beauty light’ over the suburban lights beginning to light up.  I was so intent on making an image of this that I almost missed the whole light show unfolding behind me.  Don’t ask why, but I must’ve glanced back to maybe check if Dylan was coming back, or maybe something subconsciously told me I’d better check the progress of the sun setting.  It must’ve looked pretty funny – there I was, happily composing, I had depressed the shutter button, stood up to wait (it was a 30 second exposure), casually turned around to glance at the sunset and then.. ACK!!!  I turned off the camera to stop the exposure, ran about 1.5 metres into the water to a pre-determined spot (which I had checked the composition of 20 minutes earlier), turned towards the sun set and frantically changed my settings for the scene in front of me.

It was simply amazing.  The entire band of clouds hanging over the horizon turned scarlet for only a few minutes.  I tried to capture the drama of it all, but didn’t quite succeed.  What I got instead, is the image below; a subdued, pastel blue version, taken about 10 minutes after the red hues were at their peak.  I actually prefer this instead.  It makes me feel more at peace, which was in keeping with my mood last night.


I felt on such a high after this session I said to Dylan on our drive home, “Let’s do a dawn shoot tomorrow!”  We picked Henley Beach – we are slowly working our way through all the jetty locations on the coast.  I set my alarm for 5.30 this morning (and that’s mighty early for me on a Sunday – or ANY day).  I thought I might be grumpy when it went off, but the adrenaline must have carried over from the night before, and I jumped out of bed, scoffed some toast, chucked the gear in the car and off we went.

We arrived at Henley Square around 6.30, and scrambled down to the beach.  The sky was already lighting up in the east, but what I really wanted was the reflection of dawn in the west, over the jetty, with the waves rushing up along the sand.  With cloud cover hanging about from the night before, it promised to be a pretty spectacular dawn.  After 20 minutes and some test images, I was ready and waiting.  The hues of dawn spread slowly from east to west as the sun rose above the horizon.  I waited until it provided a pink backdrop for the jetty and shot this (I even had to desaturate the pinks a little in CS4 because it was too much for my liking):

Henley in Pink

Henley in Pink

About 15 minutes later I was on the other side of the jetty and the dawn light was fast fading.  This was my last image of the morning:

Henley Beach Jetty

All in all, well worth the effort I think.  Now for my afternoon granny nap…



Posted on March 1, 2009, in Photography, South Australia. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. these were very much worth waiting for. and the first one is wonderful. I can see the peacefulness of it too.

  2. I LOVE THE 2nd ONE :O~~~~~~ /drool

  3. lol, that makes me wanna go out and try some dawn shots! the colours you get are amazing.. but getting up at 5?? arrrghh haha

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