Rodney Campbell's Blog

Sunset over Sydney Harbour…

by on Dec.31, 2010, under Life, Photography

It was early wednesday evening (around 7PM) when I looked to the skies and noticed a nice array of clouds which could make for some interesting sunset and twilight photos.

As I’d been trying out a number of iPhone applications specifically built for photographers, and more specifically ones which allowed you to research and prepare to photograph a landscape with specific lighting or placement of the sun or moon in the scene I whipped out LightTrac and moved the source location around the north side of Sydney harbour looking for a suitable place relative to the location and path of the setting sun.

Balls Head reserve near Waverton just to the left of the Sydney Harbour bridge and opposite Goat Island looked like an ideal location however there wasn’t really time to both get there and walk to the suitable locations and setup (I’ve been there on a number of occasions before so I knew what the terrain was going to be like).

I opted instead to head to the end of the Longueville peninsula (Aquatic Park – opposite Woolwich) where the sun could set over Woolwich and the bay.

Note: These images (especially the wider shots) look much better when larger – so click any of the images below to see larger versions in an inline overlay gallery viewer.

I arrived pretty much as the sun was setting over and behind the Woolwich peninsula so I didn’t have a moment to spare. I setup my tripod on the cliffs above the water and took a few shots using the 50mm lens I had on the camera as the sun quickly set over the horizon. The following was taken at 7:59PM.

NIKON D90 + 50.0 mm f/1.4 @ 50 mm, 1/125 sec at f / 13, ISO 200

Once the sun had actually moved over the horizon I moved down to the waters edge and setup a number of different shots looking across the bay from a fairly low angle. I switched to my ultra wide angle lens and set to 8mm I moved in close to frame some hopefully interesting shots.

8:05PM and I’ve setup just behind and on a large rock at the waters edge.

NIKON D90 + 8.0-16.0 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 8 mm, 1/10 sec at f / 9, ISO 200

8:26PM and we are nearing the end of twilight but we have some magnificent colour and clouds in the sky and reflected on the water. It’s actually quite dark by now and the rock I’d placed as foreground interest at the waters edge is essentially a silhouette – I figured I’d try my hand lighting it using my Nikon SB-600 flash to see how that would look – I handheld the flash and used the camera in commander mode to trigger the remote flash only in rear curtain sync.

NIKON D90 + 8.0-16.0 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 8 mm, 0.8 sec at f / 13, ISO 200

This last was taken almost at the end of twilight at 8:33PM. It was almost totally dark by now so a long shutter speed was in order, I’d moved back a little from the waters edge and framed in this large green covered boulder and again used the burst of flash to light the foreground.

NIKON D90 + 8.0-16.0 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 8 mm, 5 sec at f / 11, ISO 200

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