Rodney Campbell's Blog

Pink Skies over Macquarie Light House…

by on Aug.07, 2012, under Life, Photography

Australia’s oldest lighthouse stands as a beacon to Sydney Harbour and still provides a light to guide ships entering the Heads. The lighthouse was built in 1818 on the cliff top at South Head. Designed by convict architect Francis Greenway, it was constructed of sandstone quarried on site. When the stone began to erode a new lighthouse was built by James Barnet in 1883. The light is now operated by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.

When I arrived at the light house at 6AM the boys were already hard at work light painting the lighthouse in the pre dawn darkness. At this stage the sky conditions were looking a little grim with barely any clouds in the sky and just some heavy looking cloud on the horizon. Just before the sun came up however some very thin wispy clouds moved in from the city to the west and the sky filled with bright pink set against a deep blue sky – we were saved…

This morning was also a chance to try out my new Heliopan 105mm SH-PMC Slim Circular Polariser and Lee 105mm Front Polariser Ring (which had finally come back into stock after many months of waiting – it was a wallet burning AUD$320 delivered from TeamWork in the UK, but was significantly cheaper than most other places in the US, Aus and UK)

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 slideshow gallery viewer.

Just pre dawn…

NIKON D7000 + 12.0-24.0 mm f/4.0 @ 12 mm, 120 sec at f/11, ISO 100

and then the pink skies hit 🙂

Macquarie Pink

NIKON D7000 + 12.0-24.0 mm f/4.0 @ 12 mm, 6 sec at f/16, ISO 100

the sun peeks over the horizon

Dawn Glow

NIKON D7000 + 12.0-24.0 mm f/4.0 @ 12 mm, 1 sec at f/16, ISO 100

and then was struggling for compositions – I could see these lovely long shadows raking across the ground and tried incorporating them from the seaward side but appeared to be failing. It wasn’t until I headed further along the coast well away from the lighthouse and looked back that I found this nice possie with the low shadows across the landscape, the warm morning light and the path meandering away into the distance that I could take my own favourite shot of this session – and here’s a self portrait with the composition…

Watching over the Sea

NIKON D7000 + 12.0-24.0 mm f/4.0 @ 14 mm, 1/10 sec at f/11, ISO 100

Lastly a monochrome conversion of a very long exposure (170 seconds) using the whole kitchen sink – B+W 10 Stop ND + Lee 0.9 (3 Stop) Hard Grad ND + Heliopan CPL


NIKON D7000 + 12.0-24.0 mm f/4.0 @ 13 mm, 170 sec at f/11, ISO 100

One thing I’ve noticed with the new CPL is that it appears to be “stronger” than my existing B+W 77mm CPL – it can make the skies go really black compared to when I use the B+W (which I normally just dial near max when I use it) – I’ll have to get used to this (especially with the ultra wide).

As we had time before our 10AM birthday celebration, Gerry directed us off to nearby Diamond Bay Reserve to see if there was anything worth shooting – will see how they turn out after processing the images…

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