Rodney Campbell's Blog

Dawning on Curracurrong…

by on Feb.26, 2014, under Life, Photography

’twas an early morning exercise adventure which brought me to Curracurrong Falls in the Royal National Park south of Sydney…

I woke just before 3AM to get ready and head over to pick up Gerry (and his bike – more on that later) from his place just before 4AM. We drove into the Royal National Park south of Sydney – we were hoping for a spectacular sunrise with a raging torrent of water coming over the falls which dumps into the ocean (Sydney had been having quite a bit of rain lately and the forecast was for some clouds). Unfortunately as we were driving into the National Park it started raining – an ominous sign perhaps

We parked at the gate at the start of the firetrail and unloaded the push bikes – and began our half hour long ride down rocky firetrails in the darkness towards the coast

It was dark – really really dark, and still drizzly – but we were here now so it was time to make the best of it

Gerry and I camped out on a somewhat scary looking ledge under the overhang of a large boulder hanging out over the cliff – at least it was relatively dry and sheltered from most of the wind here… We were right next to the pitiful excuse for the falls – yep – that torrent of water turned out to be a dribble 🙁

It was still almost an hour before sunrise and we could hear and feel the booming of the very heavy waves crashing against the cliff way way below us. We tried some long exposures in the darkness and as it gradually became lighter some panorama frames but nothing I’m particularly fond of

Note: These photographs (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.

About twenty minutes before sunrise and the gloom had lightened enough to be a dark grey but we could see the deep greeny blue of the water below with the slash of white froth from the raging seas

Riding the Stormy Seas

Riding the Stormy Seas

NIKON D600 + 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 @ 36 mm, 3 sec at f/11, ISO 100

during a brief break in the drizzle I went for a bit of a wander (this one right on what was meant to be sunrise) – I was keen to do something with these very Dr Seuss style shrubs perched right on the cliff edge



NIKON D600 + 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 @ 31 mm, 2 sec at f/11, ISO 100

About an hour after sunrise we started getting some colour in the sky and way off in the distance the sun started to rise above and break through some of the heavy cloud. The cracks in the sky allowed a fantastic patch of god rays beaming down out to sea. Moving around to the other side of the falls to allow some compositions with the good light and Eagle Rock sticking out over the sea. The rays and the sky were very bright but the mid and foreground very dark so this is a manual multi layer merge (and given my limited photoshop skills – a pretty dodgy one at that) in photoshop of three exposures (-3EV, -1EV and +1EV)

Eagle Rays at the Abyss

Eagle Rays at the Abyss

NIKON D600 + 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 @ 60 mm, 1/2 sec at f/16, ISO 100

Almost 100 minutes after sunrise

The Hedge

The Hedge

NIKON D600 + 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm, 6 sec at f/11, ISO 100

and a final selfie to end the morning session at Curracurrong falls – we’d been here for two and a half hours and the really heavy rain looked to be moving in – it was time to bail and begin the nearly debilitating 40 minute cycle up hill back to the car

The Eagle and I

The Eagle and I

NIKON D600 + 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 @ 27 mm, 1/4 sec at f/11, ISO 100

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