Rodney Campbell's Blog

Off to the Hills…

by on Mar.17, 2014, under Life, Photography

A while back I’d mentioned to my friend Gerry that I was interested in checking out a place I’d heard of out in western Sydney where you could shoot compositions consisting of dead trees over the water of some man made lakes. So it was that I got a call up one afternoon and found myself on a spur of the moment trip to meet Gerry just before sunset out in “Gods Country” as he called it – way out west in Cecil Hills 🙂

This place is currently in the grips of major development (with lots of land being cleared for new housing estates) so I fear this location is not for much longer on this earth.

It was looking promising in the afternoon with some light whispy cloud boding well for a colourful sunset – of course the weather turned and by late afternoon it was pretty much clouded over – still it was good to check out the location and shoot some long exposures

This was one of the closest and largest trunks to the shore and with a view out west towards where the sun was supposedly setting (year right)… We got some nice cloud movement tho and I got lucky with this wonderful high glow in the sky with a five (5) minute BigStopper image

Brushed Metal

Brushed Metal

NIKON D600 + 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 @ 45 mm, 308 sec at f/8, ISO 200

This image was a conflict for me; wanting to shoot long to bring that far away tree closer in the frame but also wanting to go wide to include the amazing expanse of cracked mud at my feet – in the end this vertical pano was my compromise which I hope has worked to some degree

Last Man Standing

Last Man Standing

NIKON D600 + 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm, 41.00 sec at f/11, ISO 100

I know we were here to shoot the stark dead trees but whilst taking some frames for a long exposure panorama I had time to look around and survey the area. I really liked this large almost lone tree on the slight rise behind me. It was getting pretty dark now towards the end of twilight, but I felt I could do something with this almost singular living tree looking over the skeletons of it’s brethren in the fields and waterways below

A very long exposure (five and a half minutes – and realistically I should have cooked it for more than ten (or bumped the ISO to 400) – well we live and learn) with just the 0.6 grad to hold down the sky a little and some light painting from the right side using my headlamp torch to side light the grass

Alone at Dusk

Alone at Dusk

NIKON D600 + 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 @ 26 mm, 329 sec at f/16, ISO 200

Finally I convinced Gerry to stay for one more shot – some light painting on a nice looking tree out in the water which was reasonably close to the bank so we could fill the frame with the tree

Spirit Tree

Spirit Tree

NIKON D600 + 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 @ 31 mm, 218.00 sec at f/8, ISO 100

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