Rodney Campbell's Blog

Bradleys Setting…

by on Jul.24, 2014, under Life, Photography

On the spur of the moment decided to head out to Bradleys Head (near Taronga Zoo on the north side of Sydney harbour) for sunset

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.

Oyster Sky

Oyster Sky

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 16 mm, 20.00 sec at f/11, ISO 100

I’d invited my friend Gerry to join me and it was looking promising but we just ran out of time. I barely made it in time – I arrived to Bradleys only moments before sunset – I quickly parked the car in the one spot that was left (thankfully) and as I got out another friend (Yogesh) drove up (he’d also decided on a whim to come here :))

The sun was setting fast so I dashed down to the water – I’d fully intended on shooting the small Bradleys Head Light Tower just off to the left. My intention was to shoot long exposures looking down the stone and wooden walk to the lighthouse (basically facing directly South) with some cloud and colour in the sky

Unfortunately it was looking totally grey to the south so I quickly changed plan and walked along the rocks towards the Doric stone column

An Aside: Sitting on the rock platform off the headland is a Doric stone column. It is one of six that were taken from the demolished Sydney Post Office and placed in positions in Sydney

The sun had actually set by the time I’d found a little spot and setup my tripod – I was rushing now – the clouds and colour to the west were starting to look epic so I was frantic to get a shot before it expired!…

Not one to shy from a challenge I decided my first frames would be for a stitched panorama (which meant ensuring my tripod was levelled for the rotation I was expecting (which takes some time with just a simple ball head and no levelling base or pano head))

Anyway I took two sets of frames for a stitched pano – the first 6 frames at 26mm and for the second I moved a little further forward towards that interesting diagonal rock with the green on top and went a little wider to 22mm for 5 frames – with the second I also added a 3 stop ND (to join the 3 stop reverse grad I was using) to lengthen the shutter times to smooth the water

Both panos stitched ok (and I included the Doric column – which looks so out of place here – in real life :)) and the colour was fantastic in both (and the water was nicer (to my eye anyway) in the second long exposure version but the first pano was much less distorted and had an overall nicer composition of the foreground rocks so was my easy preference

Bradleys Sunset

Bradleys Sunset

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 26 mm, 1/2 sec at f/11, ISO 100

My only problem now was to decide whether to leave the column in (as it really was) or clone it out – what do you think?

Bradleys Sunset

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 26 mm, 1/2 sec at f/11, ISO 100

Once those frames were in the can I set about taking some single exposures as the light fell rapidly and the sky continued acting very interesting

This one was my favourite – I really liked the composition I was able to get with this great diagonal rock leading down to the water and the sky was fantastic



NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 16 mm, 13 sec at f/11, ISO 100

Then about half an hour after sunset I switched to a horizontal framing on that rock and started trying long exposures with a little light painting of the foreground rocks to bring them out of the darkness

This one is about 45 minutes after sunset

Bradleys Light

Bradleys Light

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 18 mm, 213 sec at f/11, ISO 200

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