Rodney Campbell's Blog

Longing for Sunrise at Long Bay…

by on Aug.05, 2014, under Life, Photography

I’d arranged for an almost impromptu sunrise session with my friend Gerry. He suggested we could do a session at Long Bay (next to the Golf Course) at Malabar on the coast in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs.

Unfortunately Gerry had a bit of a family emergency and couldn’t make it but I was up and there so I figured I’d see how I’d go – the clouds were looking a little non-existent but you never know…

The Wedge

The Wedge

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 19 mm, 13 sec at f/11, ISO 100

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.

Sunrises at this time of the year are great (because sunrise is so late at this time of the year) and as an added bonus the weather has been unseasonably warm so the winter chill has not set in yet

By the time I got far enough along the point so that sunrise would come up near the end of the next finger of land along the coast (Malabar), and then down onto the rocks and setup to shoot is was 6:20AM and about 25 minutes to sunrise. I would normally like to be setup at least 30 minutes earlier but was running a little late this morning

I initially moved out to a large rock above the water but a freak wave came in and even on this high perch I got wet up to my knees. As there were some cool rock formations and a couple still pools of water behind me I decided prudence was the order of the day and I moved back to find a composition. We were getting some nice subtle colour rays in the sky in the pre dawn light but it quickly faded to a pastel blur

Eventually the early morning fishermen started coming past, I setup to take a stitched panorama – this one from five (5) vertical frames at 18mm

Malabar Glow

Malabar Glow

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 18 mm, 15 sec at f/11, ISO 100

I really liked the look of that nice still pool in front of me with the single large bright stripy orange sandstone rock (almost keyhole shaped) in it. So I moved forward right up to the pool with the ultrawide on as the pastel mauves and purples in the sky started to dance



NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 18 mm, 30 sec at f/11, ISO 100

We’re just about on sunrise just over behind the headland on the other side of Long Bay with the image at the top of the post

and then I went in search of another pool for some foreground interest. Here with the suns rays peeking over the far headland of Malabar

Long Rays

Long Rays

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 19 mm, 5.00 sec at f/9, ISO 50

With the image above I was playing around with focus stacking landscapes – I’d taken three shots at f/9 – one focused for the immediate close foreground, another for the rocks in the mid distance and the final shot for the far headland and horizon (infinity). In photoshop I layered the three images and manually blended them using layer masks

Personally I’m not sure it did much better than just taking the single frame at f/11 – f/16 at this focal length but it’s goot to experiement and I was also able to get a little more DR by also adjusting the exposure across the frames too (even with the use of a 3 stop reverse grad as I was using here)

Just after 7AM I finished off, headed back to the car and was home in time for breakfast; a quick mornings work…

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