Rodney Campbell's Blog

Coogee Greenery…

by on Oct.06, 2014, under Life, Photography

Having had limited composition offerings at Coogee’s Ross Jones Pool (due to an unthinking tog who’d decided to camp out in the middle of the scene for the entire sunrise session) it was time to check out the greenery that was on offer right next to the pool and see if we could compose some shots without him and his tripod in them.

Tides of Green

Tides of Green

NIKON D600 + 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm, 82.00 sec at f/11, ISO 100

The tide was moving from low to mid so the rocks were still reasonably well exposed above the waterline but the water was coming up. This was pretty ideal for the lovely green covered rocks along the waters edge between the beach and the pool.

I tried some slightly slowish shutter shots (in the half to two second range – which is usually good for water swirling around rocks and waves washing in and out). However the tide was still too low and the water really wasn’t coming up far enough onto the sand or my green rocks for my liking so I added the Lee LittleStopper to the mix. This added six (6) stops of ND and turn seconds of exposure into minutes for this more dreamy look – and allowing the occasional high wave surge to come up and swirl water on the sand and greenery.

Up top the Lee LittleStopper stacked with a Lee 0.9 Grad ND and the Heliopan CPL for 82 seconds of goodness moments before sunrise…

and moving back to get even more of the green outflow, just after sunrise but the heavy bank of cloud on the horizon was ensuring we wouldn’t get much of that…

Green Flow

Green Flow

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 19 mm, 112 sec at f/11, ISO 100

Less than ten minutes after sunrise we were lucky enough to get a second chance sunrise with fantastic God rays breaking through below and above the low clouds on the horizon. So it was time to move back down onto the sand and incorporate the fantastic display above the horizon into the shot with my rocky greenery.

For this shot and the next I actually merged two exposures in Lightroom – normally I don’t do this and rely on using my grad filters to control the exposure differences between sky and land in my shots. I like to get things as right as I possibly can out in the field, both so I have the best data to play with when I get back into the digital darkroom but also so that process of editing my shots afterwards is much quicker.

In this case I was already using all slots on my Lee filter holder (the Heliopan CPL out front with the Lee 0.9 grad in the front filter slot and the Lee LittleStopper in the back slot). The 0.9 grad wasn’t enough to hold down the sky in the shot so I ended up taking two exposures. One 27 second shot to get a good deep exposure for the sky (but a very underexposed foreground) and another at 56 seconds to get a better foreground and a slightly washed out sky.

Either shot was probably rescuable in Lightroom but having good RAW data is handy so I opened the two images as layers in photoshop and used some masking to blend them.

Second Rising

Second Rising

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 19 mm, 56 sec at f/11, ISO 100

Then I switched to the longer lens (the 24-70) for a tighter view on that fabulous God ray display on the horizon and moved to the walkway above the pool for this. Again it’s a blend of two exposures – one at 15 seconds and one at 25 seconds. This time I also got even trickier – again I have the Lee LittleStopper stacked with a Lee 0.9 Grad ND and the Heliopan CPL but I’m also handholding and moving a Lee 0.6 grad diagonally across the frame in front of everything to hold down the sky and water a little further.

Sunlights Grin

Sunlights Grin

NIKON D600 + 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 @ 48 mm, 25.00 sec at f/11, ISO 50

Last shot of the morning – the sun was well up by now so it was time for harder shadows and time for the Lee BigStopper.

Coogee Tee

Coogee Tee

NIKON D600 + 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 @ 44 mm, 144.00 sec at f/11, ISO 100

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