Rodney Campbell's Blog

Beacon to the Stars…

by on Oct.31, 2014, under Life, Photography

It’s Sculpture By The Sea time again and as with each year it draws photographers from all over to Bondi and Tamarama in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs to test their photographic skills at sunrise and sunset with these hundreds of sculptures spread out along the coastline.

I received a late minute invite from some friends who wanted to shoot sunrise there. I suggested we go an hour earlier (around 4AM – yikes!) so we’d be there two hours before sunrise and do some light painting with the sculptures before twilight kicked in or the mass of early morning photographers and their tripods arrived.

I arrived first (just after 4AM) so I headed out to the usual “prime” position right at the point of Marks Park looking out over the ocean to see what was there this year. This is a primo position and there’s usually something reasonably impressive in this spot.

Beacon to the Stars

Beacon to the Stars

NIKON D600 + 14.0 mm f/2.8 @ 14 mm, 29 sec at f/3.2, ISO 1600

It was still very dark in the sky and there were no clouds (or moon) so I figured some starry shots might be on offer.

What I found there was a sculpture called “Save our Souls” by the Cave Urban design collective and it’s all lit up internally with some very bright red halogen lights.

Tricky for stars but I’m up for the challenge. The milky way was in a pretty good diagonal position to use with this sculpture so I got down close at the edge of the small path leading into the sculpture and shot slightly upwards with my new Samyang 14mm f/2.8 stupidly ultra wide lens.

I ended up having to shoot five 30 second(ish) exposures from ISO 100 up to ISO 3200 (at f/3.2) which I then later used some dodgy manual blending in adobe photoshop to put together. I didn’t end up using the ISO 3200 frame but I used parts of all the others. Of course the red light inside the tall sculpture itself and it’s spill onto the ground around it was super bright and was really only exposed well in the ISO 100 shot. I used it and the ISO 400 shot mainly for the sculpture and the ground around it and the ISO 800 and 1600 shots mainly for the sky and stars.

The others (Jason, Ana and Al) arrived so it was time to see what was nearby that we could paint (with light) 🙂

#sxsbondi14 #sxsbeinspired #sxsmoments #scuplturebythesea

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