Milson Island Sunrise…

I was once more a parent helper for one of my daughters stage 3 (years 5 & 6) school camps, visiting the lovely NSW government Sport and Recreation facilities on Milson Island.

The island is located on the Hawkesbury River north of Sydney and has had a very chequered history. It was first settled over 100 years ago and has been used as a farm, a mental hospital, a jail, and now a sports and recreation centre.

I’d been to Milson Island before for my eldest daughters school camp four years previously and it’s always fun joining in on the activities like Archery, High Ropes and so on.

This time however I was keen to do a sunrise photo session whilst on the island. It had been raining almost constantly in the weeks leading up to the camp so I was a little worried about the conditions.

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.

River Mystique

River Mystique

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 20 mm, 185.00 sec at f/11, ISO 200

I’d spied this location during the first day as it was very close to where the Kayaking is done, so I rece’d the area, checked out TPE and worked out roughly what I might do. This old stone jetty, crumbling and abandoned, overgrown with grass and sticking out from Milson Island into the waters of the Hawkesbury River looked a prime candidate with it pointing eastwards towards where the sun would rise behind the peninsula of land on the other side of the river.

I woke before 5AM and since I was up and had sort of talked myself into shooting sunrise here one morning, decided to get up and head down to the nice little old stone jetty. It was a cold and very misty/foggy morning when I got outside. We’d had great weather on the first day so it was a reasonable bet to get up early the next morning and head down to the Hawkesbury River (eastern) side of the island for sunrise. As it turns out this was a good call since it rained the next morning.

The first shot above is at 5:23AM – 40 minutes before sunrise – a three minute long exposure with some light painting of the foreground with a small zoomable torch and just the Formatt-Hitech 3 stop Reverse Grad to hold down the sky.

This is another before sunrise (5:37AM) – even though it was still almost 30 minutes to sunrise it had lightened significantly in the ten or so minutes since the first shot above

Jetty’s Dawn

Jetty's Dawn

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 16 mm, 123 sec at f/11, ISO 100

The mist was very heavy this morning and it hung low over the water till well after sunrise. This shot a vertical composition down this old stone jetty just ten minutes after the shot above (5:47AM). It’s still before sunrise but it was getting very bright by this stage – even down at ISO 50 I could only get a 15 second exposure at f/11

Hawkesbury Mist

Hawkesbury Mist

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 16 mm, 15 sec at f/11, ISO 50

This last is a few minutes after sunrise at 6:06AM

Milsons Vapours

Milsons Vapours

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 16 mm, 1.60 sec at f/11, ISO 50