Rodney Campbell's Blog

North Curl Curl…

by on Jun.12, 2015, under Life, Photography

Sneaky Sunday on a long weekend… time to head somewhere new, some seaside location in Sydney I’d not shot before… and so it was I found myself at North Curl Curl rockpool.

Sunrise at this time of the year (winter) is a nice time to shoot here in Sydney. It’s basically not stupid o’clock when the sun rises – today it was a very respectable 6:54AM.

Curly Rock

Curly Rock

NIKON D750 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 20 mm, 71 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.

I’d invited a few people to join me for this session but Gerry was out of town and Suren was sick so it was just Deb and I who ventured out this morning.

When we’d arrived here there were already a couple of other photographers setting up. On pair was setup on the far corner of the pool facing where sunrise would be on the left. We also had some rock fishermen setup on the rocks to the left.

Unfortunately no epic clouds or sunrise this morning… We had a thin bank of cloud right on the horizon which made for some early twilight colour with rich tones of red just as we arrived which soon converted to purples and pinks as it transitioned to pastels before sunrise.

It was also low tide so there’d also be no crashing waves or water spilling out of the pool. Our options it seems would be limited this morning. Still it’s nice to get out at a fabulous time of the day.

One of the most interesting aspects of North Curl Curl rockpool is that it has these two very large rocks coming up right in the middle of the pool. It’s something a little different to the typical rockpools in Sydney so I figured I should work them into the composition somehow.

With very little interesting going on in the sky other than the lovely tones of colour I was looking towards my feet for something interesting to point down at to include as foreground interest. This is normally pretty difficult with a pool since standing at the edge of a pool looking over it you’ve generally got just water nearest you.

At this corner of the pool where it meets the rock face to the left there’s some exposed rock here at low tide with some interesting pock marked surfaces which I’ve tried my best to work into the composition… however unsuccessfully :).

It’s still almost half an hour till sunrise with the first shot above. Whilst the sky is quite bright the rocks are still in shadow so I’ve used my new headlamp torch to light paint the foreground to lift it out of the darkness. Shot with the Heliopan CPL stacked with a 3 Stop Reverse Grad for a natural semi darkness long exposure.

Then a horizontal from further along the pool edge attempting to include the pool steps in the foreground and facing back around the headland towards where the morning colour was.

Gone Fishing

Gone Fishing

NIKON D750 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 20 mm, 13 sec at f/11, ISO 100

Time to go back to a vertical composition facing the far corner of the pool and away from the now brightly glowing sky on the left where the sun will rise in ten minutes time. I’ve raised myself as high as I can go to try and provide some separation around the rock out in the water so it doesn’t merge with the other side of the pool. A little longer focal length to get the perspective and framing I wanted and then some more light painting of the foreground, and here we have…

Dawnish Colour

Dawnish Colour

NIKON D750 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 26 mm, 15 sec at f/16, ISO 100

Right on sunrise I’ve moved back a little and gone wide so I can see the rock directly beneath the tripod. It’s reasonably bright by this stage with the sun coming up so I have to work very quickly with the light painting down below to highlight this small section of rock I want to bring out. For this scene Aperture priority was getting the exposure totally wrong, so I switched over to full manual bulb mode and manually controlled the shutter length using the wireless trigger whilst light painting with the other hand :). Colours and shine courtesy of nature…



NIKON D750 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 18 mm, 6.3 sec at f/16, ISO 100

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