Rodney Campbell's Blog

Freshwater Queasy…

by on Nov.30, 2015, under Life, Photography

Some time ago… OK exactly one year ago on November 30th last year!… Gerry and I had arranged a sunrise shoot at Freshwater tidal pool.

Freshwater is one of Sydney’s northern beaches – it’s just north of famous Manly beach and the tidal pool is on the rocks at the northern end of Freshwater beach.

Gerry was keen to shoot this location on this particular day because the sun would rise directly in line with the side of the pool.

Unfortunately at this time of the year sunrise is at about the earliest it gets – 5:37AM. Whilst I was driving there I also got the message from Gerry that he wouldn’t be able to make it (one of the few times – if ever – that he’s piked on me). He’d been up all night with a very sick child and was fully expecting if he was there this morning he’d be filling the pool with chunks – not a pretty sight…

I was on the rocks and shooting at an ungodly 4:40AM and well the clouds were pretty much zilch. There was very strong orange lighting over the pool area so shooting there was a no go before the lights went out or sunrise. I tried some long exposures on the rocks but nothing took my fancy. I thought the morning was bust…

About twenty minutes to sunrise the pool lights went out and I figured I’d climb over the railing down into the ocean beside the pool and try my luck there.

Sunrise Point

Sunrise Point

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 18 mm, 8 sec at f/11, ISO 100

Sometimes you just have to get wet to get a half decent composition or subject. Here I’m wading around at around knee deep in water over precarious slippery looking rocks. Thankfully in this more sheltered part of the bay the waves are very small so no chance of being swamped.

Facing along the side of the pool towards where the sun would soon rise (ten minutes to go). This is a manual layer blend of three exposures in photoshop. We were just starting to get tiny touches of high whispy cloud which was hinting pinks tho the colour really didn’t last very long and the clouds weren’t coming in fast enough.

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.

Just after sunrise I’m swivelling to my right since the clouds were coming in from over there and frankly it was looking more promising. Plus there were all these very fab nuclear green mossy rocks strewn about near this outflow from the pool. Hmmm “outflow”, nuclear green, coincidence?… lets not go there….

Angels Wings

Angels Wings

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 19 mm, 10.00 sec at f/16, ISO 100

Unfortunately at the eastern seaside end of the pool there’s a large stretch of rock reaching into Queenscliff Bay which encompasses Freshwater Beach. This blocks a view out to sea from this low angle and also the chance for a nice clean horizon line. It was a couple minutes after sunrise before the sun actually started breaching this wall of rock. Time to swivel back around and down the length of the pool wall.

This is another manual layer blend of four images – essentially one underexposed for the sky and three similar exposures for various parts of the foreground with different water movement and visibility.

Freshwater Green

Freshwater Green

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 19 mm, 1.60 sec at f/16, ISO 100

Around twenty minutes after sunrise and it’s time to get out the heavy ND filters. This one with the Lee LittleStopper ended up being the pick…

The view over some more nicely placed green rocks across the bay towards Queenscliff head and Manly beach just to it’s left in the middle.

Sharp and Smooth

Sharp and Smooth

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 19 mm, 92 sec at f/11, ISO 100

Afterwards I took a walk along the coast to Freshwater Beach itself to recce the area for potential future shoots (there’s these twin outflow popes there which showed potential on Google Maps). However uninspired I took one shot with the BigStopper and was done.

I’m not sure you missed all that much this morning Gerry – it did take me five months to actually get around to processing the images :)…

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