Rodney Campbell's Blog

Grey Coal…

by on Dec.31, 2015, under Life, Photography

Coalcliff is a town on the coast between Sydney and Wollongong. In 1796 William Clark and others trekking north to Port Jackson from the wrecked ship Sydney Cove noticed coal exposed at the cliffs there and made a fire from it, attracting rescuers, giving the area its name.

Illawarra Coke Company’s site at Coalcliff was a working industrial site from the late 1800s when coal mining commenced, until the closure of Coalcliff Cokeworks in mid-2013.

Deb, Gerry and I made a sneaky Sunday trip down to the area for a very grey and wet sunrise shoot.

Deb had recently purchased some Lee filters and was keen to try them out on a sunrise seascape shoot. It was a very early start to get here just after 6AM (with a 90 minute drive from home it was around a 4AM wakeup call :(). We were only five minutes from arriving when Deb remembered that she’d left the tripod at home! A very inauspicious start to her first Lee filtered seascaping session and one she’s not soon to forget…

The conditions were bleak, the cloud cover was near complete and it was raining, tho only lightly. Not really a fabulous morning to be out. We had planned to shoot sunrise here on Coalcliff beach first and then shoot waterfalls at nearby Kelly’s Falls afterwards. At least the conditions were looking very favourable for the later :).

We started the morning around the Coalcliff tidal pool. This little channel in the rocks right next to the pool looked like it had a nice flow and shape but we found it too difficult to get a good composition on this (without being in the path of the waves :)). Second shot of the morning (the first was way underexposed by at least 3 or 4 stops).



NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 21 mm, 185 sec at f/8, ISO 200

Besides the light drizzle and the complete lack of colour the conditions were reasonably pleasant. It’s 6:55AM (about 15 minutes before sunrise) and the colours were soft and smooth under these pre sunrise conditions and this composition allowed me to highlight the layers of colour. Gerry even kindly stood almost still for a couple minutes allowing me to sneak this little capture of him which I’ve done as a vertical pano.

Gerry Don’t Jump

Gerry Don't Jump

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 20 mm, 103 sec at f/11, ISO 100

You may not have realised but it’s now just after sunrise – see that blazing ball of light in the sky… no… I didn’t think so 🙂

Rock Fusion

Rock Fusion

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 19 mm, 47 sec at f/9, ISO 100

7:20AM and I was moving down the rocks towards the beach. At this stage Gerry is down almost at water level in Coalcliff creek taking frames for a vertical panorama (and very nice work too).

Me – I’m being mesmerised by these swirling spirals of water in the rock pool at my feet and around the rocks heading out to sea. I liked how this was working and setup a composition to line everything up and accentuate the swirls. Having the layers of hills in the distance and the hint of colour to the right was just a bonus. Now it was just down to waiting for that right moment when all the water was in the right place with the right movement. Finally it came together…

The Bleak

The Bleak

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 19 mm, 5.3 sec at f/8, ISO 200

Comments are closed.

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!

Copyright © 2015 Rodney Campbell

Images contained on this web site may not be used or reproduced in any way without prior permission.