Rodney Campbell's Blog

Smoothing the Curls…

by on Jan.22, 2016, under Life, Photography

Before heading to North Curl Curl for a sunrise shoot at the rockpool there I already had two shots in mind. Both of which would involve smooth long exposures with two of the interesting structures there.

The first was a long exposure looking down towards the pool from up on the headland with the ocean smoothed out and the churning water turning to mist around it and the clouds streaking behind.

Smoothing the Curls

Smoothing the Curls

NIKON D750 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 48 mm, 369 sec at f/11, ISO 200

The second was a shot of the Obelisk op on the cliffs with the clouds streaking in overhead.

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.

As it turned out there were no clouds this morning and it was low tide so the sea didn’t come up around the pool. It looked like both of my ideas were bust…

After shooting sunrise down at the pool I decided to head back to the steps which come down from up on the cliff down to the rockpool area at North Curl Curl. This was almost the elevation I was looking for, I would have liked to have been a bit further to my right but alas I’ve not yet discovered the ability to fly and float in mid air 🙂

With the sky flat and lifeless, devoid of clouds, I basically decided to completely exclude it from the composition and instead focused more on the rockpool itself and the rocks around it and eventually the ocean.

I think this shot would work much better with a much higher tide (and clouds) but hey I work with what I’ve got…

I should have shot it with the 24-70 (and normally I would have) – but I wanted to see how my new 28-300 would fare as my longer make do landscaping lens for my upcoming travels and to see if I could leave the 24-70 at home…

Image quality wise I could immediately notice some factors even on the LCD (like the horrendous barrel distortion of the horizon and it’s definitely not as sharp zoomed in) so I may be taking the 24-70 as well if I can fit it.

Whilst I was up on this platform on the edge of the cliff I could look down and survey the area along the coast and I could see what looked to be a fantastic section of very green mossy covered rocks along the cliff edge below. With it being lowish tide this whole area was exposed and I imagine it’s underwater during high tide.

The area was still in shadow this early in the morning and with the sky bland and the pool now uninteresting photographically I figured I’d see what I could do here at this seaside location by looking away from the water 🙂

Then I was down at the bottom exploring the smooth green rocks. They were very cool and set against some nice clean untouched sand. Better yet there were these three wooden posts sticking up out of the rocks. Almost like there must have been some sort of structure here at the bottom of the cliff in days gone by.

Poles in Green

Poles in Green

NIKON D750 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 55 mm, 1.3 sec at f/16, ISO 100

The image above gives you a basic idea what the area looks like. Still I found it surprisingly difficult to make a composition I was happy with. I was trying to exclude the very bright world around it and focus on just the pole and the fabulous green rocks sitting in the sand. Uninspired, this was about the best I could achieve.

Standing Amongst the Green

Standing Amongst the Green

NIKON D750 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 68 mm, 1 sec at f/16, ISO 100

Then it was back to the BigStopper and one more long exposure before heading off. I liked the look of this rock with some deep green moss and the interesting lines and ridges on it. I setup on another rock right next to it out of harm’s way (basically trying not to get wet from the incoming waves and tide :)).

Again I’m pointing down to exclude the sky and just include a palette of moving water swishing around and over the rocks smoothed to a fine blur. The tide was a little too high for this and I could already tell that my poor rock would be inundated by the moving water during the exposure. So after the long exposure was done I took a second frame without the BigStopper to get a cleaner image of just the rock without the water running over it so I could blend this in with the long exposure frame. The end result, not great but it’s somewhat interesting…

Iced Bergs

Iced Bergs

NIKON D750 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 45 mm, 256 sec at f/11, ISO 100

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