Rodney Campbell's Blog


by on Mar.13, 2016, under Life, Photography

Joined some friends for a visit down the coast at Wombarra. It’s about a ninety (90) minute drive south of Sydney down to this northern seaside suburb of Wollongong. The name Wombarra comes from an Aboriginal term meaning “Black Duck”.

Normally along the east coast of Australia we are out for sunrise at the seaside locations. Today however we were going down for an afternoon shoot.

Waiting & Watching

Waiting & Watching

NIKON D750 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 18 mm, 552 sec at f/9, ISO 100

We didn’t actually see any black ducks here but the coastline was very pretty and Deb recommended this little spot on the rocks where this channel of water came in from the surging ocean.

It was only 6:20PM when Ron and I setup on the rocks here and it was still over an hour till sunset (7:30PM). It was time to break out the Stopper – first the LittleStopper and then when that wasn’t enough the BigStopper.

The clouds really weren’t moving so I had to shoot insanely long to get any sort of movement in the sky and of course the water in the channel turns to mist at that stage. It’s not really what I was hoping for but this does show you what the spot looks like and highlights the very nice channel, the rocks, the lovely small pools and that nice golden green moss in my foreground.

The final image is actually a manual layer blend of three exposures. A six minute exposure for most of the frame, the 9 minute one for the upper sky and a quick unstoppered shot for some of the foreground.

Unfortunately most of the “good” cloud was off more to the left rather than straight out this channel so it was time to shift the composition to include a better part of the sky. The fine whispy clouds were a good chance of some sunset colour even though the sun was setting behind us.

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.

Flowing Lines

Flowing Lines

NIKON D750 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 19 mm, 1/2 sec at f/11, ISO 200

Switched to a horizontal, ditched the heavy ND’s. With the waves coming and in every now and then surging up the channel and over the rocks I was looking for a composition and shutter speed to emphasise the water flow.

With the speed of the water that I had an exposure in the half to two second range was going to do it for me and let the water flow through the frame and exposure but still have stringy texture to it.

Then it was just a matter of waiting for the right moment to start the shot. These types of shots are all about getting your composition and camera settings right to start with and then forgetting that and it’s then all about timing.



NIKON D750 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 19 mm, 2 sec at f/11, ISO 160

In the end as the sun started to set behind us the colour did work it’s magic in the sky in front. The pastels started to come out to play and the clouds lit up and down below we had soft glowing light. For about five minutes after sunrise it really was magic; a subject for a follow up post :), but all too soon it faded from view.

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