Rodney Campbell's Blog

Moonlight Apostles…

by on Mar.24, 2016, under Life, Photography

I could almost have titled this the Midnight Apostles :).

The Twelve Apostles is a collection of limestone stacks off the shore of the Port Campbell National Park, by the Great Ocean Road. Their proximity to one another has made the site a major tourist attraction. Currently there are eight apostles left, the ninth of the stacks collapsed dramatically in July 2005. The Twelve Apostles name however remains significant, known as such world wide, and the view is still spectacular.

Moonlight Apostles

Moonlight Apostles

NIKON D750 + 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 @ 50 mm, 338 sec at f/8, ISO 800

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.

The apostles were formed by erosion, the harsh and extreme weather conditions from the southern ocean gradually eroded the soft limestone to form caves in the cliffs, which then became arches, which in turn collapsed; leaving rock stacks up to 50 metres high.

A little after 9:30PM I finished up my session down on the sand at the bottom of Gibson Steps. In the darkness I left and made my way back up to the car. Once I’d packed up and changed my wet socks and shoes it was almost 10PM.

I still wanted to take a look at the Apostles from the viewing platform. After all I was just a few minutes away, and this place is over a thousand kilometres from home so it’s not like I can come here easily.

So here I present a not often seen interpretation of the classic Twelve Apostles view. It is taken from the same viewing platform that everyone takes their shots from. However I was here alone in the dark at 10:10PM – a thirty second test shot at ISO 6400 had shown me what was going to be possible. My take is a natural five and a half minute long exposure lit solely by the light of the rising two thirds moon (over to the right out of frame).

Then it was time to pack up, leave these amazing Apostles and head back to the car for the long drive home. Unfortunately I hadn’t factored in the abundant wildlife out on the roads at night so it was going to be a slow trip back to Port Fairy. I didn’t get to bed till around 1AM.

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