Rodney Campbell's Blog

Sunrise at Vlamingh Head…

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

We were leaving Exmouth today so I rose early and headed up to Vlamingh Head Lighthouse again to shoot the sunrise.

As I’d mentioned in a previous post the site offers spectacular views of the coast and is also one of the few places in Australia which is ideal for both sunrises and sunsets.

I’d arrived quite early (sunrise wasn’t till almost 7AM and I was already shooting at 5:45AM).

I had only a few minutes of astro twilight left to go and since the skies were mostly clear I figured I’d try some shots with the stars.

VLF Stars

VLF Stars

NIKON D750 + 14.0 mm f/2.8 @ 14 mm, 30 sec at f/2.8, ISO 4000

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.

This one at 5:47AM includes the VLF array in the distance (lit up at night) and the Vlamingh Head Lighthouse silhouetted in the foreground. Sunrise is over the horizon pretty much straight in front of us so it’s not an ideal direction to face. Still I was able to shoot this at ISO 4000 and 30 seconds with the trusty Samyang 14mm. Lots of distortion and stretching results when I manually corrected for the massive convergence and bowing of the parallel lines when angling the lens up towards the sky.

Within minutes it was too bright to shoot the stars so I switched to normal landscaping mode. I tried a number of compositions but nothing I was happy with – maybe the morning would be a bust :(.

Eventually I moved quite a way from the lighthouse (on the other side) and shot back at the lighthouse and the wider view with the sunrise sort of behind me. As luck would have it the sky turned from empty almost cloudless to filled with these small puffy white clusters.

6:45AM (about ten minutes to sunrise) and the weather Gods have smiled upon me. The rising sun hit the upper sky and lit all my puffs in a brilliant display of reds and pinks set against the deep purples and blues of the twilight sky behind.

This is an eight (8) frame stitched panorama taken from this position looking from south west through west around to north west at the height of the colour.



NIKON D750 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 35 mm, 5 sec at f/13, ISO 100 x 8 Frames

Just to highlight what a difference of just a few minutes can make – the following (seven (7) frame) panorama was taken less than five (5) minutes before the one above.

Vlamingh Head Blues

Vlamingh Head Blues

NIKON D750 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 35 mm, 13 sec at f/11, ISO 100 x 7 Frames

Alas just like that it was all over in a few minutes, and then the sun rose. Time to head back to join the family but I was more than happy with the sunrise after all.

Vlamingh Head Flames

Vlamingh Head Flames

NIKON D750 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 19 mm, 2.5 sec at f/13, ISO 100

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