Sunshowers at Montague…

We’d planned to go out for a late morning wander at an as yet unexplored part of the island. As luck would have it the sunshowers started almost as soon as we arrived.

Whaaat!

Whaaat!

NIKON D750 + 70.0-200.0 mm f/4.0 @ 200 mm, 1/500 sec at f/4, ISO 100

We were actually checking out the location for a potential sunrise shoot the next morning. The rain wasn’t heavy so we persisted, with a little waiting under the eaves of some cavelike areas in the massive wind worn rocks.

I’d gone out with just one lens – I was borrowing one of my fellow photographic companions 70-200 f/4 lens. She was trying my Sigma 50-500 to see what a long lens would do.

Note: These photographs (especially the wider shots) look much better when larger. To see larger versions in an inline overlay slideshow gallery viewer click any of the images.

I loved these windblown grasses – shaped by the strong salty breezes here on the western side of the island. I spent some time looking for interesting compositions with them. There was a small area of these hummock like swept grasses and then some smaller lines of grass in the rocks nearby.

Twisted Peak

Twisted Peak

NIKON D750 + 70.0-200.0 mm f/4.0 @ 200 mm, 1/200 sec at f/5, ISO 140

Sunshowers done we headed out in the fabulous light to shoot before any more rains came.

This is a view across to the other part of the island to the north. That whole section is almost separated into it’s own island with just a sliver of land between the two parts. During very high tides I expect there may actually be two separate land masses.

NIKON D750 + 70.0-200.0 mm f/4.0 @ 200 mm, 1/200 sec at f/8, ISO 250

More of the abundant birdlife – here just a few lone birds nesting on these fabulous coloured lichen covered rocks.

Well Nested

Well Nested

NIKON D750 + 70.0-200.0 mm f/4.0 @ 200 mm, 1/200 sec at f/4, ISO 160

The Red Eye

The Red Eye

NIKON D750 + 70.0-200.0 mm f/4.0 @ 200 mm, 1/200 sec at f/4, ISO 110

Ebb and Swirl…

Our second morning at Montague Island and our second sunrise session watching the ebb and flow of the ocean.

Unfortunately the clouds were not very accomodating this morning and very few of my images had any serious merit. I guess thats a nice way to say they were all crap :).

Montague in Three

Montague in Three

NIKON D750 + 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm, 123, 61 & 68 sec at f/16, ISO 100

Still I processed a few of my long exposure images to a degree I was vaguely happy with. When viewing them for selection for a blog post I noticed that three of them had by random chance almost identical horizons. So here I present a Montague Triptych of our morning session.

Note: These photographs (especially the wider shots) look much better when larger. To see larger versions in an inline overlay slideshow gallery viewer click any of the images.

The first a natural long exposure taken just after 5AM. The second an underexposed frame (-2EV) taken just after sunrise with a significant amount of ND filtering to hold down the sky. The last using the Lee LittleStopper to generate a daytime long exposure (at 5:55AM).

Ebb and Swirl

Ebb and Swirl

NIKON D750 + 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm, 1/2 sec at f/16, ISO 100

Above we have the last composition above without the 6 stop ND.

Sacred Grasses…

Even a fully overcast day couldn’t prevent us from exploring this wondrous island. The perimeter was varied rocky coastline but the interior was covered in tall grasses and exposed standing stones. These wind worn rocks varied from the small to the massive. Some of the largest in the centre of the island with one particularly large one serving as the base for the lighthouse itself.

Teaching Circles

Teaching Circles

NIKON D750 + 50.0-500.0 mm f/4.5-6.3 @ 170 mm, 1/200 sec at f/11, ISO 100

Note: These photographs (especially the wider shots) look much better when larger. To see larger versions in an inline overlay slideshow gallery viewer click any of the images.

NIKON D750 + 50.0-500.0 mm f/4.5-6.3 @ 340 mm, 1/400 sec at f/11, ISO 200

We did recce the eastern coast of the island for a sunset shoot. However with such heavily overcast skies it really never eventuated, we just slowly drifted to darkness with a little drizzling rain.

Birds in Flight…

If there’s one thing that Montague Island has plenty of it’s birds. You have no idea how many there were or just how noisy they can be. I’m talking thousands, tens of thousands, maybe millions – it certainly felt that way.

Look Right

Look Right

NIKON D750 + 50.0-500.0 mm f/4.5-6.3 @ 500 mm, 1/800 sec at f/6.3, ISO 100

We crept up very stealthily to this small gathering of cormorants lined up very nicely on this curved rock.

Note: These photographs (especially the wider shots) look much better when larger. To see larger versions in an inline overlay slideshow gallery viewer click any of the images.

I’s

I's

NIKON D750 + 50.0-500.0 mm f/4.5-6.3 @ 500 mm, 1/1000 sec at f/6.3, ISO 100

I managed to get a few nice frames of them all laid out in a row before they got spooked and took to flight.

Flight

Flight

NIKON D750 + 50.0-500.0 mm f/4.5-6.3 @ 500 mm, 1/800 sec at f/8, ISO 100

Even flying through the skies in formation these birds have a beautiful grace to them.

Flight Mode

Flight Mode

NIKON D750 + 50.0-500.0 mm f/4.5-6.3 @ 500 mm, 1/800 sec at f/8, ISO 100

Incredible Lightness of Dreaming…

Some lovely colour in the sky to go along with the incredible colour of the lichen on the rocks.

The Hammer

The Hammer

NIKON D750 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 18 mm, 2 sec at f/11, ISO 100

For a few moments at least we had a little fiery red in the clouds being lit by the new dawn.

Mystique

Mystique

NIKON D750 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 18 mm, 2.5 sec at f/11, ISO 100

Note: These photographs (especially the wider shots) look much better when larger. To see larger versions in an inline overlay slideshow gallery viewer click any of the images.

Ten minutes later the sun had risen and the world had changed from night to day. The light was getting harsher but still I was hoping for a way to claw back the incredible lightness I was feeling at this spectacular location.

It was time to bring out the heavy ND’s to soften the scene. Dropping in the Lee LittleStopper (a six stop ND) along with the 3 stop reverse grad and CPL. I took a number of exposures with varying exposure times searching for that feel I was looking for. In the end I’ve taken four separate exposures with shutter speeds ranging from 20 to 123 seconds. In post I’ve manually blended the frames brushing in the areas of each image via a mask as required.

Inner Glow

Inner Glow

NIKON D750 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 19 mm, 20 to 123 sec at f/11, ISO 100

The end result an image with a vastly different feel to the incredible riots of colour only minutes before.