Get to know your seascapes

These examples show what can be achieved through getting to know your subject matter, which means getting to your location early, scouting around the area you intent to photograph and pre-visualizing what type of effect the water will have when conditions and tide flow change.

I arrived at this location a few hours before sunset, knowing that high tide will start coming in around sunset, l killed some time scouting around and looking for subject matter that had potential to create strong visual elements once hide tide was in.

Bearing in mind that this particular location was very flat in appearance (no huge rock stacks to play with) it was important to create dynamic foreground interest through water motion.

The example below attracted my eye with it’s strong lines and shapes,  l had already pre-visualized the type of image and look l was after, than waited for the tide to come in.

Darren J.


Once you have the water motion, than start playing around with your shutter speeds to help emphasise subtle variations in motion. For this particular scene l wanted to achieve more of a streaky kind of motion, using speeds of around 1 to 2 seconds, whilst keeping the cascading water effect over the central rock.

tut4If my shutter speed had been longer it would have created a more ‘milky look’. Move around the scene trying all sorts of different compositions, until you find the strongest dynamics and best visual impact within the frame. With hide tide coming in it’s important to step back and assess the dangers.

Quite often rogue waves can catch you of guard, causing lots of damage to your gear and making it a very dangerous situation for the photographer. In most cases the surface of the rocks will be slimy and very, very slippery, so if you have to back track in a hurry, always take care.

tut2With the water cascading in and out of the giant pot holes, your bound to end up with sea spray continuously hitting you and your camera, be sure to carry a cotton t-shirt to wipe down your camera and filters, make your way to and from the area capturing images then going back to wipe your gear.

To capture this kind of seascape requires lots of water action and that means getting in close. l am often asked how l deal with looking after my gear shooting in these trying conditions, to which l answer ‘l don’t’. If you plan to be serious with your seascapes, your camera gear will suffer considerably, no matter how well you maintain it, if your gear is in good condition than your not getting the shots and your not close enough.

Darren J



12 Apostles, Gibsons Beach.

Hi Friends,


A couple of images l captured 2 nights ago at the 12 Apostles, Great Ocean Road, the light was quite flat at sunset, than 20 minutes after sunset we managed to get some nice colour in the clouds over the Apostles.


Darren J.

Gibsons Beach, Great Ocean Road.


12 Apostles, Great Ocean Road.

Pieman Heads Tasmania.

The Amazingly Fantastic Pieman Heads, Located on the Wild West Coast in Tasmania. It certainly doesn’t get much wilder than Pieman Heads!

On board the Arcadia 2.
Early morning mist on the Pieman River.

After the beautiful early morning river cruise onboard the majestic river boat (Arcadia 2) from the very tiny settlement of Corinna on the edge of the Tarkine Wilderness,we hiked 1 hour to our camping spot. Camping was a bit daunting after seeing a scorpion near the tent, but l managed to get a good nights sleep. 

Campsite ready.


 If you are not inclined to camp out with the scorpions, you can make your way over to the finest accommodation in town, only a short stroll from the campsite you can nestle in for a home cooked meal and comfy bed in this fabulous little studio. Cooking utensils and blankets provided so no need to bring your own, which means you get to travel lightly, no noisy neighbours to keep you awake during the night, so you get a decent sleep. you can share the room with a friend or two because you have bunk beds.

Great views from the ‘rustic studio’.
Cooking appliances readily available.
A comfy bed for the night.

 The landscape is very harsh so accommodate yourself with very good hiking boots, conditions can become very cold so make sure your winter woolies are packed into your rucksack.

There is an endless source of subject matter to photograph, from rugged seascapes to intimate landscapes, rustic cabins and abandoned rusted cars bodies and parts scattered all around the region.

Remnants of old cars are scattered about Pieman Heads.


The most impressive side to Pieman Heads would have to be the Rugged Coastline and Landscapes. The landscape is baron and very much unchartered by the masses, so exploration is recommended to become familiar with the terrain.

harsh rocky terrain.
Fire threatens surrounding landscape.

The area is very isolated and windswept with seriously wild surf, the rockstacks are craggy with very very sharp edges, the edges of the rocks along the ocean appear to look like pie crusts, brittle but have stood the test of time.

Sunset at Pieman Heads.
Piecrust edgings and awesome coastline.


Darren J.

Twizel In Autumn

Hi Friends,


Twizel is located in the South Island of New Zealand, in the heart of the Mckenzie High Country. Surrounded by beautiful lakes, surrounded by lovely trees that glow in the Autumn sun and reflect back into the crystal clear water.

The best time for the Autumn colours would be April/May, with the slightly colder weather presenting misty mornings, which produce surreal mood and atmosphere as it moves through the landscape.

An ideal place for photography, where you can just jump out of the car, hold up your camera and shoot, no long climbs up the mountains or trekking over harsh terrain. Everything to photograph here is within arms reach. Be sure to do some back tracking off the main roads, you will find lots of hidden gems.

The lakes are in abundance, crystal clear and right at your feet, with mountain peaks in the background to work with. The Autumn colours are forever changing and presenting photo opportunities with every turn.

Make sure you give yourself plenty of time there, l recommend 2/3 days, than make your way over to Mount Cook or Lake Tekapo which are situated less than an hours drive from Twizel.


Darren J.


New Zealand, South Island, Photography Workshop.

Hi Friends,

Join Darren J Bennett and Phillip Norman, on a 9 day Photographic Workshop in the South Island of New Zealand.

When it comes to Photographic locations, The South Island of New Zealand has it all. Lakes filled with icebergs and glaciers, snow capped mountains, lush green waterfalls, some of the most rugged ocean with huge rocks stacks and beautiful orange starfish that glow under the setting sun, the beauty goes on and on.

We will take you to the foot of Lake Tasman where you can photograph icebergs in the pristine lake with Mount Cook in the background, getting close enough to almost touch the icebergs whilst taking in the majestic views.

Also visiting the amazingly awesome Lake Matheson and walk around to Reflection Island and photograph sunset with mount Cook lingering in the mist.

Moeraki Boulders and lush green waterfalls are also on the menu, Milford Sound, Queenstown and Glenorchy.

A Photographic Journey not to be missed, with 2 Professional instructors to lead you along and guide you throughout the duration of the Workshop.

September 3rd to September 11th 2016.

Follow the link to make your booking.

Darren J.


Great Ocean Road Workshop.

Hi Friends,

Had some amazingly good weather for our Port Campbell Photography Workshop last weekend. Our participants enjoyed amazing views and great skies over the coastline. Participants missed out on shooting Gibson Beach this time round, beach access is closed until further notice for public safety due to beach erosion and dangerous sea conditions at Gibson Steps, been closed for nearly 3 weeks now, first time we have encountered this situation. Never the less we always provide amazing locations.

Next Photography Workshop is Scheduled for November.

Darren J.


Port Campbell Seascapes Workshop.

A BIG thanks to all the participants who joined our Port Campbell Photography Workshop last weekend. A great weekend of photography had by all. Lots of learning, lots of water and not much sleep. We photographed the 12 Apostles in the evening, Gibson Beach during the morning and the Razorback throughout the day, whilst the weather was ok, the photography was great.

Another Workshop will be scheduled shortly. The workshops are hands-on and intensive. If you would like to join one of our workshops please message me.

Thanks Rob Featonby for the group shot.

Landscape Photographer of the Year 2014

*****Breaking News*****

l am honoured to announce, that last week at the Victorian Professional Photography Awards, l was Awarded the Highly Coveted title of, AIPP Victorian Epson Professional Landscape Photographer of the year 2014. I would like to thank all my family, friends and contacts for all their support and encouragement over the years. This is a great achievement in my Photographic career.

Entering 12 images into the Awards, 4 images into Travel Category and 8 images into the Landscape Category, l was fortunate to pick up 11 awards, which included 1 GOLD award, 2 Silver Distinctions and 8 Silver awards.

Below are the award winning images.

Darren J.


Seascape Workshops

“Never turn your back on the ocean” Kieron Letts put together a great blog post after attending our Port Campbell Photography Workshop. Many thanks Kieron.We still have places available for our next Photography Workshop in February.

“Never turn your back on the ocean.” A clear caution from one of the professional photographers and certainly the most important piece of advice I got during my two-day photography workshop along the Australian coastal shoreline.

AIPP Associate 2013

AIPP Associate Status 2013
Darren J Bennett is honoured to announce that he has received his Associate Status from the AIPP, at the Awards celebration dinner, which had taken place at the Grand Plaza Ballroom, with over 400 of Australia’s top photographers.
Darren also picked up 4 silver awards at the AIPP Photographer of the Year Awards 2013.

Darren J.