Feel free to follow, like and subscribe to my youtube channel, thanks, Darren J
Feel free to follow, like and subscribe to my youtube channel, thanks, Darren J
Latest image from Great Ocean Road.
I was lucky enough to wake early and have a sneak peek of the Moon over the 12 Apostles. What a beautiful sight it was, the moonlight from behind the Apostles and the first of the morning light illuminating the rock stacks in the foreground. The image was taken at 5.30am, with clouds moving in quickly from the South – I managed to shoot 3 images at 30-second exposures before the clouds completely covered the Moon and the moment was gone.
Image will be available for purchase as a Limited Edition from my Website.
A very unique perspective.
l am always on the lookout for something a little different from the Great Ocean Road. This location is amazing, off the beaten track and standing on a very narrow cliff face (shaking at the knees) whilst composing. The views are nothing more than awesome, with the wild ocean and strong breeze just about blew me over the edge. You really need to brace yourself whilst out at these locations and many times l ask myself ‘what the heck am l doing out here risking my life’ with so much corrosion and sections of the cliffs falling off, but here l am again living and loving what l do.
Salt Water in my Veins.
The Moeraki Boulders are situated at Koekohe Beach which is on the Otago Coast in the South Island of New Zealand. 1 hour drive up the eastern coast from Dunedin, the enigmatic Boulders are a ‘must see’ attraction.
The huge Boulders lay scattered along the beach, which is a protected scientific reserve. The Boulders are striking to look at with their unusually large size and bimodel shape, their sizes ranging from 1.0 to 3.0 metres and weighing up to several tons.
Up to 50 Boulders can be seen on the beach, with the largest Boulder weighing up to 7 tonnes. Taking around 4 million years to form their current size. Over the years many of the smaller Boulders have been taken for souvenirs.
Unfortunately due to my schedule, 1 night was all the time l was able to spend there, an evening shoot and morning shoot, which produced great results. I will be heading back to the South Island next year in Autumn and planning to spend a few more nights at the Moeraki Boulders.
Mount Cook. After having a successful time there on my last visit, l am so keen to get back.
Prior to my last visit, l had never seen such amazing scenery. Being from Melbourne, Australia, it’s a different kind of landscape out here. We just don’t have these kind of lakes anywhere in Australia.
After viewing images from Lake Tasman on the internet, l had made up my mind to see it for myself. Due to a heavily booked schedule l could only manage to stay 3 nights at Mount Cook, when l say only 3 nights, what l mean is l could have spent another week there and still require more time.
My first visit to Lake Tasman was early morning, making my way to the car park, grabbing my gear from the car, l made my way along the walking track in the dark, l was a little concerned when 40 minutes later l hadn’t seen Lake Tasman and the sign in the carpark read 20min walk.
So back to the carpark l went, the sun had started to rise by then and the sunrise was looking good indeed, just my luck, alone on a walking track and witnessing some beautiful light indeed. The only problem, where was Lake Tasman? Upon my arrival back to the car, l decided to have another look at the directional sign and found that l had taken the wrong track. Bugger.
l spent the next couple of hours scouting around Lake Tasman, getting familiar with the correct walking tracks and areas that l will be shooting from. As one such path leads out to the head of the Tasman River, Flowing out from Lake Tasman, which produces the best viewpoint. The small floating icebergs make for excellent foreground composition, whilst using the mountains as backdrops.
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.
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.
If 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.
With 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.
l am pleased to say that l have added a new Gallery to my website.
Aireys Inlet, has been added to the Great Ocean Road Gallery section. The images selected within this Gallery have been captured over a number of years, being one of the first destinations l started to practice my craft and learn the art of Seascape photography, Aireys Inlet has an abundance of subject matter to work with, really large rock stacks in many shapes and sizes, lots of interesting algae and seaweed to create interest in the foreground, beautiful cliffs that look as though they are on fire when the morning sunlight strikes them (they glow with intensity).
The tide itself will determine where and when you can shoot this particular region as some of the rock stacks are only accessible at high tide and at low tide you can get around the cliffs and rock outcrop areas with ease, although one must always take care looking out for potholes and craggy sharp edged rocks underfoot. So much to explore and you could spend so much time sourcing out your compositions with ease most of the time.
Generally sunrise would be the preferred time to be at Aireys Inlet as the sunlight can help produce striking colour on the cliff face and surrounding rock stacks and the whole rocky landscape area comes alive with colour. Sunset you will find the sun setting behind the mountainous backdrop leaving the rocky shore area a little drab and lifeless (unless you have awesome sunset colours setting the sky aglow).
Aireys Inlet is a quick drive from Melbourne, taking around 1.5 hours of your time to get there, so a quick sunset shoot after work is always on the cards dependant upon where you live. But once again sunrise would be more rewarding in terms of light on the landscape.
If you are interested in joining my Photography Workshops at Aireys Inlet feel free to message me and we can book you in. Group sessions and solo workshops are available. Its a great destination to learn your craft or expand on your skills with a huge variation of subject matter, there is even a lighthouse to shoot and practice your nightscapes.
Darren J.Great Ocean Road.
l have been taking photos along the Great Ocean Road for over 20 years now, l learnt my craft there, studying the tides and the ocean mainly by watching and observing. Spending hours and hours sitting on the rocks and watching in no particular hurry, waiting for sunset and whilst waiting l was watching how the incoming or outgoing tide moved the water around with it, wrapping itself around the rocks and creating lovely lines and movement as the waves came into shore and than out again. it was through observing the ebbs and flows that l was able to capture this through the camera.
The swirling water had me hooked so to speak. Days turned into weeks and weeks into years, from Anglesea to crayfish Bay and Lorne to Port Campbell, the possibilities along this beautiful stretch of coastline were immense. Every weekend was spent along the coastline, sunrise and sunset. The drive there did not bother me to much as l actually love to drive long distances, l find it somewhat therapeutic, visiting a location over and over again until l had captured a few good frames than move on.
In doing this l managed to find my favourite spots (my go to locations) such as Artillery Rocks, located 12 kms out from Lorne, its also a popular spot with fisherman. The rock formations are really interesting, volcanic in nature and worn away from the sea, they provide great subject matter for learning the art of seascape photography, although one must always be very wary of the tidal conditions as this is a very dangerous place especially during high tide or stormy weather.