Red Johanna Beach, Seascape Photography.

Recently caught up with my good friend and fellow photographer Rob Featonby. We spent the weekend camping and photographing over at Red Johanna Beach, along the Great Ocean Road.

These days things have gotten very busy at Red Johanna, lots of campers and families enjoying the great outdoors. Lots of fishing, surfing and just kicking back.

Rob Featonby and l have spent the last couple of years catching up for photography sessions on a regular basis. Last year we spent two weeks cruising around Tasmania in his F250, camping and photographing most of the iconic locations Tassie has to offer. Although the weather conditions were not on our side, the journey was awesome.

Rob would have to be one of the most tireless photographers I have met. His passion is shooting night skies and star trails. There have been many occasions when we have been out shooting and I called it a night around midnight, then woke up bright and early for sunrise, only to find Rob still out shooting star trails on the beach! Without sleep, he continues shooting throughout the night and the morning, no matter what the weather conditions; a most dedicated and professional-minded photog.

Rob is pictured here, knee-deep in seawater and loving every moment.

So without fail, I always know I’m in for serious stuff when Rob’s around, lots of energy and motivation. This weekend was no exception, Sunday morning produced a ripping sky and scene. Both Rob and I were ecstatic, due to the fact that the previous morning and evening had been a whitewash due to unfavourable shooting conditions.


For some unknown reason Red Johanna always finds a way to turn it on; very rarely have I not had a good shoot there. My only grudge is that l wish there was more subject matter to work with, but you can’t have it all.

Being able to camp at the doorstep of where you’re shooting is also a big plus: a hop, skip and jump, throw my waders on and I’m ready for shooting. Waders come in very handy whilst shooting seascapes, even Rob has invested in a pair.

I’m heading back out to Great Ocean Road in a couple of days – high tide rolling in at sunset, just the way I like it.

You can check out Rob’s amazing images at http://www.flickr.com/photos/rob_featonby/

Darren J.

the sea within, great ocean rd, apollo bay, victoria, australia

ocean deep, great ocean rd, johanna beach, victoria, australia

Great Ocean Road Seascapes, Slideshow Video.

Feel free to follow, like and subscribe to my youtube channel, thanks, Darren J

 

The Moon In My Eyes.

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.

Darren J.

moon in my eyes, 12 apostles, great ocean rd, port campbell, victoria, australia

Australian Landscape Photographer of The Year 2020.

Darren J Bennett is pleased to announce that he has been ranked Australia’s #1 Landscape Photographer at the 2020 One eyeland International Photography Awards.

Congratulations to all the other photographers who entered the competition.
Darren J.

 

Victorian Photographer.

Armageddon Day in Melbourne. I captured this image of Melbourne some time ago, the Melbourne Dockland precinct was going through a major change and new buildings were popping up all around the place, there was rubble and ruins lying around as the big machinery came through and uprooted all the old stuff. This image is almost Armageddon like, with the City looking as though it will fall to ruins like the foreground, the sky and clouds add that explosion feeling whilst the bird is the only thing able to escape the madness. This is 1 exposure, no elements were added. A one of a kind image! Darren J

Victorian Landscape Photographer.

These lovely images were captured over at the Bakers Oven along the Great Ocean Road. Dependent on the season and time of year, the algae will be very lush or completely burnt out. My recommendations is to visit during springtime to take full advantage of the lush and vivid algae colours.
Darren J.
the bakers oven, great ocean road, port campbell, victoria,The Baker 010 :Great Ocean Road, Port Campbell, Victoria.

the bakers oven, great ocean road, port campbell, victoria,The Baker 008 :Great Ocean Road, Port Campbell, Victoria.

the bakers oven, great ocean road, port campbell, victoria,The Baker 005 :Great Ocean Road, Port Campbell, Victoria.

Moeraki Boulders (Kaihinaki).

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.

Darren J.

Lake Tasman, Mount Cook.

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.

 

Darren J.

the fire inside, mount cook, lake tasman, new zealand

animals on ice, ice figures, tasman lake, new zealand, mount cook

 

 

 

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.

tut1

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

tut3

 

The Razorback, Loch Ard Gorge.

Hi Friends,

 

Last Week l went for a quick drive out to the Great Ocean Road, the weather was quite stormy on the way there and the clouds and weather conditions were looking very promising indeed, but l arrived there a little to early and conditions changed a lot throughout the time l spent there, chasing the light and the cloud action. l decided on shooting at the Razorback, Loch Ard Gorge as the light had more impact.

Here are a few images l had captured that evening.

 

Darren J.

The Razorback, Loch Ard Gorge