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Back on the Sunrise saddle

Well it’s been awhile, aside from that crazy summit sunrise in the Warrumbungles at Easter, i really cant recall when i last shot a sunrise. Well today i got back on that saddle as they say.

The location – back at the Ocean Baths. I arrive just before first light and it was already clear there was a lot of cloud on the horizon, so it wasn’t looking good for the sunrise, but the swells whilst not as big as last night were still there so all was not lost.

I chatted to a few mates before setting the camera up – i was up now, may as well try and capture a few shots 🙂

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The pool was still pretty full.
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Out she flows
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Still some decent size waves pushing their way through the pool
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Warning!
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Through the blocks
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Through the rails
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The swell behind the pumphouse

No matter how many times you shoot at the baths, you just get drawn to the canoe pool, and this morning was no different.

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The swell had started to soften but it was still coming over the edge
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and back came the swell

At this point i was ready to pack up and head home, as there wasn’t much happening until i looked North and there was some lovely golden light shining on down, so i hot footed it back to the baths.

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View to Nobby’s from the baths
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Look at those rays
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Golden Light
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The wind on the waves was pretty cool
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By the time i came around, there were already two surfers in the water
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These two considered their options for a while
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before making the treacherous path out over the rocks and into the water
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The waves weren’t for the inexperienced
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Sunset Swells at the Ocean Baths

After an early mark from work, we decided to head to the ocean baths with high tide due at sunset, and some expected swells its always a good place to start.

When we arrived the clouds were looking very promising with a little colour already starting to spread across the sky.

After a quick Facebook live video, where i almost got smashed by a massive wave LOL – (check out my Facebook page for the video),  i started to get the camera gear out whilst watching the waves.

The swells were starting to build.

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The waves were well and truly filling the pool.
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The canoe pool was almost covered by the swells.
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Pom Alley was well and truly overflowing.
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and the big boys starting rolling in …
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and they got bigger …

And then outside of a storm / east coast low one of the biggest sets I’ve seen at the baths came through, and we were all running for the back of the baths!

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that bad boy was big but the kids were loving it!

Before the light started to disappeared it was time for some long exposures.

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A little bit calmer at the canoe pool
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Looking back towards Newcastle Beach
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Filling up or emptying ?
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You can never go past the overflowing canoe pool
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Well and truly full to the brim!
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Arghhh why didn’t those clouds colour up 🙁
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Incoming
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Outgoing
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Someone hit the pause button for a moment
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Seaspray all over my lens – all those little bubble like circles long the horizon
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Warning – Slippery when wet.

 

 

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Sunset at Nobby’s

It was my beautiful nieces 19th birthday on Friday so the family went to lunch today (Sunday) to celebrate, which also means we got to have cuddles with the new little nephew who is a teeny tiny bundle of cuteness, just like she was.

After lunch we did what we do a lot – a drive by the beaches, it’s like we need to check they haven’t up’d and moved on us. Yep they’re still there okay we can go home LOL.

After the drive – no whales spotted yet – we headed back to Nobby’s to see what sunset was going to do.

The wispy clouds were already starting to get a tinge of colour so we were hopeful of some colour. I often get asked what my settings are, so I’ll try to explain a little of the technical details of the shoot today.

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The light just catches the to of the dunes and Nobby’s lighthouse.
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Reflections on the waterline at sunset/sunrise often give that somewhat so-so image a bit more punch.
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Water and wave movements are other elements to look for.
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Foregrounds can help you look into a photo or they can stop your eye right there – depends on what you’re looking for.

As a photographer, it’s important to not stay in the one spot, you’re always looking for different view points, different ways to see things.

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The Pasha Bulka Monument
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Through the porthole
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Depth of field is another way of changing it up, this is taken at f10 – notice the lighthouse is clear.
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This one at f4.5 – the background is soft, but the monument is still sharp.
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Use shapes and angles.

It’s also okay to go back to the same spot 🙂 .. particularly when the light is so pretty LOL

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Take a moment to soak it in.

Shutter speeds are another mechanism used in photography.

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This earlier one is taken at 1/13 second – the water is still mostly frozen.
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This one is taken 0.8 second – the water has started to take on that silky/whispy look.
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Again at 0.5, this time i waited for the water to start draining back off the sand in front of the rocks to give the sense of motion
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This one i stepped up to 2 seconds, the water is getting quite silky now.
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2 seconds and again getting the water movement – watch the waves learn their patterns.
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Sometimes it takes many many shots to get the “look” you’re looking for, and often until you get to processing you don’t know what that “Look” is!

 

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Ship Wrecked

After a week of windy weather, the skies were blue, the wind was almost non-existent, and we had a low tide for sunset, we decided to head over onto Stockton to check out some of the shipwrecks along the North Arm of the harbour.

There are quite a a few shipwrecks along the coastline and harbour edge, many often only visible at low tide.

With sunset quickly approaching and setting across the water, the light wasn’t great, but i decided to put Sparkie in the air anyway and have a good look around.

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Gosh, what a sight they are!

Unless you’ve seen aerial shots before from the shoreline, its difficult to see that there are two hulls, let alone how big they are.

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The remaining hulls of the Kate Tatham and the Sylvan.

Local historians date the wreck back to 1922 when then gravel barge was abandoned on the Hunter River foreshore. 15 years earlier, the Kate Tatham capsized and sank during a squall that struck Newcastle Harbour in the November. One crewman luckily escaped the 270 tonne ship.

The other wreck the Sylvan was an old iron-screw steamer, that was used as a log punt after sinking at a town wharf in 1921.

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The sunsetting over the wrecks looking up the North Arm of the Hunter River to the Stockton Bridge

When we’d run out of drone battery we headed down river a little bit further to watch the sunset. There wasn’t a lot of colour or cloud but it was still a peaceful (and not too chilly) way to finish the day.

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Sunset over the working harbour
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Looking downstream towards the city.
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Chasing the Swells

With decent size swells predicted, we headed into the Ocean Baths, a bit of a photographers ritual when the swells are up. It was windy, chilly and the swells were a little disappointing but the light was super pretty and we even got rainbows! Its always a good shoot when you get rainbows.

 

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Rainbow at the Canoe Pool
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Whilst the swell wasn’t as big as predicted, it was still pretty wild.
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Looking towards King Edward Park.
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The last circle of light on the waves before the sun dipped behind the buildings.
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Rainbows and Ribbons – arghhh my fave!
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We didn’t quite a full bow but you cant complain about a rainbow like this.
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The diehards were still swimming – too cold for me!
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Oh that sunset light with a little bit of wave movement.
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The iconic pumphouse has had a coat of paint.
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The light was so nice tonight.
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Sunset at the Newcastle Ocean Baths Pumphouse