Tag Archives: sunrise

Rottnest Island with True North Mark

A few weeks ago me and my friend Signe had the pleasure of being invited aboard True North Mark’s big and beautiful private boat for a brilliant weekend at Rottnest Island with Mark and friends. A huge thanks to Mark for having us along and Brett, Greg and Jordan for outstanding company and great fun. We toured the whole island, we shot some photos and had a wicked and unreal time (using a bit of the surfer slang we learned). We also went snorkling twice, for hours, and this was a huge thing for me, only the second time ever I have been snorkling. Swam a long way and saw beautiful reefs and absolutely loved it. Wetsuit experience was nice, those things work really well at keeping you warm and it is a somewhat funky feeling against the skin too. First day I did not have one and I think my lips were blue for hours after becoming seriously cold!

Mark and I shot quite a few photos and we had some good luck and bad luck. Beautiful clouds on the first day but not enough sunshine. Second day Mark is kicking me awake (takes a bit of work) at 5am asking me if I want to come for the sunrise shoot. Having slept about 5 hours I mumble a long “ehhhhhhh” followed by a “ehhh…….yes”. I jump in the True North tender boat and Mark steers us towards the lighthouse for a sunrise shoot. I am barely awake and have not brought shoes. Good decision for rock walking when one’s feet is not exactly leather yet! Happy I got up though, we capture images from dawn to after sunrise and these are my two favourite Rottnest images:

Rottnest lighthouse dawn - blog

It looked nice as well when the sun peaked up over the horizon but this is more dramatic. Quiet calm dawn with gorgeous big clouds.

And after sunrise this enormous cloud covered 180 degrees of the sky. After a bit of Lightroom work, mostly warming the cloud a lot, it yielded a very dramatic image which I like a lot:

Rottnest lighthouse cloud - blog

You can see a few more of my Rottnest images by going to my News gallery, click here: www.flemmingbojensen.com/new

Cheers Mark for a brilliant weekend, thanks for showing us “your” island!

Karijini Rainbow Sunrise; magic on a cold morning

Scene: Camp ground at Karijini National Park, Western Australia. Time: Very early on a very cold morning in June. Rodney wakes me up. It is still pitch black. “Beautiful cloud cover, wanna go shoot?” Rod’s frozen voice asks me. Karijini in Winter is a bit on the cold side when the sun isn’t out so my warm sleeping bag is tempting, having to put on the same clothes I have been wearing all week and step outside is not. However; I cannot miss a potential wide open Karijini landscape bathed in light from a rising sun under the watchful eye of big clouds. So grab clothes and gear and out of bed it is. “We’re taking the troopie” Rod says in the direction of Casey’s tent. It is actually my small $30 Coles tent but Casey chose this tent for better insulation from snorers. “Fine, go” says Casey, not feeling like joining us in tasting the cold morning air.

Off we drive towards Knox Gorge, one of the better places near the campground where you can find a view with a bit of wide open space (my kinda setting, gorges are too confining for me). With the air con on max heating the Troopie is heaven. Having shot the sunrise a few days earlier as well I know one spot on the way to Knox Gorge where the landscapes opens up a bit. It really is still pitch black so we miss it and drive back and forth a few times until we find it. I then have to use the bush toilet. Why this always happen when I shoot is beyond me. In the meantime Rod unloads my gear and takes off. Looking back, slightly surprised I see Rod pointing Troopie’s headlight at something in the spinnifix grass and I hear him shouting “your bag is there, I am off to the gorge lookout". So I find my composition, point in the direction of the upcoming sun and run around a bit to keep warm. Many nice sunrise shots later I almost miss the real hero shot from this morning!  Look behind you numnuts and you shall see this!

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Karijini Rainbow Sunrise
© Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

I was shooting into the sun and forgot to attach rear view mirrors so were oblivious to the lightshow behind me. Suddenly I notice, there’s a massive 180 degree visible rainbow behind me. Numnuts here is too slow in moving and setting up composition to catch all of it as it disappears in seconds. The rainbow lasted for about one minute and I almost missed all of it. Only caught the tail end of it. I got in one shot before it was completely gone. One exposure capturing mostly the reminder of a once-was rainbow. Still, the scene I ended up with retains the truly remarkable Karijini magic from this morning!

Please comment on what you think of this slice of magic and story from a cold but beautiful Karijini morning?

 

PS. Rod took forever at the gorge so I shot heaps more photos, yet to be posted. What took so long? Bloody keys dropped out of the ignition! Troopie keeps running so you don’t notice. Until you need the keys that is and can’t find them!

New Angels on New Albion – aka Sydney

I have to apologise for not blogging much for the past month. I have ideas for articles and tutorials but haven’t found inspiration. Time has somehow slipped through my fingers, and winter depression kills my otherwise strong urge to write. So I’ll just stick to sharing a few photos this week and am even reusing a title and a few of the photos, talk about writers block!

Sydney was originally named New Albion which works with New Angles as a title – and I am always looking for new angles. I have visited Sydney 5 times and this gorgeous city always offers new light and new opportunities. Here’s a few from my visit in September 2008. The first two shots are from across the bridge (obviously!) at Kirribilli Point, a superb spot for sunrise. It is a wonderful feeling to stand in a city of millions at 5am in the morning witnessing first light – with not a single soul anywhere! Just you and the light, as if you’re part of this big secret and no one else is awake to know this is the best and most beautiful part of the day!

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

First Light in Sydney
© Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Morning in Sydney
© Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Sydney Opera House and Circular Quay in duotone
© Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Finally; as you get to know a place your images always improve and I reckon I made my favourite Sydney image ever on this, my 5th visit, and I think I even succeeded in capturing a New Angle on New Albion:

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Sydney Opera House and Cityscape from Harbour Bridge
© Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

The story behind this shot is here and a few more new Sydney shots are in my Sydney gallery. Enjoy the photos as I will work on unblocking the writer block!

Capturing Australian tropical sunrises

As a follow up to Where Sunrises Rule The World I will take you back to Hawk Dreaming and the edge of the crocodile and mosquito rich river. I will share my sunrise shooting experience with two new panoramas from this morning.

I am back in Hawk Dreaming on the edge of the river. I have arrived early to capture the dawn light and greet the mosquitoes. I have chosen my composition, setup my gear and applied a full can of mossie repellent. It is an astoundingly beautiful morning; it is already more than 25 degrees but the air still has a crisp and fresh morning feel and smell. As the very first dawn light appears I capture the first panorama while it is still quite dark:

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

East Alligator River at Dawn
© Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Ten minutes later and it is already close to daylight and the light has warmed considerably. I make small adjustments to the composition and exposure and shoot our second panorama in this series:

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

East Alligator River at Sunrise
© Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

I could have wished for a few more clouds (the appeared later as seen here) and a stronger composition. But the colours and the light are gorgeous and a true representation of sunrise at this river, and at large size you can see the lovely thick layer of mist on the floodplains. Let us examine in detail how to capture this light and these colours.

Shooting the tropical sun rising

Walk softly and always carry mosquito repellent! The composition in these panoramas is dictated by the mosquitoes. Ideally I would have been lower and closer to the water; making the river (a finger of the East Alligator River) seem bigger with more colour reflection in the water. No go mate. I have never experienced a wall of a million mosquitoes quite like this! There was no choice but to step back 7-8 meters from the edge of the river and still I was getting eaten. Without mossie repellent you won’t get these shots so arm yourself. This is Where Mosquitoes Rule The World!

Be prepared; be quick! Coming from a cold dark non-tropical place you will be surprised by how quickly the sun rises in the tropics. You have very little time to work in before the sun basically jumps to the top of the sky and is at full force. So be prepared, arrive early and find your composition before the light show begins. The very best light is usually at dawn so no sleeping in! You should basically be setting up in complete darkness.

Use ND graduated filters! I used a Cokin 2-stop ND grad filter to even out the exposure between sky and ground but learned that this is nowhere near enough to tame the tropical sun rising. I needed a 4-stop and even a 6-stop in my kit as the difference in light level especially at dawn is incredible. Still a 2-stop is better than nothing and without an ND grad filter you would either blow out the sky or capture a pitch black foreground.

Do not blow the red channel! The red channel will be at least a couple of stops brighter than the other channels, so do not trust the luminance histogram on your camera. A blown red channel will ruin a tropical sunrise or sunset, creating ugly yellows and greens where there should be orange and red! Study your RGB histogram carefully if you have one, or bracket your exposures.

Finally…enjoy! Do not get so caught up in shooting, checking histograms, looking through the viewfinder, levelling the tripod, setting exposure, focus and aperture etc. that you completely forget to enjoy the spectacle! Step back once in a while and take it all in. We shoot landscapes because we love nature so don’t let the camera get in the way all the time. Enjoy!

Where Sunrises Rule the World

People who used to work with me when I did IT full time will testify I am not a morning person. I don’t function well in an office before I’ve had countless coffees and an hour of sulking. The solution? Change your job to shooting sunrises!

I got up at 5am for about 3 weeks in Australia. Didn’t need an alarm clock as when you’re bush camping and dawn approaches, my internal “time to shoot” alarm simply goes off in sync with nature and I wake up. Well; you also wake up as it’s getting stinking hot and all the birds, mossies and flies wake you up as I was sleeping outside with no tent. It still feels so bloody early but as soon as I’m out there you realise it is the best time of the day. It’s the time for capturing spectacular scenes like this one:

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Hawk Dreaming Sunrise Cloudscape Panorama
© Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Standing at the East Alligator River (with no alligators; just crocs) at 6am watching this light show is simply mindblowing. Imagine it is 6am, 25 degrees and Mother Nature rules the world. Every single sound (apart from my camera) is orchestrated by nature; every single light ray is controlled by nature. No people, no buildings, no power lines, nothing to distract. Just 100% pure humbling power of nature taking you back to When Dinosaurs Ruled The World. Sometimes scenes are so beautiful you just want to forget about the camera, sit down wishing you could live here and hoping the future never comes. 
(oh yes there was a million mosquitoes as well, all part of the nature experience)

This is a simple stitch; it is only two very wide horizontal images shot at 17mm stitched. It is a technique I use sometimes as I feel it better preserves the extreme 17mm wide angle look compared to shooting say 8 vertical shots but the stitch still gives me a wider view than 17mm. Nature did all the work as I did very little post processing of this. I set the white balance and added a vignette and a bit of shadow detail recovery and we’re done.

I recommend getting up for every single sunrise, especially in tropical Australia. Often in the tropical bush the heat and haze of the day mixed with smoke from bushfires can result in a muted sunset. Sunrise on the other hand gets the fresh clean morning air to work with. Here; the sunrises rule the world.

Developing a Hawk Dreaming

I am developing all the RAW files from Hawk Dreaming as no. 1 priority. I want to get all the landscape and aboriginal art shots to Dwane from the Djabulukgu Association Inc  as quickly as possible; to reassure him I am definitely a man of my words and honour my end of the agreement! You will hardly find any other photographers with photos from Hawk Dreaming and I am very happy and privileged to have been allowed to shoot there.

Hawk Dreaming has some large open floodplains so it is possible to shoot some very isolated subjects with a horizon far far away. This is shot with just a bit of dusk light left and I like doing these sort of arty simple compositions. Simple compositions are the hardest to achieve, isolating subjects in the natural chaos of nature takes a lot of searching.

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Pandanus Palm Glow at Dusk
© Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

I previously blogged about watching dawn and sunrise from a rock shelter and the next shot is the sun just making it’s appearance on the hazy stage. I used a 2 stop (I need to get a 4 stop) ND grad filter, without it the foreground would be pitch black. It may look a bit dark at small size but the larger version is clearer. It was still very dark as the haze and mist softened the sun and I want the picture to reflect this.

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Sunrise over Cannon Hill
© Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

This is just a taste of the upcoming hundreds shots that Hawk Dreaming provided me and yet I could easily go back and shoot many more in this awesome place.

It is a Hawk and Photographer Dreaming! It’s very easy to escape into the screen while developing these shots.

Sydney; From Dawn till Dusk

Although it is a freezing cold 15 degrees as I write this; Sydney has warmed up to me and I to Sydney. Saturday and Sunday were very warm and summery, just as I like it and just as I apparently need it as I am a cold blooded reptile desperately in need of the sun. I still very much miss “my country” the outback, but after the culture and climate shock has settled down a bit then a little sun and fun goes a long way.

Still have to get back to “my country” soon. Feels like part of me is missing. Strange feeling. Like finding my home and knowing things will never be the same again. I keep looking at those Hawk Dreaming shots and dreaming.

Waking up the world

I spent Saturday with a friend and fellow photographer who lives in the Sydney suburb Manly and was shown this beautiful place she is fortunate to call home. We began the day at 5am on Manly Beach for a lovely sunrise; this shot is the beach at dawn:

Manly Beach at Dawn. Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

No clouds this morning so just a normal beautiful Manly sunrise and a quite ordinary shot by me; but some good colours and the photo is a nice memory of a brilliant day. It is far from every day I get to stand on a beach and witness the sun rise out of the ocean; it is always a humbling and thrilling experience.

New angles on New Albion

In my quest to get a few cityscapes of Sydney (originally called New Albion) from new angles I also finally got a dusk shot of the city, shot from the Harbour bridge. I’ve had that shot in my head for a while and finally got around to shooting it. Took a bit of effort as the next story will tell, but the results I reckon are worth it. The duotone version is very nice but decided to post colour version for this post:

Sydney at dusk. Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

I like this new angle on Sydney as it has a very nice 3D effect to it and will look impressive printed big.

If it was easy everyone would do it

Sydney Harbour Bridge shootIt was a nice very warm Sunday but late afternoon the wind changed, it cooled down and it started blowing a gale. Very strong winds. But clouds looked interesting. I wanted a dusk shot of Sydney shot from the bridge and decided this was the day – the shot you see above is the end result. I vaguely remembered that it should be possible to manoeuvre a tripod into place shooting through the fence on the Harbour bridge. It was. Just. On the right you can see the result of 10 minutes of cursing the fence and finally getting the tripod legs stuck in the wire just right so I could have my 17-40mm lens peaking through. May look a bit flimsy but was very steady.

harbour bridge shot uncroppedThe camera is actually way over my head. Standing on my toes and jumping (kept me warm!) I could see through the viewfinder and kept shooting and adjusting till I had my composition. But wait. They fired back with a massive light cannon underneath the bridge shooting straight at me! Lots of light bleeding into my shot. So I use the lens cap (no room for lens hood) and hold it in place to shield the light – see uncropped shot on the right. Jumping to peak through the viewfinder, holding the lens cap into place, shooting using cable release and almost getting blown off the bridge in very windy conditions – sometimes ya gotta put in a bit of effort! I don’t mind battling Mother Nature’s crocs, mossies, rocks, snakes etc. but why oh why can’t the design of the Harbour bridge include a little shooting hole in the fence for photographers!