Tag Archives: western australia

Big Australian Rock in Heaps’a Water

Sugarloaf Rock. It is a famous rock on the beautiful Southwest coast of Western Australia. Australia has a great tradition of very uninspired place names – Mount Bruce, Mount Sheila, Lake Disappointment and I could go on all night. With this tradition in mind, Sugarloaf Rock is actually not too bad. I would have expected it to be called ‘Big Rock In heaps’a Water’. That reminds me, I still have to write the Places With Wrong Names To Be Renamed list to the Australian government (Kakadu, Nourlangie, Alligator river etc). So much work!

I got a couple of scoops of Sugarloaf back in February. We met up with True North Mark and he took us to the Big Rock In Heaps’a Water. Christian Fletcher we had met earlier, but he was unable to come out and play that night, something about having sold his house and car for a Phase One camera.

Big Rock In… really is a big rock. Images do not do it justice as it really is much bigger than it looks and it is a really gorgeous location for a sunset shoot. Mark being Mark, he naturally climbs the highest and hardest to get to rock straight away and sets up shop for his shot, then iphone browses while he waits. I climb around a bit, try a few locations but having never been here before I end up searching too much and do not really find my sweet spot. My best image from the first night is this dusk panorama, shot while escaping mossies on the way back to the carpark:

Sugarloaf in dusk light - blog

We went back the night after and the light was completely different and I created this panorama that I quite like. A dark and moody Sugarloaf is going to sleep image:

Sugarloaf night - blog

Both images are stitched panoramas from about 3-4 horizontal images. It is easier with less images when you have moving water. Long exposures using stacked Lee filters made stitching fairly easy. I export all the layers to Photoshop from PTgui so I can manually mask and blend them and get the waves looking natural, also I can choose the best wave from each image.

Looking at both of them it is clear I did not nail it, did not get the job done. In both images I feel I am too far away from the scene, feels too passive, not enough drama or motion. I want to be down in the water with the rock towering in front of me and the waves crashing into me. Something I have learned about seascapes, the ones I like have action and drama and needs to be shot standing in the water basically. I look forward to tackling Big Rock… again some day, see you down there mates!

Mother Nature the artist at Wyadup Rocks

Looking back at a few shots from Australia in February I remembered I never got around to posting the sunset from Wyadup Rocks. Now; this really was an extraordinary afternoon and sunset at the best location I reckon on the Southwest coast of Western Australia. Waves like we had never experienced before and some pretty clouds came out to play as well and to top it off, Mother Nature lit up the sky.

It was such an incredible experience and so beautiful that all my images are sorely lacking. There’s just no way to capture this as we experienced it. The waves, the light, the sun, the sound, the smell, the feeling, the smiles. Cannot capture it. Not for lack of trying; I shot plenty but there just isn’t one image which is just right. Only the memory of the experience is just right. There is about 3-4 contenders from the sunset, shot in between the rocks and I can’t get any of them to look quite right and the composition is not quite right either. Good processing ideas much appreciated as I’ll have another whack at developing these in a few months or so when my new website (bet ya never get tired off hearing about it) goes online.

Here’s one of 3-4 final contenders, pretty much straight from Lightroom:

Wyadup Rocks - blog

Wyadup Rocks at dusk

This afternoon was magical and probably the highlight of our whole trip. The problem is the experience was so great and the light so awesome that not one of my images come close to capturing the real thing. Actually my friend Signe shot the best sunset shot of the day on her compact camera, just a perfect composition with brilliant timing. And here’s me with equipment worth 50 times as much getting my ass kicked. It’s never the camera, it’s the photographer! I still have a few sunsets shot that I am working on and will post sometime soon if I ever get those raw files the way I want them (I wish you could change composition in Lightroom, how cool would that be! A slider to move left and right!).  For now here is one of my very last shots at dusk. Not entirely happy with the composition but it will have to do because I can’t very well re-shoot this now. It is a single 17mm shot cropped, let me know if you think this works:

wyadup rocks at dusk - blog

Waves of Wyadup

No words today. Not at all in the mood. But an image of a fantastic afternoon at Wyadup Rocks, Western Australia.

Me and my friend Signe arrived here late afternoon and was immediately almost spellbound by the magical conditions. Strong wind and huge waves beating the turquoise water against the Wyadup rocks. And we were the only ones there Magic. Later we walked down to the beach and was rewarded with a spectacular sunset, more images to follow. This is a 3 horizontal image stitch, does not even come close to the real thing but I still think it is a nice image in itself:

Blog - Wyadup Rocks Pano copy

Primary Colours at James Price Point

Last week in Broome, Western Australia, I had the pleasure of meeting up with Nigel Gaunt of Red Dirt Photography. In his 4WD we drove one hour North of Broome on a great orange outback dirt road taking us to the beautiful James Price Point, home of untouched beautiful coastline with deep ochre red rocks. And not a soul anywhere, well actually it was quite busy today as 3 other people was in a boat fishing!

I was lucky to visit this beautiful place last year as well, and get some great shots at high tide.  This time we caught James Price Point at low tide resulting in some brilliant reflections and the red rocks glowing alive at sunset. Nigel loves this place and I think he really considers it his spiritual home, it is a special and peaceful place that can offer a slice of magic and I agree with Nigel that James Price Point is truly special.

My best James Price Point image is from last year, but I am quite happy with this Primary Colours image (title thanks to my friend Signe):

James Price point shine - blog 

This is just a single image cropped, looking at it now I sort of wished I shot this stitched to get more pixels. I was in a hurry though, as the good light on the rocks fades so quickly and it is a race against time to capture a few images let alone stitched panos! I think I prefer James Price Point at high tide. Although the reflections at low tide are fantastic, high tides offers action with large waves beating against the coast; a terrific contrast to the peaceful rocks.

The pristine beautiful James Price Point will be one of the places affected by the LNG gas hub if it goes ahead. Needless to say Nigel is deeply involved in the fight to save it. I really hope this beautiful place is saved, I somehow fear that if the mining companies get their foot in the door here, Kimberley as we know it will be gone. I will end with a few links, and let you make up your own mind about the matter:

Save The Kimberley

Wilderness Society – Kimberley campaign

Hands off Country blog

Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse

At the South West point of Western Australia you find the Cape Leeuwin lighthouse. We had a beautiful afternoon down at the rocks on the other side of the point basking in the sun and the sound of the waves. This one is from after the sunset on our way back to the backpackers. Some beautiful dusk light creating a nice glow in the atmosphere.

Cape Leeuwin lighthouse - blog

From Denmark to Denmark

Last weekend I woke up on True North Mark’s boat moored at Rottnest Island. This weekend I woke up in Denmark! The town of Denmark that is, on the Southern coast of Western Australia, not the country of Denmark presently buried in snow and arctic temperatures. Presently I much prefer this Denmark, even if it is slightly cold at 28 sunny degrees or so. We had a beautiful day yesterday swimming at Madfish Bay yesterday and a gorgeous (Mark, it went fucking off!) sunset at Green’s Pool!

My dear friend Signe and I are halfway through a great South Western Australia road trip which has presently brought us to Denmark. We have had fun, strange and amazing experiences in the form of a mix of Mother Nature, strange backpacker travellers and backpacker hostels! More stories and images to come, internet access is scarce here at all the hostels and anyway; internet is very low on my priorities presently, good to kick the habit a bit and try some offline life as well!

Weather has been really weird for a Summer in Western Australia. Bunbury turned out to be much warmer and sunnier than Perth. But then we have also had some cloudy cold Winter-like days where the sun was nowhere to be seen and I even needed a sweater and jeans one day. Shocking and very displeased with the weather gods! Good thing Broome and the tropics is next on the menu.

We had some awesome light and clouds at places like Hamelin Bay, Cape Leuwin, Conspicuous Cliffs and Green’s Pool here in Denmark. Really got back into shooting again as Mother Nature has kindly provided some amazing cloudscapes and sunsets for me re-igniting my passion! Here is a very quick and rough developed shot from incredible clouds at Conspicuous Cliffs at Walpole from a few days ago. There was practically no wind and it was a very special afternoon.

Walpole Conspicuous Point - blog

On the return trip we are doing Dunsborough and all the locations in that area. Also saying hello to that oh what is his name, Fletch something, that WA photographer up there with the crooked horizons 🙂 More to come.