La Conchita, California, December 2019
Sometimes the things right in front of our nose are the ones that produces the goods, right? Certainly if it comes to photography. Sometimes you can drive all day long but it’s the final image taken on the own door step that awakes emotion.
Today I was heading out to explore sights and sounds along the Great Ocean Road here on the South-East coast of Australia where I arrived after a long day in the air and on the road yesterday where it all started in Sydney so early it was still dark and cold outside.
Good news this morning: no rain. Bad news: the sky’s as grey as it gets. Simply dull, without any texture, not letting any light through whatsoever. Sure, sometimes these conditions lend themselves to shoot atmospheric black and white – preferably long exposures with a bit of water in the scene.
That says I struggled to find any composition that exited me, that I felt passionate about. All looked dull & boring. An okay shot of the Cape Otway Lightstation was the best I could manage.
In the back of my mind I had it to be ‘home’ in Marengo/Apollo Bay for the potential sunset on the local beach, only 200 meters off my holiday home, which I neglected this morning.
The sun never really showed up, the grand show of a sunset certainly did not materialize. Nonetheless the beach of Marengo is interesting. Low tide was forming and set different rock formations free – some on land, some off the shore, as part of the Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary.
The night falling quickly, the light became ambient – that was the moment when it made “click” and I found numerous lovely compositions playing with slow shutter speeds.
In the end, the image above is my favourite. It was the final one I took before heading home, too. Funny how things work sometimes: 20mm, ISO 100, f/9, 10sec
The lights already went on in Apollo Bay, the night clouds pushing over the mountains bringing darkness, but a beautiful, subdued orange like back light still illuminates the rocks on front of me while the water is flowing in and out with the waves.
ISO 100, 8s, 17mm, f/11 – Nikon D7100, Sigma 17-50mm
First day in Australia – Adelaide in the south, to be specific. The first port of call for my three weeks long trip through “Aussieland”. A dream its been for a long time. Finally the chance to make it real. Although – and I didn’t quite know what it would mean when I booked the rather lowly priced flight tickets – it’s winter in “Down Under”.
Winter in Australia? Can’t be that bad, can it? Well, turns out it isn’t but then it kind of is – Says I didn’t have unrealistic expectations like roasting on the beach and surfing the waves in the ocean. Just one thing: no rain – PLEASE!
Dublin’s farewell gift on Saturday was a wet storm that soaked you only from sprinting as fast as you can the five meters from the taxi to the entrance of terminal two – desperate stuff!
24 hours later I come to realise the weather-god (Neptune is it, right?) and I we never make friends in this life – he sent the wet storm round the globe all the way down to Adelaide. Thanks mate!
First day in South Australia. 13 degrees, the Air BnB freezing, heaters are overvalued in a city where it’s nearly always hot. Those three or four weeks were it isn’t? Tough luck.
Now, while this type of weather isn’t good for the tan, it certainly is good for producing a stunning sky. That’s exactly what I was hoping for when I went down to Seacliff Beach in the afternoon.
Boy oh boy it didn’t disappoint! The constant play between sun and rain created the most amazing sky. There were those thick layers of dark, rain filled clouds that tried to drown the sun and its warm rays – an epic fight!
To capture the emotions and create maximum drama of the scene my idea was to get some long exposures. The first image at the top is my favourite from today. A final piece of sea grass clinging on to dear life, lying still, all his friends already washed away, while rain and sun fight it out in the background. A fitting tribute to the day it was!
In the end the rain won and the sea captured the beach. The tide is merciless.
ISO 100, 4s, 17mm, f/11 – Nikon D7100, Sigma 17-50mm
Great Skellig, the larger brother of the Skellig islands, stand tall and proud eleven kilometres off the west coast of Ireland. The islands peal rises to over 230 m above sea level and is recognised a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
A sixth-century Christian monastery sits at 160 m above sea level on a ledge close to the top of the lower peak- back in the day it used to be known as the end of the world. It certainly feels like that if you happen to find yourself there coated by layers of fog…