A Cloudy South Coogee Sunrise

If you follow me on any social medias you might have seen me up and about at ungodly hours over the last week or so.. this has been in trying to kick start my winter drive for sunrises. Why winter you say? Isnt it colder? Yes.. its freezing.. it is so so so so cold in the morning. But historically from my observations the colder months produce some more spectacular sunrises. I personally find however that its getting back into the groove of making consistent returns to the beach in the morning that is key to ongoing early rises. And how does sunrise work as a photographer

You may have also noticed my shots changing somewhat.. a little in terms of processing but also mainly in what I am capturing. My style is changing a bit more, and I must say the purchase of the 10 stop filter has meant I am utilising it a LOT in my seascapes/landscapes now. I think however it is understanding the conditions a lot more now. Sunrises are tricky (wow really?) yeah.. not patronising but a lot of people dont really quite grasp how a sunrise truly works. So.. everyone understands how a camera functions but in a nutshell it all comes down to light.. how you handle light.. how you shoot based on the light. This is why I get to the beach 30mins BEFORE first light.. so that I can get in position.. fire some test shots and get get a feel for how the morning will be.

Overcast = Boring.. No Clouds = Boring.. why? Well the overcast bit is fairly self explanatory.. unless there are fast moving clouds or you are shooting a specific moody style it can make for a very flat morning. You will have even light.. but you will most likely have good foreground interest but a pretty boring photo above the horizon line. Now you can also get lucky where its thinly overcast.. so you get patches of cloud or a moving front which is sitting on the horizon. In these cases (such as the photo above) it is quite boring for single/short exposures but can add a dramatic feel for a longer exposure if the clouds are moving fast enough to streak. I think ill write up a guide for Sunrise photography over a few parts one day.. but in the mean time some ramblings certainly cant hurt.

So what in particular do I like about these shots from the Ivo Rowe Pool? Well they are all long exposures but a lot of the textures is what I am liking in these shots.. the sharpness of the rocks against the smoothness of the water and of course the colours in the cloud monster. I have adopted some new processing techniques where I am using the look and feel of certain films to emulate what I think suits the shot. I hope you like.. it wont be for everyone but also long exposures arent what the human eye sees.. an exposure over a couple of minutes will pickup many movements, many colours and many tones and blend them all in together.

I know I keep talking about guide this and guide that.. but I am pretty excited to say that I am getting a lot more serious about my blogging and sharing what I am learning. I remember what it was like starting out in photography and it is hard.. its difficult to visualise shots (even with a keen eye) and its frustrating to see all of these other shots around you and not having any idea on how to begin. My advice.. go shoot.. win/lose and have fun.. as you can read every article in the world but learning in the real world is not only fun, when you end up with just one photo from a morning that you are happy with then it makes it all worth while.

Till next time..

One comment


  • The best advice is, as you say, to go shoot.

    But it’s soooo cold :p

    May 10, 2011

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