Friday the 13th Sunrise

South Maroubra Sunrise Outside in Pixels Photography by Jack Chauvel Seascape Landscape OIP

No black cats, ladders or hoodoo was going to stop me from getting out for a sunrise on Friday the 13th! Not even the fact I was using a borrowed Nikon D700.. I didnt have a cable release/trigger.. and I left my quick release plate on my Nikon D90 at my parents house which meant I had to use a borrowed tripod. My main motivation for getting out on a Friday before work (yes before work.. am I crazy?!) is that I am trying to get into a good routine of heading out for sunrises on Fridays and Sundays this Autumn/Winter and Spring. For me this meant a trip to a new spot.. about 10mins from my new place and making the most of the Sun rising in a ENE trajectory. Welcome to South Maroubra.

Another momentous reason for going down on this cold Autumn morning was the fact that the planets that are currently visible from Earth were supposed to align in a line.. not that it really mattered since without an 11ty billion mm lens I wouldn’t have been able to take photos anyway. So I met my good friend Toan at the carpark and we headed down onto the beach.. sporting a new headlamp loaned to me from my girlfriend we got to the southern end of the beach in no time. I had not been here before, I simply scouted the area on Nearmap.com and used an application to plot the sunrise trajectory. A lot of people will say.. oh you don’t need all these forecasts and apps and this and that for sunrise photography, but really I like to prepare and know that a location is going to work before I make the effort of heading down.

The attraction mainly was a location with foreground interest facing ENE and at low tide the Southern end of Maroubra Beach fits the bill nicely. There are a nice array of rocks that are scattered around with large pools and flowing water inbetween. One of the neatest things however is that you can easily rock hop in between these on a low tide (note: I have not been here on a high tide so treat those conditions as you see them). Unfortunately like many mornings of late the light got bright very early (around first light) and the colours were rather dull and plain jane. Luckily however after moving a couple of spots I found a position I had tried earlier (when the foreground was too dark) and found a nice feature rock to focus on where water was rushing through. As soon as I snapped my focus the sun started to peak and the clouds picked up the colours.. I got around 3 mins of photos before the sun crested the horizon and the colours faded away to flare.

It is quite memorable getting shots like these on what is a rather boring morning.. it just shows you have to be there no matter what and be ready for those small pockets of greatness. I had prior to this position spent some time capture long exposures of a large stick I found on the beach. I like finding natural looking foreground interests in my seascapes (which is why most of them are rocks..) but also finding driftwood on the beach can create some interesting lines or a great object to catch the morning light. I cheated.. I will admit it.. I actually found this stick jammed between two rocks on my first scout of the beach and dragged it 50m along the beach to a nice spot to shoot. Unfortunately the sky didnt behave (even with the 10 stopper stacked on a 3 stop hard graduated filter). With a bit of processing I think I brought the photo back to something I am happy with.. it has definitely given me some more inspiration and ideas for the future.

South Maroubra Sunrise Outside in Pixels Photography by Jack Chauvel Seascape Landscape OIP

Whilst I was shooting the sunrise some dog stole my stick.. this seems to be a common occurrence with props I find/use in my photography! Once the sun peaked over the horizon we spent some time shooting along and up the beach with the light reflected off the rocks. There were some amazing oranges coming out and with the 10 stop on I captured some great water movement. After spending an hour or so on edits I decided to go with a B&W version for the shot below. I liked the grainy effect and the way the processing captures where the direct sunlight is hitting for the first time on Friday the 13th.

South Maroubra Sunrise Outside in Pixels Photography by Jack Chauvel Seascape Landscape OIP

So no I didnt suffer a flat tyre upon returning to my car, I didnt fall face first in a rock pool and drown my camera bag nor did I get 7 years bad luck for giving the black cat in my lounge room a pet before heading out. Infact.. the luck went the other way.. I got to use a Nikon D700 for the first time for seascapes (I think I am in love) and I realised that me not having a large carbon fibre tripod with a kickass ball head is just wrong! Not to mention as you can see from some of the shots we got (albeit short) a great start to the day. Definitely a place I will visit again one day.

I have quite a lot of back log which I can now blog.. which is great.. I have held off blogging some things whilst waiting for someone else to get the sets complete. I just need to rescan and upload them again. Also I will be beginning the writing of my Beginners Guide to Film this weekend. Very excited as a beginner preparing to share the journey with others.

Till next time..

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