McIvers Baths Moonscape

The large moon sitting on the horizon in late March was a big talking point within the photography community. My housemate was very keen on getting out and capturing some shots of the massive moon on the horizon. The problem was tracking the right path and trajectory to have an interesting foreground for the shot. There were a few days where the moon would be at it’s biggest (at the moon rise and moon set) unfortunately of course for Sydney.. it was overcast! But the next chance the clouds parted (ever so slightly) we grabbed our cameras and shot down the road to get some photos.

It was a rather warm night for march (considering how cold it has been for the last month) and we headed down from our place in North Coogee to the pools at South Coogee. First of all we saw the trajectory for the South Coogee pool to partially block the rise so we decided to move further along to one of the other pools (McIvers Baths and Wylie Baths). It was a high tide this night and a rather large swell with onshore winds so we were being extra cautious.

We trudged further along to the McIvers Baths and made our way down to the top of the cliffs. Potential there was with the pool making a nice elevated foreground for me (since I had nothing long to shoot with) against the sea with the moon rising in the distance. I was hoping to get down towards the pool so I could shoot with reflections. The problem being with a large swell there were many waves crashing into the pool.. not a problem really they never have much force by the time they reach the steps. The disturbance on the water however was a little lackluster as the reflections were being marred by white caps during 30 second exposures. My house mate Zee decided to head further back up towards the tops of the cliffs as he was shooting long with a 100-400mm lens. I decided to move up around 7 or 8 steps to stay away from splash back and shoot with a line being created by the pool fence (with less reflection in mind.

After setting up and firing off a few shots (keeping in mind that a WB adjustment will be required for the sulfur lights used in the area) I set my timer up and showed my partner Rose the shot results. Some larger sets had rolled through and roughed up the pool which wasnt much of a problem. Always keeping an eye on it I caught a slightly larger set in the corner of my eye. It hopped over the pool and dispersed as the other but had a little more grunt behind it. It was only then it hit the base of the steps and catapulted vertically up the stairs/wall and covered us head to toe in water. Luckily I always leave my bag on high ground with electricals (phone / keys in it) but I partially lost one thong and now had one fairly well soaked camera on a tripod. Woops as they say.. I am always cautious of the ocean but it got me back with some trickery this evening. I quickly grabbed the medi swabs I keep in my bag (alcohol wipes) and gave everything a thorough wipe down. The best thing with these wipes is that they remove the sitting water and the alcohol evaporates very quickly. I find it is a great way to remove salt from gear but also in a case like this remove the potential for further damage to occur.

Any who after 15 – 20mins of shots and the moon retreating into the sky into a much smaller size we trudged home.. very wet. Camera was all fine and a new trick bout the McIvers Baths learnt. Definitely a place I am going to visit again.. but perhaps on a lesser tide. Whilst the capture of the moon is something that interests me, I dont think I will ever own a lens long enough to capture it. Still if you ever get to see a moonrise such as this in your lifetime, do so.. it is a pretty spectacular sight.

Till next time..

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