Dragging yourself out of bed kicking and screaming at 4am is the most challenging part of photographing morning sunrises. I don’t really kick and scream as I would wake the wife and kids but the old body has seen better days. Put your hands up if you can jump out of bed with a spring in your step. I used to have that special super power but lost that mojo a while back. One thing that does help and nothing better to kick start the heart is a delicious hot coffee and a piece of toast for breakfast.
Once on the road its dark and the thoughts are if the sky is clear from cloud and will there be an epic sunrise. Sunrises are like winning the lotto not that I have won lotto but a beautiful sunrise can make you feel like a winner.
The drive took about an hour south from Sydney to a place called Cathedral Rocks, Kiama on the NSW coast. this location is a hot spot for photographers and pretty much a pilgrimage for any photographer that wants to add a landscape photograph to their portfolio.
Walking south from Jones beach car park I found the tide was high with epic 6 foot waves crashing into the canyon where the cliff edge meets the sea. I had just set up and bam the waves came rolling in. Not cool when you are using two cameras and two tripods I had to pick up and run. Well I couldn’t run I was trapped but held onto the rock face like a mountain goat and thought to myself I’m getting the hell out of here. Both shoes were soaked and the jeans wet just below the knees. At the same time I pictured a rock fisherman yelling help and that’s the moment I knew mother nature had truly beaten me, then again I think I was beaten with a left hook when the wall of cloud covered the sunrise as I drove in to the location but I had to try take a few photographs.
The reason I had two camera’s was I’m testing the Sony A7II a mirrorless camera that can adapt older lenses with an adaptor and surprisingly produces lovely results.
Fun Photography Fact: Professional landscape photographers with a city gallery and large amazing prints spend days and weeks visiting a location to get that perfect photograph. Could you sit out in the wild with a tent and a few cans of baked beans and watch the world go by?.
The photographs taken were outside the dream location of where I would have liked of setup with camera gear but the results posted are different take compared to other photographers. (Feel free to google Cathedral Rocks, Kiama) Even if we fail as a photographer the plan is to take a photograph. And if a story along the way accompanies that one photograph at least we can share it.
Camera: Sony A7II with Canon 20mm FD F4 lens. Shutter: 1/8Sec, Aperture: F11, ISO: 200, Adaptor: Metabones FD-E mount.
Featured Photo: [•] Cathedral Rocks, Camera: Canon 5DIII with Canon EF 16-35mm F2.8L lens. Aperture: F11, Shutter: 20Sec, ISO:200
I may of been defeated this time by mother nature but I will return like Rocky Balboa with the gloves off equipped with a medium format camera.
Note: It is dangerous photographing at these locations please advise loved ones where you are going and even better take a friend that can help as a look out. I grew up as a surfer and have a connection with this type of environment and reading the waves takes experience. Even the best of us can find it tricky in dealing with these types of weather conditions.
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