[•] Getting up early for landscape photography to be defeated by mother nature.

Cathedral Rocks, Kiama Downs, NSW, Australia

[•] Wind swept rocks

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.

 

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[•] Wet footprints in the sand.

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.

Regards,

[•] p 🔺 z r 🔺 h n

 

 

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[•] Photographing Fiji on Octopus Island Resort.

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Located in the spectacular Yasawa region of the Fiji Islands, Octopus Resort lies 27 nautical miles west from Nadi International Airport (NAN). The resort is set on the western side of Waya Island, allowing for breathtaking views of sunsets in the South Sea Islands. Getting to Octopus Island Resort from Nadi is easily done by jumping on a boat, which is about 35 minutes. Along the way are there are many islands and if your lucky might see a pod of dolphins to watch play along the side of the boat.

There are Garden View Bure’s for accommodation but the perfect way to stay is in the Premium Bure as I recommend having the air-conditioning on those very hot days. Adjoining the room is your very own private outdoor shower and courtyard. The view from the front is relaxing and a nice change away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Say good bye to looking at your mobile phone and internet this is the perfect place to detox away from all those gadgets.

Looking Out

[•] Looking Out

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In the series of photographs. Can you see it? A face on the side of the mountain. The walk up is not for the faint hearted and I do recommend a level of fitness. With every step and grasping breath it was confirmed the height to the top of the island was 385m in total thanks to a German with a fancy watch. The hike took about 3 hours and is a great way to loose a little weight around the belly. If you do manage to visit this place please take plenty of water on the hike and some snacks.

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Every day the local tour guide (depending on the weather) would take tourists up and he really enjoyed seeing how unfit we were often having a good laugh between breaks.. He had such a great sense of humour. The mountain walk is a great add to anyone’s bucket list and has to be one place on earth with the most breathtaking views. Just don’t look down it is by far another sheer drop if your scared of heights.

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This is the type of holiday experience that is even better with friends and made as a group holiday.

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Note: Camera: Canon EOS 5D a few lenses EF 24-105mmF4, 16-35mm F2.8L II USM

Regards,

[•] p 🔺 z r 🔺 h n

 

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[•] Travel photography in Vietnam

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Vietnam has many wonderful places to explore with you camera and to name a few off the top of my head would be Hoi An, Saigon and at the top of the list Sapa which is out side Hanoi which is an overnight train ride to the outskirts of the lower mountains.

Travelling up to the mountain by bus is a hair raising experience as the tires perch on the edge of a dirt road overlooking a sheer drop that would end your life. I personally wanted to kiss the ground after returning to sea level as I’m really scared of heights.

Sapa is a beautiful and colourful town thanks to the H’mong and Dzao people from the local hill tribes who head into the town’s market every day to trade their produce. The Terraced Fields where the people work is a sight to see with mountains cut by hand to produce the rice. A photograph really doesn’t do justice to landscapes you see.

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This photo is the start of the day and the locals lock onto tourists they think will buy their trinkets. Walking down to the villages is a beautiful walk and took about 4 hours. A perfect place to take photographs and if only I didn’t leave my tripod in Hanoi because I really missed out on tracking some fabulous panoramic’s.

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Sapa is up there as one of the best travel destinations for photography and can be done with a non pro DSLR. If you are starting out in photography owning the Canon 24-105mm lens is an excellent all rounder and looking back at the photo’s I have taken over the years it really has to be the best lens to get as started.

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Note: Camera: Canon EOS 400D with a lenses EF 24-105mmF4 lense.

 

Regards,

[•] p 🔺 z r 🔺 h n

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