Sunrise Safari

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June 26, 2014

Sunrise Safari

Australia, Australian Landscape Photographer, big stopper, Filozscape, golden hour, Illawarra, iori, Kiama, landscape, Minnamurra, nature photos, New South Whales, NSW, Philip Avellana, seascape, sunrise
Sunrise Seascape at Minnamurra NSW

Its another shoot around Kiama area, this time at Minnamurra.   This suburb is about 1.5 hours from Sydney but 2 hours from my place.  Going for a sunrise photoshoot in this location is a bit of a task - waking up early and driving awake.  Thus, when my friends asked me to do a landscape shoot here, I knew I had to plan ahead.

Sunrise that time is about 6:15am.  Since it's 2 hours at my place and I had to pickup the guys, I had to allot 2.5 hours of travel time.  I had to leave home at 3:30am to arrive at 6am at the parking lot at Minnamurra.  I packed my things the day before.  This is no brainer as arranging my things before leaving will be a pain.

I woke up at 2:45am, wow...  I'm still sleepy.  But I managed to push through with a cup of coffee and a biscuit.  I knew this food will not last at my stomach, but I was determined.  I'll just count on adrenaline when I'm there.

It was still dark at the parking lot.  We had torch.  It was a 10 minute walk from the carpark.  But halfway, the rocks are getting bigger.  You'd feel it both in your toes and sole even if you're wearing hiking boots.  It's hard to walk and since it was dark, you need to rely on your flashlight / head torch to light up your path.  When you arrive at the actual area, there were mosquitoes!  I had to struggle and move as the mosquitoes are very aggressive in stinging.  It hurts.  But most of all, it's itchy.  I'd suggest bringing an insect repellent so you can just concentrate on shooting.

The rocky area is huge!  You could actually pick your spot and no other photographer can be seen in your frame.  You can also climb the rocks.  My only complain is that the rocks are all colored black.  It would be more interesting if the rocks do have many shades of black, brown, red etc.  This is interesting if these rocks grow moss on it.

For this photo, I positioned myself at ground level.  It was cloudy, but the rays of the sun is shining.  So I took a long exposure using Lee's Big Stopper.  Since the sun is not that prominent, I just use a hard edge neutral density filter.  As the long exposure goes, breaks on the clouds allowed the light to pass through giving that beautiful orange light.  The water will always be fluffy and calm as the big stopper evens it out.  The rocks stood there mightily.  

I love Lightrooms noise reduction and details enhancement.  So I did this before exporting to Photoshop.  I did very little in Photoshop.  I did a contrast boost using curves.  I increase the overall saturation for the whole image.  But I added a vibrance adjustment layer that only targets the sky.  This way I can saturate the sky even further.   It's all done afterwards.

I shot with:
Nikon D800e
Nikkor 16-35mm f/4 @ 16mm, f/11
ISO100, 111 seconds
Manfrotto Tripod
Lee Big Stopper
0.9 Hard Grad Lee Filter

Minnamurra, NSW Australia

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