What do you do when it’s low to mid-30s day after day after day? You go to the beach!
Our choice of beach this past weekend was Surf Beach on the south coast of Phillip Island – an easy 90 minute drive from Melbourne. We had a fantastic southerly coming in off the Southern Ocean that brought the temperature down just the right amount. There weren’t many people there and as you can see, the water was amazing! Shallow and warm – perfect for a family day at the beach.
This is one of the reasons I love Australia.
Sorry, but I’m going to backup a bit here. I had prepared a couple of images earlier that I forgot to post so bear with me as I rewind to a picture from last (Canadian) summer. The timing of this image is the same rainy morning as the canoes that I posted last week. It was a very grey, wet, dark morning; not the kind that normally encourages me to get my camera out, but I’m glad I did.
Just a few days ago on the beach, taking this picture, I was wearing a fleece hoodie trying to stay warm in a cold southerly wind. Today it’s 36C! Despite the heat, we took the kids to the zoo for a few hours before it got really hot. Tomorrow … 41C. Going to be chasing the air conditioning…
Anyway, the picture above is another long exposure. This one was 30s at f16 with the variable ND filter cranked up. Again, the water was pretty rough, but the long exposure smoothes it right out.
Another in the slow photography category. The sun was still up for this one so I used my new(ish) Marumi variable ND filter which goes from a single stop to about 8.5 stops (ND2-ND400) by including two linear polarizing filters that rotate 90 degrees from parallel to perpendicular. When the two filters are aligned, the light goes through with just one stop of light blocked. When the two filters are rotated 90 degrees to each other, the combination blocks a lot of the light coming through. I used to do this with two linear polarizers back in the old days before most polarizing filters were circular. Thankfully though Marumi was prepared to trade me some of my hard earned dollars for this handy filter.
With the sun still firmly up in the sky, I closed down the variable ND filter to its darkest point, then dropped the ISO to 50, closed down the aperture to f22, and squeezed out 13 seconds of exposure before the highlights were getting too out of hand.
Today, I’m pleased to share my first image from Melbourne since we arrived in August. I captured this image on Saturday night in a suburb called Middle Park in Melbourne. It’s right next to the much more well-known and more popular St. Kilda. The sun hadn’t quite set yet, but it was low enough for me to shoot this at f16, ISO 100 and 30 seconds. The water was quite rough, in fact it was spraying up over the end of the pier (hence all the water), but the long exposure smoothed it right out. This view is looking south out across Port Phillip Bay.
Hopefully this will be the first in a long series of much more frequent posts this year. It’s all easy while on vacation… I’ll see if I can keep it up once I’m back to work!
I grew up on the eastern(ish) side of Canada, a long, long way from any ocean, but on the shore of a beautiful little lake. While the ocean was far away, there were lakes everywhere!
It wasn’t until my 31st year that I found myself living with the ocean at my doorstep. That ocean was a very long way from home. In fact, it was all the way around the world. Despite 30 perfectly happy years without the ocean in sight, I became firmly coastal. While I accept that I’m not likely to ever own that dream beach house in this very developed world, I’m feeling pretty committed to at least living nearby. As a result, many of my favourite images are by the coast. Throw in a dramatic sky and I’m all set.
This particular piece of coast is on the west coast of Canada, in Vancouver.