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Pursuit of Light

Posted by
Darkelf Photography (Perth, Australia) on 2 May 2019 in Landscape & Rural and Portfolio.


This is still the southern coast of Australia but this time in Western Australia near the town of Esperance. It only took us about thirty years to finally make it to that part of our state. We always wanted to go but didn't have an opportunity to do so until the last New Year. Needless to say (but I will say it anyway) that the beauty of this area surpassed our expectations.

The title of this photo comes partly from the continuous pursuit of light that we photographers do as part of our way of life, always on the look out for that interesting light and conditions. The second reason for the title is that we were really in pursuit of light almost all the way from Perth to Esperance. The distance is about 750km and it takes about eight to nine hours drive to get there, depending on how many breaks you take. As we were driving I was watching with interest the clouds drifting in and building up around us, hoping that good conditions would await us at our destination.

My excitement picked up as we hit the southern regions and were on the final stage of our journey. We had just enough time to drop our supplies and luggage at the accommodation, stop by to check out a local brewery (priorities, I know, but we had different plans for other days) and hit the coast in search of a good spot to photograph the sunset. I did not have great knowledge of the area, other than checking it out on various landscape and photography apps. I knew that there was an abundance of interesting spots and I was just hoping that we would get to one in time. Luckily we managed to find one that caught my interest and we were able to set up well before sunset. I always check current and predicted weather conditions, sunrise/sunset and tide times before we arrive to be aware of how much time I have and what conditions may be waiting for me.

It actually turned out to be the best evening of our entire trip and I was so glad afterwards that we got there. The sky was uneventful to start with but then it slowly brightened up with golden colours of the early sunset. This is the moment that I photographed in this image. Shortly afterwards the colours almost disappeared before bursting out again in the later red phase of the evening. I really could not believe the way the whole evening played out. This is seems to be a recurring theme of our trips of recent - we get great light and conditions on the day of our arrival and the rest of the days fall a bit flat in that regard.

The setup for this photo was straight forward. I used a reverse graduated filter to control the brightness of the sky and clouds. It is standard for me now to take multiple exposures of the same scene to maximise the dynamic range and I did the same here, which allowed me to blend in the brightest part of the sky. I loved this moment also because there was a lovely golden glow cast on the rocks in the foreground that added beautiful colour and dimension. I was thrilled to be finally able to photograph this part of the world and hope that we can return there again sooner rather than later.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 1 second F/11.0 ISO 100 17 mm

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