A little change from the intense sunsets I have been posting recently. This photo comes from our most recent trip to Albany and surrounds in Western Australia. It was taken at a place called Betty's Beach. We definitely had very mixed weather. Storm and cloudy days prevailed over sunny or partly cloudy days. Most of the time during the day the weather was just like in today's image. Very low clouds and overcast with addition of passing showers and drizzle. Perfect weather for some daytime long exposures, if you can keep out of the rain.
Before shooting the long exposure, I tried various shorter shutter speeds, however, the results lacked the dynamic feeling of water rushing between the rocks or the ethereal atmosphere that I love in situations like this. My main concern about the extended exposure time was the possibility of passing showers and wind blowing rain drops onto my filters. Single drops here and there will not necessarily ruin a photo unless they are in a critical area. Multiple drops and also the very fine spots resulting from gentle drizzle can push the image beyond recovery. Gentle drizzle blown in by the wind is probably the worst because it is so easy to forget about, only to discover later at home the the photo is littered with spots and blotches that one cannot often see on the camera screen.
I took a number of images, cleaning the front filters in between and watching the surface like a hawk for any new drops. I was lucky enough to have one of them result in almost water drop free exposure. I liked the long exposure effect too with smooth clouds moving over the hill in the background and lovely milky water in the mid-ground while retaining some colour and detail in the water in the foreground.
While I enjoy artistic post processing a lot, I love even more making the magic happen in camera by looking for the right light and conditions and also by using filters such as the heavy neutral density ones to create a dream like mood. In this instance, shorter shutter speeds resulted in the clouds being rather nondescript without any texture or hint of movement. Using long exposure as well as a graduated filter allowed me to extract some of the texture and movement out of the scene. I also liked how the shape of the bright part of the sky seems to match up a little with the bright part of the sea.
I was very happy to discover this previously unknown to us location. I think it has excellent potential for other compositions and also for possible sunrise photography in the future.
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