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Granite Structures

Posted by
Darkelf Photography (Perth, Australia) on 28 January 2022 in Landscape & Rural.


Another photo from the beautiful granite coast in the south of Western Australia. This is formation called Natural Bridge in Torndirrup National Park. I am forever fascinated by the intricate structure and textures of this amazing coastline. It can be seen especially vividly at sunrise and at sunset when the sun shines wonderful side light onto the shore, which brings out excellent dimension and detail of the cliffs by deepening the shadows and adding great depth to the scenery.

This is a photo that I had in mind for a very long time. The Natural Bridge is a spectacular formation and I was able to experience a great evening there when we visited in 2020. It was another one of these evenings when the light was threatening with something spectacular around sunset but kind of fizzled out a little. Still there was a lovely glow of warm light in the gap over the horizon and that cast beautiful light onto the granite shore. The cliffs already had a tinge of orange colour thanks to the lichen growing on the rocks and the warm evening light helped to accentuate it further.

Surprisingly it was not too windy at the time and southern coast is known for its unrelenting winds, no matter what season during the year or time of the day it is. It meant that the sea was also reasonably calm and no big waves crashed through under the bridge. Because of that I decided to go with a wider perspective and concentrated on getting more of the detail surrounding the bridge into the frame. I wanted to show how the formation links with the with the cliffs around the area. It is just such a natural extension of the headland. It stands out on its own and yet it feels as one with the entire landscape. This is quite a dangerous section of the coast and few people have lost their lives there over the years, including a tourist who went a bit too far to get a selfie. I had to tread around carefully to find a good angle for my composition. The lack of wind helped as I was able to stay very steady without worrying about sudden gusts of wind that could potentially push me over.

The light was hitting the top of the bridge very nicely and also there was enough of the glow coming through underneath to allow me to capture good detail in the darkest part of the scene. I was really thrilled with the amount of texture, colour and detail which I was able to photograph on the day. This design of nature is so intricate that I could study it for hours. No matter how many times I looked at this image, I always manage to find some interesting new detail that I missed previously. There are scenes that can feel too detailed or too busy but here I feel that every single stone, rock, line or crack, have their own place and work together to make this landscape. I hope that it indeed comes across in my image.

I had to shoot two exposures as the contrast between the landscape and the bright part of the sky and wave below was too great to cover the entire dynamic range in one frame. Afterwards, it was a fairly simple blend to bring them together in post processing. I was using an additional filter for the top part of the image and had to be careful for the clouds not too end up too dark. I like way they close off the top of the view and do keep the eyes focused on the main part of the scene, while still having enough of texture and drama to add something to the overall atmosphere.

It is an area so rich in detail and compositional opportunities and I hope to return there again in the future. I would really love to photograph a spectacular sunrise or sunset there one day. For now, I hope you enjoy this image and, as always, I appreciate all your visits, comments and support.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 1 second F/8.0 ISO 200 16 mm

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