Landscape Photographer from the South West of Western Australia

Sugarloaf Rocks

Dolphins hunting at Sandpatches

I went out to Sandpatches today. My favourite pod of dolphins were busy chasing salmon. I first saw them close in, but when I went down to the rocks to photograph them they moved north, so I was photographing these at around 2km distance. Today they were very active, with as many as 6-7 leaping out of each wave. There were some complete loop the loops as well! Wonderful stuff.

The conditions were great for photography. After a rain shower, the sun appeared in the distance and provided some great light.

360 with half twist

360 with half twist


_DSC4370Notice the fisherman on the rocks in the background!
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Some dolphins and the moon

Not in the same shot! I went to Sugarloaf Rocks this afternoon and found these dolphins hunting close to shore. They get so close to the short they have to leap out of the back of the waves to avoid being dumped on the rocks. Unfortunately they didn’t come back to my end of the bay, so this shot was taken at a long distance.
Dolphins hunting

On my way home I noticed the full moon was rising and stopped for this shot at Pt Picquet.
Full moon at Pt Picquet


Sugarloaf Rocks when photographers take over.

A friend who I hadn’t seen for many years came down last weekend. It turns out he was a keen photographer, so I suggested an early morning shoot at Sugarloaf Rocks. I could hear his wife laughing in the car when I suggested it, but Jim thought it would be a good idea (he did actually want to go to Sugarloaf).

We arrived early (well… before sunrise and at this time of the year that is early!). But the carpark was full. It turned out Christian Fletcher was running a course and they were all out at Sugarloaf Rocks. There were photographers on every rock, every little potential foreground feature and every leading line. They had taken all the clouds, rearranged them and there were non left for the rest of us. At least Christian agreed not to charge us for being there!

Sugarloaf Rocks can be spectacular when the sky is right, at other times you have to work harder. This is the best I could do, but I enjoyed being there with an old friend.Sugarloaf Rocks  in the morning.


Sugarloaf in B/W

The image of Sugarloaf Rocks in the storm I posted a few days ago did not convey the feeling of being there very well – I think this was because the sun was shining through a gap in the clouds and everything looked pretty nice. It was actually blowing a gale, there were big seas and it was threatening to rain. So I reworked the image in black and white and I think this better conveys the sense and power of the storm.
Sugarloaf Storm


Sugarloaf waves

It seems winter is dragging on forever. This last storm has some of the strongest winds and biggest swells of the winter. For those unfamiliar with Sugarloaf Rocks, the main rock is at least 25 metres high, probably more. Sugarloaf Rock
It was hard to stand still to take the shot – every time a gust of wind hit, you were forced backwards!


Dolphins hunting

This morning over 100 dolphins were hunting in a bay just north of Sugarloaf Rock. They were well organised, and herded schools of fish towards the shore before attacking them. When they were close to shore they often burst out of the back of the surf leaping high into the air. Here are some examples.
Dolphins 1Synchronised swimmers
More dolphinsAnd more


A different view of Sugarloaf Rocks.

I had an idea about photographing the Cape Naturaliste lighthouse but it needs some more thought. (It all started during the recent meteor showers which I wanted to photograph but clouds blocked the view). However one fundamental rule of photography is “look behind you – there is often a better shot there”. So in this case I looked behind me and noticed the light from the lighthouse was sweeping the rocks. A novel way of lightpainting. The milky way is in the left of the image.
Sugarloaf Rocks at night