This version is how I imagined the shot when I first heard that there were night dives going on. I have omitted the above water lights, and zoomed in on the lagoon.
As the girls were coming down the steps to the beach they were chanting something like “Shark bait Shark Bait Ho Ho Ho”.
Over the last 3 days 180 students from a Perth girls school have been down in the SW. They were divided into 3 groups of 60, and over the last 3 days each group have had an afternoon snorkel, a BBQ on the foreshore, and a night dive in the lagoon.
This seemed to me to be an excellent opportunity for a light painting project on a grand scale and with a grand subject – the lagoon.
I only caught up with them on their final night, sand was not sure what to expect. This is the result. 50 x 30 second exposures blended.
Plan A was to go to Kilcarnup for a night shoot, and even included getting there early to scout out the best locations.
Things started going wrong early – confusion between Adelaide Rd, Dunsborough and a GPS which insisted on Adelaide St, Busselton. They still didn’t improve when someone (me) forgot to pack my camera and we had to backtrack. Mark Stothard drove down from Perth, and Mark, Paul Pitchugin and myself went down to the start of the Kilcarnup track where we were met by a ranger who informed us the track was closed. Apparently a humpback whale died and was being buried with an excavator.
So we went elsewhere – to Goanna’s (between Moses Rock and Honeycomb beach). We were met by Christian Fletcher and Tony Hewitt. There was some pretty big surf around and there were as many different styles of images as there were photographers. It was fun. Here are a couple of mine.
The low, almost setting sun and a slow shutter speed accentuated the patterns of the foam.
This sort of shot has all sorts of possibilities. You can isolate individual features such as rocks as separate layers, delete the black surrounds and then rearrange the landscape as you like! Deleting the black surrounds allows you to place rocks behind each other over the background. And the darkness hides most of the editing errors! Don’t go looking for this place because you won’t find it from this photograph.
All in all – it was a lot of fun.
I mentioned earlier I was still processing shots from Sugarloaf. I waited until the stars came out, (and the lighthouse!) and took a series of shots while painting the scene with a torch. I learnt a few things – such as it doesn’t really work well when there is a lot of spray around, and that you have to wait until it gets really dark (especially when the rocks you are lighting are a long way off).
This makes an interesting contrast to the shot I posted earlier from the same location (different lens). That shot was taken just after sunset.
This is the shot I went down to Wyadup to take when I saw the whales playing. I went down at sunset so I could get to this vantage point before it was dark.
This building is popular with many photographers – for good reason. There are endless possibilities – it is a terrific place to visit. All you need to know is where the hole in the fence is to get in.
Some of the graffiti is extremely good. They must have spent a fortune on paint.
I took a number of shots – some HDR, some not. The site lends itself to HDR because of the bright sunlight coming through the windows and the graffiti. In this image (non HDR) I was developing techniques for light painting, both the shooting and the processing. I used a ND filter and high shutter speed to block most of the ambient, and then lit this whole scene using a single handheld flash. After processing the image the major elements of the scene (eg the murals,the floor and so on) wind up as separate layers in Photoshop, allowing all sorts of creative possibilities. To illustrate this I placed a Harley Davidson emerging down the ramp!
I have been intending to try this for quite a while, but there always seemed to be something stopping me – moon too bright, too much cloud, bed too warm! Last night all the planets were in line, and I had run out of excuses. The battery on my torch died just as I was finishing – fortunately I had a LED light on my cap to see my way back to the car!
Update: This image won a silver award in the recent International Loupe Awards with a score of 85 and was placed 33rd in the Amateur Landscape Category.