I frequently go out to Sugarloaf Rocks and check to see if the dolphins in the bay north of Sugarloaf (called Sandpatches) are there.
It seems to be a pod that are resident in that bay, and they love to surf. When there are reasonable sized waves (2m) often you will see the whole pod surfing. They ride the wave in close to the shore break, then do a tumble turn and leap out of the back of the wave. Today was typical.
It is winter, and there is quite a swell coming in from the west. I went down for a cup of coffee and was quite taken by the effect of the spray off the ocean as you look north towards Sugarloaf Rocks.
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.
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.
It was hard to stand still to take the shot – every time a gust of wind hit, you were forced backwards!
Windmills is the name of the surf break just north of Sugarloaf Rock. There were several large groups chasing small fish. Whenever a nice wave appeared they all went for a surf.
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.
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.
We have had some severe gales lash the coast this week. There were forecasts of a lot of rain (which we got), 125k/hr winds (which never got that strong), and 6-8 mtr swells (more like 2-3). I went to Sugarloaf rocks today and the swell/waves had increased but not to 6m levels.
I went out to Sugarloaf Rocks yesterday. The wind was gusting around 40 knots and there was spray everywhere. I had my camera well covered because of the salt spray everywhere.
I think the seas will continue to increase during the week, and I will probably go out again around Wednesday or Thursday. (The forecast is for wind gusts up to 125km/hour tonight – after Sundays storm that is really only a gentle breeze!
I liked the black and white version of one of those Yallingup surf images, so I thought I would put it up for comparison.
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.
Last night the sky was looking promising for a spectacular sunset, so I went down to Sugarloaf Rock to watch it, and try for a night time shot with stars (still processing that one). I like to get out on the front looking back. It was a great night, made even better by the sight of a seal, two dolphins, and a pod of whales breaching offshore. For a while it seemed I had missed the sunset – behind me it was going wild. However eventually I started to get this pink glow in the clouds just after sunset. This was a lot more subdued than the sky looking directly at the sunset, but was still a lovely color.
Its been a while since I posted anything – been very busy moving house, and a consulting job has kept me busy. This is taken from just South of Cape Naturaliste. The sun broke out briefly for this photograph.
Last night there was more cloud around, so I went out to Sugarloaf Rocks to see if I could capture the sunset. There were a lot of people there (visitors down for Easter holidays). The sunset was pretty good I thought. So did this couple in front of me.
This was a long exposure assisted by “light painting” the rocks in the foreground. The hard part is getting the torch to light the rocks evenly.I was fortunate to get a shooting star (or perhaps the space station) in the image. I like the contrast of the blue and the orange/red of the rocks (which is emphasised by the tungsten light of the torch).
For those who know the area, this is taken looking back up to the tourist lookout.