I went out to the mouth of the Willyabrup River this morning at dawn. That means an early rise because it is about a 5k walk to get there. I thought I would be the only one there, but there were a lot of high school kids who had camped the night! Although the mouth of the river is quite spectacular it is all yellow/brown/black and I wanted to get some color from the dawn sky. I only just made it in time, but the sun did the right thing for me and came out from behind the clouds long enough to get some nice pinks and reds.
I went down to the mouth of the Willyabrup River Saturday afternoon. The walk from the carpark where the cliff climbers park down to the cliffs, and then north up to the mouth of the river is stunning with superb views opening up all the way. I even met a group of tourists on a wine tour, and the tour operator brings them down here by 4WD, just to take photos. In summer the river mouth is closed over by a sandbar and the water is stagnant. Not very interesting. Once the river starts flowing it is a different story. You can see in this shot the level where the sand builds up to over summer – the river has cut away a new channel and exposed these rocks. The water dammed up over summer is still draining, and so the water in the river is still dirty. A long exposure gives it a grey appearance. Later in winter the water will be crystal clear, and more of the sand will erode, leaving behind black streaks of mineral sands (ilmenite). You can see some of the ilmenite in the sand at the edges of the water, but there is not a lot to see just yet.
Along the Cape to Cape trail the river mouths all offer good photo opportunities over winter.
Here is a couple more from Sunday’s shoot. Thanks Mark for the loan of your camera! – I needed something for the foreground. I did ask Mark that if he was to take another step backward not to grab his tripod as I would find it useful!
We were hoping the sunset would do the right thing for the clouds to the south, but it refused to cooperate and all the best clouds were to the north!
This next shot was taken a bit earlier. We were hoping to get the late afternoon sun on the cliff, but the sun hid behind some low cloud most of the afternoon.
Mark Stothard and I went out to the Willyabrup Cliffs this afternoon. It was a good choice because it is away from the crowds of tourists, and it is a pretty spectacular site. The first image I got was this panorama (2 rows of 4 images). Each image is a blend of 4-5 different exposures (my wide angle lens doesn’t take ND filters). This shot is looking back towards the cliffs. There are three people in this image. On the left is Mark in white shorts and a black top. In the centre is a guy in a blue shirt who has just abseiled down the cliffs. On the right is a guy in a black shirt looking on from the cliff.
In February I went to the cliffs near sunset, and took a series of shots of someone climbing the cliff. I superimposed them all on one image. Here is the result. You can get a good appreciation of the scale of the cliffs by the small size of the climber. Unfortunately his shirt blends in well with the colours of the rock, and you will have to look closely.
This is an interesting area. The cliffs are used by rock climbers to abseil down and climb back up. The section of the Cape to Cape Trail between the cliffs and the mouth of the Willyabrup River (about 2km to the north) has many photo opportunities. When the river is flowing the river has interesting patterns in the river bed created by black mineral sands deposits. And sunset on the cliffs causes them to glow a fiery red on the right day. This shot was taken towards the north end of the cliffs, looking north towards the mouth of the Willyabrup river which reaches the coast at the stretch of sand you can see.
I am enjoying looking back through my older images. I am discovering images I had forgotten about. This was captured August 2009. The Cape to Cape track seems to be at its best in winter – at least for a photographer. The streams are flowing, and there are usually clouds in the sky.
Update – I reprocessed this image from the raw file as Mark suggested (see comments). This is the updated version.