Sunday, March 17, 2013

Oak Park

Oak Park is the southernmost of Cronulla's rock pools and known for its distinctive dressing-pavilion.

Linked to Cronulla by The Esplanade which is a popular walking track, it has a rocky shoreline and ocean baths. Many scuba divers use the end of this rock pool to enter the ocean for one of the best shore dive locations in Sydney. There is a grassed area and some seating but the ocean baths are not patrolled by lifeguards.
It's a reasonable location for sunrises as a step to the right makes the most of any cloud action highlighted by the rising sun and a few steps to the left takes you to Shelly Beach where you can grab some great reflections in the pool.

View Oak Park in a larger map

Lesson learnt: Buy a lightweight torch for establishing focus when it's pitch black and you have to clamber over rocks.Big is definitely not best with respect to torches. Head light here I come !
At this rate I'll need my own Sherpa to lug my gear ! Minimal time to play with long exposures.

My initial visit was with two Focus buddies Carolyn and Megan in an endeavour to capture one of those elusive sunrises ( for me anyway). The minute we stepped out of the car what had been star filled, skies turned to cloud cover and the wind whipped up. It looked like it was going to pour down but with time the sun did break through momentarily, however all the clouds with colour were around the corner and by the time we reached the optimum spot they would have dispersed :-(

We did finally get a touch of colour near the pool but by that time it was lucky the clouds had increased or otherwise the sun would have ended up being a blown out blob - must try my ND Filters ! 
 I love the golden light which bathes everything as the sun just frees itself from the horizon

One of my favourites from the morning looking back towards Shelly Beach

As the sun rose higher in the sky it provided an opportunity to silhouette the surfers against the sparkling water

Some of the wave action was amazing as the wind increased

I always find it difficult to choose an effective crop for surfing images
My subsequent visit was with a new Focus buddy, Chris and I came better prepared this time although watching Chris made me realise what a boon ND filters are for controlling solar blow outs.It was intriguing to see what a difference the light made on the day. Same location, completely different shots.

A pretty lame attempt at long exposure but I quite like the desaturated effect.

Chris's camera inadvertently became the star of the show.

 The swimmers and surfers were backlit by the rays of the rising sun.

It was interesting to see the change in colour in the sky, within the space of a few minutes

The ghost of a surfer waiting to launch into the swell

The golden light of a new dawn. A dad gives surfing lessons to his small daughter

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