Matt Williams Photography | Wynnum Weekend

Wynnum Weekend

April 19, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Apart from when I'm on holidays, I don't think that I have ever photographed the same location two days in a row. That was until last weekend.

There had been a couple of spectacular sunrises on the Wednesday and the Friday, and I had seen a couple of images from down on the bay by fellow photographers. This had whet my appetite to get up early on Saturday morning and hope for the best. The weather forecast wasn't the greatest, but I was counting on the fact that they are only right 10% of the time.

I hadn't been down to Wynnum for about three years, so that was my target, and in particular the end of the jetty, as I had never shot from there before.

On driving out of my carport, I noticed a few spits of rain appear on my windscreen. I nearly put it in reverse and parked it up there and then! A quick check of the radar showed a few scattered showers around, but it didn't look too bad at all. The light rain only lasted a couple of minutes, so it was all systems go. I wanted to shoot no matter what the conditions.

Upon arrival at the jetty, there were quite a few clouds around, but also a bit of broken sky near to where the sun was due to rise. After a quick chat with a couple of local fishermen, I headed out to the end of the jetty and set up my tripods, firing off a few shots to work out my compositions. That's the beauty of getting to a spot early. It may be dark, but that's why headtorches were invented! It gives you time to explore the potential of your location (if you haven't scouted it out previously) before the light and expected colour arrives. It also allows for some nice long exposures as well.

Hard and Soft

Unfortunately, the colour that I was hoping for didn't arrive, but another fisherman did, so I had a chat to him while my cameras were doing their thing.

Not long after the sun had risen, some broken cloud passed in front of the sun, providing us with some fantastic golden light as well as some awesome 'God' beams. You can check out a condensed version of my morning in the timelapse just underneath here.

On leaving the jetty, I drove along the foreshore towards Manly. For two reasons: 1) I hate driving back the same way I came if I can help it, and 2) I wanted to see if there was any other future sunrise locations. Not surprisingly, just up the road I came across a couple of old timber frames just out to shore. I put them in the memory bank. Then, only a few hundred metres further on, there was a very cool old break wall/groyne jutting out in to the bay. Another one for the memory bank.

I continued past the boat harbour then turned for home, knowing that I would be back soon to check out those other locations.


So now, that brings me to Sunday morning.

I had decided on Saturday evening that I was going to go back to Wynnum again for sunrise, but this time to the timber frames and hope for a couple of nice long exposures, as once again, the forecast wasn't ideal. Low cloud with scattered showers around the bay, along with 20 to 25 knot winds, which would make shooting conditions not the easiest.

I arrived in the dark, and couldn't quite remember exactly how far along the frames were from the jetty. Thankfully, there was a couple out for their morning walk, so after a quick chat, they were able to point me in the right direction. I'd overshot the mark by about 100 metres! So back down the road I went. I got my gear out and went down to the waters edge. Unfortunately, the frames were further away from the shore than what I had originally thought. This meant that the kit that I had with me was not going to be up to scratch....unless I wanted the timbers frames to look like a couple of grains of rice sticking out from the water!

Oh well, it looked like the little breakwall that I had also spotted yesterday was going to be my location for sunrise today. Pack the gear up and back to the car for me.

The breakwall was easier to find, so I pulled up close by, walked the short distance and set up my cameras. I couldn't believe how different it was from yesterday morning. It was blowing pretty hard, and there were two foot high waves in the bay. Once again, it didn't look like the clouds were going to play ball, with a few low clouds on the horizon, and not much else around.

Before it got too light, I was able get a couple of really nice long exposures with the subtle glow of the approaching sunrise. It really is quite deceiving looking at these images, knowing just how rough the bay was. That's the beauty of a long exposure – it will turn any water into a flat, milky surface. Some people don't like this effect, but personally, I think it looks great.

An unexpected by-product of the wind and the waves, was the awesome little waterfalls that flowed down the back side of the breakwall after a larger wave had crashed over. Add to that a bit of the golden glow from the sun, and we ended up with a couple of keepers from the morning session.

Interestingly, after I had packed up and was heading home, I went past the timber frames to find another couple of photographers there shooting away....with much longer lenses!  I'll save that one for another day.




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