Sunset Capital of Australia

I have been truly blessed to live in a wonderful place called Busselton which is about 21/2 hours drive from Perth the capital of Western Australia. We have been named as the sunset capital for our fantastic sunsets.

Busselton is located on a north facing bay, so we have the opportunity to see both a sunrise and a sunset over the waters of Geographe Bay.

peacefull evenings

May this help lift your spirit

 

 

 

 

This was one I took the other night. People often say you can never capture it as it was, but I like to think we can get pretty close. No we don’t have the sound of water lapping at our feel or get to see the stingrays float by or the dolphins jumping, but we can still impart the beauty of the days end.

For most people when they find themselves looking at a beautiful sunset the only camera they have with them is a phone camera. The wonderful thing is that you can still get great memories with just this camera.

I have an iphone, so when I put the camera up towards the sunset I turn it to landscape orientation, the long side of the phone matching the horizon, and then I touch on the screen where I want to focus. When I do this a little square box comes up. If I want to lock the focus and exposure I hold down for longer on the box and a ef/evLock symbol comes up. This means it will stay locked to this setting. When you are setting the exposure there is a line with a little sun symbol next to the box, you can drag this up and down to increase or decrease the exposure. Your phone may have a slightly different setup, so go online and check out what they are.

This is important in sunset shots as the sun is actually very bright and so the image often loses most of it’s lovely colors, but if you slide down with this slider you will see the colors really stand out again.

It is also worth noting that most camera phones now have some great editing software that come with them and for more options you can download apps.

These are some of my iphone sunsets.

slow kiss goodnight

slow kiss goodnight

 

 

 

 

 

sunset with iphone

sunset with iphone

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunset over harbour

sunset over Port Geo, Busselto

 

 

 

 

 

 

So as you can see you never need think I wish I brought my camera, instead pull out your trusty phone and click away.

Health Retreat Kununurra

I noticed something the other day, when we are away time flies, but for those at home life goes on at the same old pace. So sorry I haven’t posted more often or kept in touch as much as I normally would. I feel like I am on a health retreat, inside this beautiful bubble, but I know when others go away, I miss them and wish they would stay in touch. I wish I could bring each of you up here for a few weeks, it is so beautiful, relaxing and refreshing. I wake up every morning to a lawned vista, dotted with boab trees and the river winding it way through the property, the birds are tweeting and the wind gently rustles the leaves.

They say a picture paints a thousand works, so here are some pictures to help you see what it is like.

sunset-bill-and-andrea

 

 

 

There are beautifully coloured bee eaters, red breasted robins, willy wagtails, green throated lorakeets, crimson rosellas, white cockatoos, sulpher crests, mud larks, cranes and sea eagles to name a few of the birds, the kangaroos and wallabies lay in the shade of the mango trees and then come down to the lawned area near the river in the evening.

bee eaters in flight

bee eaters sitting on sprinkler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

sea eagle

sea eagle

 

 

 

 

 

 

The gazebo has lovely swing chairs where I sit and read or just sit and watch the world around me and my soul takes a deep breathe and relaxes.

view from gazebo

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t worry though, Colin has still kept very busy, him and Bill, the owner of the property we are staying on are renovating the house, so he is up and gone at 7am and knocks off at about 4pm. He is loving it:)

We have got to do a bit of sight seeing as well, Bill and his wife Andrea took us up to Lake Argyle where we were able to borrow a friends barge and spend the day out on the lake. We took a tinny (motorboat) with us to get out to the barge and to cruise around at a bit faster pace. Andrea stayed on the pontoon and read and swam while we went sightseeing in the tinny. We saw a couple of big crocs, fresh water ones though. There were pelicans and cormorants and even some rock wallabies. The water was beautiful and calm and as we turned and headed towards home the water had started to glass off and the reflections were amazing.

islands in Lake argyle

islands in Lake argyle

reflections in lake

reflections in lake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

swiming in Lake Argyle

 

 

 

 

crocodile-in-mid-air

 

 

 

 

Black-tailed-rock-wallaby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colin and I took the day off on Wednesday and went out to Zebadee springs, one of our favourite places and then into El Questro for lunch and then decided to continue on the Gibb River Road to Home Valley Station. The road was amazingly good until we crossed the Pentecost River and then it deteriated a bit from there to Home Valley. It was great for me as at least I got to drive on the Gibb River Road and cross the main river. From there we headed out to Wyndham and went up to five rivers lookout. It is an amazing place, no matter how many times we visit.

zebadee 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last night Bill and Andrea had visitors for tea, so we went out to Kelly’s knob to watch the sunset. Here comes the photo tip for this week:- Don’t automatically head to where everyone else is, look around you for interesting features or hang back a bit so that the people themselves are silhouetted against the sunset. Everyone was looking at the sun set and yet if you turned around the real light show was happening on the rocks as they changed to burnt orange and the trees were bathed in golden light, but most people never saw this, neither did they capture it. If you want to have people showing in detail, rather than in silhouette, as you take a sunset you need to get close to them and use some fill flash to add light to their faces. Also remember sunset is a low light situation, so take your tripod, and use a remote shutter release or the timer function on your camera to avoid camera and shutter shake. If you don’t have the right equipment, don’t worry, try doing some video instead.

kellys-knob-sunset

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you ever heard of a two eyed jack or a one eyed jack? Go and get a pack of cards and look at the jacks, I think it will surprise you, it did us.

We will be here for another week before we head closer to home.

 

Will post again soon.

 

Mindil Beach Markets

Everyone who has ever lived in or visited Darwin will tell you you have to go to Mindil Markets at least once.

These Markets are an icon in Darwin, they are on Thursday night and Sunday night each week. They are traditional markets, plus fantastic live entertainment and a sunset to die for on the beach.

They start around 4pm. The trick is to get there early or you will have a long walk from where you park.

Once you arrive, it is time to wander around and look at all the colorful and varied stalls. Then as Sunset approaches you walk to the beach and join the 100s of people also on the beach. They often have life saving rescue boat racing and then it’s time to sit and watch as the sun slowly sinks into the horizon and the sky changes from a blue to a beautiful pink and then to the blue of twilight.

The night we were there, there had been some smoke in the air and so the sky became a beautiful pink and the sun was a blood red orb hanging in the sky.

Mindil-markets-sunset-3

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the sun had set the sky got more and more red and this is where the photo tip comes in, never leave home without your tripod. I was unable to capture the beautiful sky as I had left my tripod behind. To successfully capture the afterglow or any long exposure you need to use a tripod. Some cameras handle high ISO better than others, so you may be able to increase the ISO until you get the shot, unfortunately this creates a lot of noise in the image, especially in the sky and seeing that is what the photo is about we want it as clear as possible.

There are some software products that help us deal with noise in Post Processing. The best I have found is Topaz Denoise. Go here to see the full range http://www.topazlabs.com/911.html                                                                                         I often get discounts for these products so email me if you are interested.

After the sun had dropped below the horizon I turned and walked back up the beach and there was an aboriginal man using tapping sticks sitting on the sand and there was a little white baby crawling towards him. It was a precious moment as the baby showed that there is no discrimination until it is taught. He was totally mesmerized by the tapping sticks, crawling up onto his lap. It was a beautiful moment.

bridging-the-gap

Bridgint the gap

two-cultures-meet

Two cultures meet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So after the sunset we sat and enjoyed some great entertainment, there was a man with a whip doing tricks and a couple who did acrobatics and juggling. It was a great night.

 

Kakadu

Wow, what a busy couple of weeks.

I thought stopping in Darwin to rest would be a good idea, but it seems there is always something on, but I am not complaining as I got to fulfill one of my dreams this week…..to visit Kakadu!!!

We stayed at Cooinda and went on the Yellow River Cruise. You can see why it is called Yellow River.

Yellow River Kakadu

Kakadu Yellow river

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had previously flown over the falls in Kakadu and I would still like to visit them in person, but on this trip we got to do the Yellow River Cruise and have a look around Cooinda and then on to Jabiru and Ubirr to see the aboriginal art.

Obviously Ubirr was a very special place for the aboriginies as the art is prolific and really good, probably the best I have seen.

Aboriginal art

great examples of aboriginal art

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a great opportunity photography wise to shoot lots of different animals and birds and the cruise was great as they gave you plenty of time to take photos. Paul Arnold a photographer also does Photography Cruises out of Cooinda at a great price.

The accommodation in the budget area was a bit rough, but the beds were really comfortable and the dongas had air conditioning and the pool was to die for.

What they didn’t let us know was that in the budget accommodation there are is a camp kitchen but no pots, cooking or eating utensils, fortunately we threw the picnic basket in at the last minute and it was a life saver.

I traveled with Jan & Chris our friends from Qld, their daughter Ang and Hans and Cora friends from Holland. We had a great time together and all got on very well.

These were some of the birds we saw on the Yellow River Cruise.

Brolgas in Australia, Northern Territory,

Brolgas at Kakadu

 

 

 

 

 

yellow river cruise, sea eagle

sea eagle kakadu

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were privileged to see a Jabiru catch his dinner and then eat it.

Jabiru Kakadu

Jabiru catching fish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

jabiru at Kakadu

Jabiru eating a fish he caught himself

If you have any questions about anything you read or see here, feel free to ask me. Wishing you all a great week and will have more next week.

Road trip to Darwin

Well we are on the road again. We left home and had a few days in Perth.

Enjoyed a beautiful sunrise and some of the native birds while we caught up with family before heading to Mt Newman.

Sunrise

Sunrise over palm trees in Perth’s northern suburbs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

bird in tree

Bird feeding in a tree outside our Motorhome

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We camped out near Mt Magnet for the night before heading on to Mt Newman. The peace and tranquility as well as the beauty around us makes camping out a delight.

motorhome at sunset

first night camping out

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Newman we caught up with friends and went to watch Jet boat racing. What a blast that is, they really spray the water and our friend won the raffle and got to have a ride.

flying jet boats

Jet boat white water

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is good to be on the open road again, just enjoying the freedom and space of the open road.

“Rosie” as our motorhome is called has been purring along, I think she likes being on the road too.

Will add the next installment in a few days.

I am still doing photo coaching as we travel, so if you want to learn how to take great photos for yourself go to The Photography Dash

Shooting sunsets and sunrises

Red at night shepherds delight

This was taken 20 mins after sunset as the red filled the sky.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What makes a stunning sunset?

I didn’t realise until one day someone gave me a magnet that said, “May you have enough clouds in your life to make a beautiful sunset.”

Sunset Busselton

The Goose Restaurant in Busselton WA with a fiery sunset behind it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes clouds of the right sort can make or break a sunset. You are generally looking for light wispy clouds that cover a reasonable area.

Does this mean you can’t shoot a sunset, without clouds? No, definetly not, you can still have some great sunsets without clouds but the other elements in the photo play a larger role.

Reflections

reflections at sunset

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are a few important things you need to remember when shooting sunrises or sunsets.

Firstly make sure you have your camera, tripod, shutter release, spare batteries and spare cards. (If you don’t have a shutter release you can use the timer function on your camera)

Get The Photographers Ephemeris App, I know they have one for iphone probably for android too. It tells you when sunset, sunrise, moon rise and moon set are as well as exactly where they will rise and set for any location you are in.

This helps when looking at the best place to set up, but also means you can go earlier in the day and scout out the location that you think will work best.

Always get to the location al least 30 mins before sunset, so you can set up and get your settings spot on. It is best to use aperture priority, then you can set your aperture and then you only need to adjust the shutter speed as the light gets less and less.

A note here, what if you see an amazing sunset and only have your point and shoot camera or phone? For point and shoot, put it on sunset mode, take a few shots and sit back and enjoy the show. For phones, take a few snapshots, but use it as a moment you can just sit and drink in.

Also look at the sky behind you, often before sunset the opposite part of the sky will go a dusty pink.

sunset Busselton 17_edited-1

The opposite side to the sunset at Dunsborough

 

 

 

 

 

 

When checking out the location, see if there will be a chance of getting reflections. This can be off water, off mirrors, wet concrete or windows.

If there is not likely to be reflections look for shapes that will look good as silhouettes.

Look for leading lines, get down low, go up high, try for unusual angles.

Composition is just as important as for any image, don’t rely on the color to carry the whole image.

If there are reflections, put the horizon in the centre, if there aren’t use either the rule of thirds or the golden ratio.

Get set up where you think is best, then look behind you to see what the sky is doing there, turn your camera and take some shots always watching over your shoulder for the actual sunset.

Once the sky begins to brighten, take some test shots, sometimes you may need to bracket your exposures and underexpose your images rather than over expose them.

The light is getting low and you still need a fairly large depth of field f9 up, so this is where the tripod comes in as you will need long shutter speeds. I always try to keep my ISO to 100.

What happens if you get there and the cloud is really heavy and it doesn’t look like any light is going to get through?

As the sun starts to move behind the clouds it creates some great sun ray shots, so zoom in and capture these. Some of my best sunsets have been where people have said, what a waste of time. I zoom in so even the tiny bit of sunset fills my whole screen. This is a great trick if you live in an area where they are not as spectacular as where I live.

Once the sun has set, most people pack up and go home, DON’T!

After sunset

the sky turned to red after the sun had set

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is in the 30 minutes after sunset that the sky will go red if it is going to. I have waited after the sun set and nothing, 10 mins, nothing, 20 min nothing 25 mins and the sky explodes in colour.

This time of night down at the beach is always a beautiful time of solitude, so use the time to just refresh your mind and replenish your spirit.

Remember even at this time to look all around you so you don’t miss what is happening.

Sunrises are the same so have a go at either and let me know how it goes.

Registrations are open for the April Dash. Click here:. The Photography Dash

This Dash is Landscapes, sunset and sunrises. Get I quick so you dont miss out.

Reflections

reflections at sunset