on the rocks-3

Sydney May-September 2014 (3 photos)

More and more, I find I’m playing with longer exposures, particularly for the smoothing effect on water. This particular shot of a lighthouse was taken with a 6 second exposure. Being an active and working harbour, the main problem was timing my shots to avoid ferries and speedboats coming into frame.

Lighthouses reflect and refract light using glass of different sizes and shapes so as to obtain concentrated bright beams of light from light sources, and give warning to ships. This particular lighthouse also marks the location of the HMAS Sydney memorial. In June 2007, it was announced that all Australian and foreign naval vessels that enter Sydney Harbour will be required to give ceremonial honours to the HMAS Sydney memorial. This means that the men and women who are on the upperdecks at the time are required to stand to attention while a special naval whistle is sounded (Boatswain’s call). This represents a mark of respect and recognition to the Australian officers, sailors and ships lost at sea and in combat.

Standing at the base of the lighthouse, if we turn around 180 degrees, we get a completely different and perhaps more familiar view.

on the rocks

This was taken using a 4 second exposure. And a tighter crop follows…

on the rocks-2

… but we’ll come back to this view another day.

Leica Etcetera, Photography Etcetera

On the rocks


79 thoughts on “On the rocks

  1. They are wonderful shots, LD – what else ?
    But I really don’t understand this trend of late for long exposures on water. WHY ? Don’t you, or any of the many doing the same thing, like the look of water in its real state ?
    Sighh … I suppose I’m just a luddite.

  2. very beautifully composed images, Lignum… with the roughness of the stones in the foreground and the buildings in the background… softened by the blurry water in between… balance and harmony, all bathing in lovely sunlight… beautiful work πŸ™‚

  3. Wow… absolutely stunning images…

    It’s really great to see a fresh perspective of one of the most photographed place and structures πŸ™‚

    I need to explore the missing posts here, looks like I really missed some great images…

  4. Bernieshoot says:

    That’s very interesting, I will try to use longer exposure to see the result, vey good you’ve given me new fields to explore

    • Depending on the rate of water flow, you can get nice water effects longer than about 1/3 second exposure. The midday and afternoon sun can be so bright, an ND filter is essential equipment to own here.

  5. They’ve almost got a 3D quality to them these pictures, the way the rocks appear to stand away from the sea. Maybe it’s because of your longer exposure – the sea looking very smooth and the rocks have more texture. I feel like I could walk out onto that beach from my computer screen – very attractive! πŸ™‚

  6. The ceremony is a good thing. A 6 second exposure, pretty serious, Dragon! I really like the silky water washing over the rocks and how it leads to the beautiful blue water and to the bridge and buildings. I’d love to buy a print copy of this one when I redecorate my office. πŸ™‚

  7. Beautiful. The calm blue sky contrasts very well with the dull, harsh rocks below. What calm seas that day. Not blowing a gale. Call me a bit weird, but the rocks in the first photo look a bit like lime with their greenish twinge πŸ™‚

  8. I’m following a photograph who works in B&W and with long exposure. The results are amazing. It’s more like a picture than a photography, which it’s not my way of photographing, but I really like the suggestion of fluidity and softness in those pictures.
    I like your photos a lot. The backgrounds and the rocks are still and stable, and the water seems to be in motion. Great job! πŸ™‚

    • Every now and then I feel the need to get more artistic than my street shoots, and long exposures do that for me. A bit of diversity is good. Thank you very much, and have a wonderful weekend. πŸ™‚

  9. Awesome photos! I love that trick – long exposure on the water. Did you use ND filter? It’s been a while that I haven’t taken any pictures like that. Last one was in Bonaire. The waves make it nicer. Sydney seems having nice places to practice this.
    Have a great weekend Draco!

  10. These photos are so beautiful. I need a better less-used word but it just fits! I love these pictures! And I think it is so cool that incoming ships pay tribute to the sailors lost at sea and in war. Wonderful! πŸ™‚

    • Thank you kindly. We’re lucky much of the harbour foreshore is public bushland and open to the public. I’ve been meaning to photograph this for a while.
      I agree it’s a fitting and nice tribute by the sailors. Have a great weekend.

  11. Great shots!!! That is something I want to try as well…I have seen many black and White Works that keep a wonderful light…I am asking for some filters for X.mas…Hope Santa will not have problems with them, taking into account there are so many orders for that!!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
    Have a great weekend!!!

  12. I envy you this harbour to photograph Lignum. Smashing photographs. I use a Lee Big Stopper filter for long exposures during daylight hours. I can manage exposures of 30 seconds, more if I stack with ND grads and reduce the aperture. I too like the effect this has on smoothing water. Enjoyed your post. πŸ™‚

    • I use 3 stop B&W filters for street photography, but I use the Lee sev5n filters for stronger ND filters and graduated filters. These are the times I try to avoid getting people in my shots.
      Thank you kindly.

  13. Great photos, dear Lignum …. And very interesting information. particularly when you highlighted that that lighthouse marked the location of the HMAS Sydney memorial. I think it is a beautiful and lightful tribute!. ⭐
    Best wishes to you, Aquileana πŸ˜›


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