Sunrise in the Peninsula

So I went down to the Mornington Peninsula over the weekend to do some landscape photography. It was a great experience: I got to catch up (again) with my friend Stephen Laurence (who is a great landscape photographer) and we got to do some landscape photos.

Initially we were going to take sunset photos down in the Peninsula, but the rain (which was predicted) didn’t really give us a chance to do that. When I went down, I already knew it was highly likely to rain enough to stop us from taking sunset photos, but I was also aware that in the morning there wasn’t going to be any rain and a sunrise photo shoot was on the cards.

We got up very early and by 6:15 am we were driving towards Cape Schanck for a 7:15am sunrise. It was a quick drive and we were both surprised when we discovered we weren’t the only ones at the site taking photos. Another group of photographers (lead by a very locally famous photographer) arrived at the same time as us to set up and shoot.

The morning was beautiful, but the excessive wind made it difficult to take photos where longer exposure was required (most of the photos prior to sunrise). It was a great day to experiment and try new things. I got to use a lot of new equipment: I used the warming filter and the GND filters again, AND I used my new travel/hiking tripod, which had arrived on Friday.

Stephen later gave me a few editing tips (Lightroom -> Photoshop + Nik Collection + Topaz AI), which were all a bit over my head a bit (not very savvy with Photoshop). But he did give me a few tips on generating the HDR photos in Lightroom and what to look for and how to address corrections. Obviously, I was only able to retain what I was familiar with.

When I got back home, I started looking at the photos. A lot more photos than I had expected, but all-in-all, a good spread. There are significant problems with my photos: I don’t know if the camera wasn’t being able to focus properly or if it was the heavy (for photography) winds, but the photos (even the non HDR ones) did not come out as sharp as I had wished them. The photos that required less exposure seem to have come out more clearly, which is an indication of the effect of the wind on the tripod/camera. Also, not yet fully savvy on doing the HDR and fixing issues generated by the merging of the photos.

Below are what I could salvage from the very fun-packed adventure. They are “not there yet”, in terms of where I want to be, but they are a good progress towards it.

A note on the post, as Stephen does have a square filter set, I have started becoming inclined, again, to look at them. I want to buy reverse GND and a hard gradient ND, but keep thinking it will be a waste if I end up going to square filters.

A final note regarding the shoot: I will not consider any of the photos as part of the Peaceful Sunrise goal, as I am not happy with the result. I will have to try again!

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