‘The Fingers’ as it is locally known is a distinct rock formation on the Nightcliff foreshore and was target to much of my attention over a lengthy period. I spent many sunrises and sunsets trying to capture it in a light that showed it as something different. I would always arrive before first light waiting in hope. The biggest problem was, the sun came up behind me completely obscured from my vision, which gave me no chance of predicting the changing light. If there were no clouds out over the water, chances were I was out of luck, so I would not even get the camera gear out, but would still observe just in case.
Watching the subtle changes, as the light grew brighter under an unseen sunrise or the shortening of shadows as morning grew, gave me more of an appreciation of what I was trying to achieve. As is the case with nearly all my images it is more than just the click of a shutter. It is something personal and emotive.
Finally one morning the tide was right and there was an interesting amount of cloud. It was just a matter of waiting to see if I got enough reflection from the sun. A small amount of pink, high up lifted the sky and the dozens of potential images I had composed in my mind raced around - it was decision time.
With the technical nature of my camera (no auto focus no auto settings and no view finder) and the fast changing light - I only had one chance to get it right. The choice in the end – a simple, uncluttered view with the right combination of colours provided by Mother Nature.
Paul's Sunrise Photography Tip
Learn your subject. Sunrise can be typically hard to shoot because the window of perfect light is short. In this case months of work learning when the tide would be right and then waiting for a good sunrise was the learning of my subject. If you know your subject and take the time to understand it, then when you only have a 5 minute window of perfection at sunrise - you will get the shot.