Four seasons…. a Beach… a field…. a dish… and the Milky Way. 

One thing that I do cherish in my life is the fact that at anytime I have the freedom to do what my heart wants, when I want (within reason). 

Normally each weekend I will set the alarm to get up early in the morning, around 3.30am to head out to a new location to photograph… I cherish these moments and freedom that allows me to do this and as with most photographers I have a bucket list of locations as well as the want to find new locations in the hope to inspire others as they have done for me. This weekend was no different but in fact better than usual. 

I woke Saturday morning at 3.45am wanting to photograph the iconic Bronte pools in Sydney, Australia 🇦🇺. 

I made the 45 minute drive to arrive in blue hour. The blue hour (from La hora azul, in Spanish, or L’Heure Bleue in French) is the period of twilight early in the dawn each morning and late dusk each evening when the sun is at a significant distance below the horizon and the residual, indirect sunlight takes on a predominantly blue hue.

I made my way down to the beach to find a construction site…. yes a construction site, it seems the pools had been damaged in one of sydneys storms and defiantly didn’t hold its normal magestic view casting an invisible edge out to the ocean. Well into blue hour and having sacrificed my precious sleep I had to make a call very quickly. 

For those who don’t know Sydney we are lucky in this world to have a Coast line of some of the best beaches in the world, whilst there is the very iconic Bondi Beach next door there tends to be too many people so I jumped back in the car and went next door to Clovelly Beach. 

I ventured down and had to think quick as I had already planned my shoot for Bronte. I’m going to let go off a little secret here in setting up for a photo shoot for landscape photography and the secret sits with a little app on my phone… in fact two of them that at a later date I will do a review on explaining the ins and outs of them. The key one here is an app called   Photo Pills

Using augmented reality (a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view.) I can tell in advance where the sun is, what time it will rise and where in my shoot it will come up from, it’s highly accurate and saves a lot of guess work in the process. Here is what it looks like looking through the camera on my iPhone 

Using my finger I can slide my finger across the screen and the view will move forward in time showing me where the sun will be at a specific time. 

I took a heap of shots that I’m currently working on. I wanted to do a single shot done three different way (keep an eye on this blog as I will be writing about it. 

Whilst the sunrise was not the greatest clovelly does offer some beautiful rock formations set against the ocean. 

With all the time in the world I was tryin. To decide where to go next, whilst it’s always tempting to head home and back to bed I thought about where have I always wanted to shoot and there is two locations that came to mind… the challenge is they were around 5 hours drive away and the weather has been all over the shop lately here. In the famous words of someone at some time in the world I thought “f$&k it, why not?”

Off I went……….

The drive was horrid, there was sun, rain, fog, high winds, cold…. it was not an easy drive. I stopped at a “supposed wind farm to check them out”…… I say supposed because you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face from fog let alone a farm of wind turbines. 

Did I make the wrong decision? Have I just wasted time, fuel and hope on something that is not going to happen? I pushed on… if you don’t have hope what do you have at the end of the day. My one regret here was a location I didn’t stop, the fog was thick and a lone broken old tree sits in isolation in a field, it would have made a great photo and not a shot you can really plan for. 

I finally arrived at my location, what I wanted to shoot here was the canola fields of bright yellow against a blue sky back drop. My first stop whilst being the best had too much cloud cover, the sun was nowhere to be seen and I was running out of time. I look into the distance to see the sun shinning through on the other side of town and I was off, a man with a mission!!!

This location whilst not lining up perfectly to plan and one that I will visit again did not disappoint. Was it worth the early morning, the long ass drive, the battle through the four seasons that were thrown my direction? 


I will let these two shots speak for themselves that I took on my iPhone. 

For those asking the question on what equipment I packed for the day not knowing what lies ahead I once again chose to leave my DSLR (Canon 7D) at home to help with mobility. I packed the following – 

  • Canon eos M3 (this is their new mirrorless camera )
  • Canon efm to ef and efs lens adaptor (to take all my normal lens)
  • 22mm efm “pancake” lens
  • 18-55mm efm
  • 18-300mm sigma lens
  • 10-22mm canon lens (probably my favourite for shooting landscape)
  • Nisi 10 stop filter
  • Mefoto “globe trotter” tripod (this is my new tripod that I will do a review on later)
  • Lenspen
  • Memory cards galore 
  • Remote
  • Torch

As you can see the list seems large but there was a lot of lens options I left at home. I have already started mentally planning my next trip and what I will do. 

With the sun setting it was the third leg of the trip in front of me.. off to Parks. For those who don’t know Parks is a small country town in the eastern state of Australia with a fantastic history. 

Parks has a radio telescope there that has even had a movie made about it called “The Dish”. It was thanks to this dish that allowed the world to watch Neil Armstrong land on the moon. As a self confessed nerd this place was on my bucket list. Unfortunately I couldn’t access where I wanted to so will be organising another trip out there soon. 

With limited access I decided to turn the lens to the sky…….. clouds, clouds, clouds and more clouds. I knew if it cleared I would be treated with a spectacular and amazing sky…….

** 2 hours, 30 minutes later and very cold feet **

Probably my favourite shot from the night. The shot is actually 8 photos I took and stitched together. There is a minimal amount of editing to the shot as well, a bit of contrast and clarity but that’s about it. 

Leaving Parks it was time to head home, its 11.30pm and I am not looking forward to having to drive so far. Finally arriving home at 4.30am it was a great 25 hour adventure and spawned so many more ideas, plans and thoughts on what I will do next. 

If you have any suggestions on some great locations let me know and I’ll be sure to check them out. 

Check out my Instagram as I post up more and more photos from this trip and welcome your comment or feedback. 🙂


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