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Mar 13 2014

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If the sunrise fails, try the raindrops

Sunrise Culburra BeachWhat is it about being away that makes you do things you don’t do at home? And I don’t mean getting pissed and dancing on the bar in the local pub – I do that at home.

I mean getting up and photographing the sunrise over the beach.

I live by one of the most beautiful beaches in Sydney. It has waves crashing on rocks, rockpools, natural areas, beautiful sand and great surf. And it faces east so is perfect for the sunrise. Yet somehow it never seems urgent that I get up that early.

Gateway Culburra BeachNo, I have to wait until I’m away, and staying half an hour away from the closest beach, to drag myself out of bed to go and take sunrise photos. Two mornings in a row so far.

I had to go the second morning because the first morning I got lost and couldn’t find the beach. I know, I know, drive east until you hit the ocean. How hard can it be?

Well, harder than you’d think as it turns out.

Once you get away from the city beaches aren’t easily identified by large car parks, promenades and overdevelopment. Down here in the Shoalhaven the beaches are much more natural, bordered by natural vegetation so you have to find those secret pathways through the trees before you get to the beach.

Sunrise on the wavesAnd not all roads take you there.

Some roads just end, and some loop back away from the beach again. It took me a few goes until I found the perfect beach. Unfortunately by the time I did, I’d missed the best part of the sunrise and the sun was already peeping over the horizon. Which was a shame, because while I was driving around like a lunatic I could see the most beautiful red clouds just screaming out to be photographed.

But when shit happens, make lemonade, as they say. Or something like that. The light was still beautiful and the scenery was magnificent, so I got off a few shots and decided to come back the next morning to try again.

Raindrops in the treesUnfortunately this morning was completely overcast so there was no visible sunrise at all. Just a gradual lightening of the very dull, grey sky.

In the making lemonade vein, I turned from the disappointing big picture to the very small.

It rained last night and there were still raindrops on the grass and hanging from the leaves of the trees. What better opportunity to use my micro lens?

Raindrop reflectionsSo there I was, crouched on the wet grass, or standing in amongst dripping branches trying to get close up photos of drops of water. With varying degrees of success, because even with a super-close up micro lens it’s not easy focusing that close.  I’ll let you decide what you think of the photos, but I was very excited when I managed to get reflections of the surrounding vegetation in the drops.

And to top it all off, on the way back I saw kangaroos in a clearing.

But I think I must be allergic to lemonade. I now have spots all over my legs which I’m hoping is just an allergic reaction to the grass I was crouching on. I think I’ll take myself off to the doctor to get it checked out before I spread something around!

Rain on grass

Permanent link to this article: http://kathswinbourne.com.au/if-the-sunrise-fails-try-the-raindrops/