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Market closures and sunrise

Unfortunately due to the COVID-19 pandemic, markets here have been closed down. So my last planned market stall on 15 March was cancelled, and it looks like the next one on 19 April will be as well.

This has given me a bit more time to go out and take some photos, and I did another sunrise shoot on Saturday, this time at North Curl Curl ocean pool.

Poodle rock

The pool is situated on a rock shelf, just east of the surf life saving club.

North Curl Curl pool, dawn

I got there well before sunrise, and there was a thin crescent moon in the sky, above where the sun would appear. And yes, as the above photo shows, there is a large rock in the middle of the swimming pool.

Division of water

The pool is separated from the ocean by a concrete wall. The tide was approaching high for the day, and at this time occasional waves crash over the wall and into the pool. The above photo is a long exposure, and the dark patch in the pool on the left is a swimmer.

Heron breakfast time

A white-faced heron flew onto the rock shelf next to the pool, and as I watched it fished a small crab out of the water to eat. I wasn’t quick enough to a get a photo of it eating the crab.

Three worlds

A few minutes later the sun appeared on the horizon and climbed up into the sky. The sky goes from dark to light really quickly in Sydney, and as a photographer you have to adapt, changing exposure rapidly.

Dawn laps

Just a few minutes later I had the camera off the tripod and was taking hand-held shots of early morning swimmers in the pool.

Morning swim class

And not long after that about 50 kids arrived for some sort of swimming class. They all did a few laps of the pool and then ran off again, giving me a chance to get some interesting silhouettes against the rising sun.

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Sunrise photo expedition

On Friday morning I got up early (before 5:30) and headed to Sydney’s Balmoral Beach for a sunrise photo session. I planned to do one of these last weekend, but on the day I had set aside it was raining heavily that morning, so I changed plans.

This time I got to the beach and headed down to a small exposed sandstone rock platform, jutting from the sand into the water. The tide was low – at high tide these rocks would be covered with water. The sky was just beginning to lighten, but unfortunately the cloud cover was not great for sunrise photos:

Edwards dawn

There was a dark, thick band of cloud right on the horizon, and barely any cloud in the nearby sky above. This is exactly the opposite of what you want for shooting a sunrise: a clear horizon for the sun to shine through, and lots of cloud above for the golden and red light to bounce off and set the sky ablaze with colour. Early morning swimmers and joggers appeared on the scene, providing small points of interest for photos. After a while the tide started coming in, so to avoid being stuck on the rocks and having to wade back, I moved back across the sand and took photos from the path behind the beach. You can see the rocks I had been standing on in the middle of this next photo:

First light at Edwards Beach

As the sun continued rising, it became light very quickly. I ditched my tripod (I’d been taking exposures up to 30 seconds long), and walked around, taking some handheld shots.

Morning kayakers

With the sun up and the day beginning, I packed up to head off for the rest of the day. I love getting up early and seeing the world wake up!