It's December already and Christmas is fast approaching! Being based on the west coast of Australia at the moment in 35 degree heat doesn't really lend itself to any 'winter wonderland' shots of snowy landscapes...
RED! Always the first colour that comes to mind when I think of Christmas. Sooooo....on that note, here's DECEMBER's snap of the month. This was a truely epic sunset from Cape Range National Park, WA.
A weekend off work and turtle nesting season being well underway, we set out on a mini road trip in the van up north to Exmouth, grabbed some supplies and headed round the headland to the west coast to Cape Range NP.
Cape Range is seriously beautiful with its rugged limestone ranges and crystal clear waters of the Ningaloo Reef.
We booked a camp site at Mesa Campsite located right on the front with beautiful views overlooking the arid coastal plains surrounding it. It was an absolute treat to sit and watch some of the stunning bird life in the area, including this awesome little white winged fairy wren...
Our main mission for this weekend was to hopefully spot a sea turtle coming in to nest amongst the sand dunes. We scouted out several spots earlier in the day and decided that Five Mile Beach would be our best chance.
To our delight (after around 30mins of waiting in the dark and even staring at a turtle shaped rock for a while) the moon came out from behind the clouds and we were able to see the tracks of a huge green sea turtle.
What an awesome thing to be able to sit quietly and watch her digging away in the sand creating the perfect nest.
Something we didn't expect to see this weekend was one of the best sunsets we have seen during our time in Western Australia. Before heading off on our turtle spotting adventure we sat down on the beach close to the campsite with a beer in hand and watched the sun drop below the horizon.
Never leave a sunset too early!
Thats definitely our motto since being out in Oz. Some of the best sunsets we have seen have happened some time after the sun drops below the horizon...and WOW this was definitely one of those times.
After watching a mostly cloud covered sky with only hints of pink, it was hard to believe that 15 minutes later this is what we would be so lucky enough to witness....
Not another sole on the same beach as far as the eye could see...the perfect sunset!
Tips & Tricks:
Manual mode is the way! Get your camera clicked into manual mode so that you can play around with the exposure levels in your shot. I tend to leave my ISO at 100 and then tweak my shutter speed and aperture to create a variety of exposures. With regards to aperture I tend to prefer to shoot at around f/9-11 to create a nice depth of field and clarity to my image. Another benefit of a higher aperture is you are able to create some nice star burst affects too. From here I then look to edit my shutter speed. I start with a faster shutter speed initially and then decrease it from there to experiment with my exposure levels. THE IMPORTANT thing to remember here is that there's not a wrong or right exposure for a sunset so get out there and experiment with it!
Auto white balance allows your camera to automatically change the colour of your shots which in the case of sunsets can actually be a detriment to your photo. Shooting with 'cloudy' or 'shade' settings will ensure you retain the 'warm' colours of a sunset you are hoping to capture.
A tripod is an absolute must, especially when the landscape starts to get darker as the sun drops below the horizon. Shooting at slower shutter speeds of around 1/60s will require a stable tripod to ensure a sharp image.
Keep shooting well after the sun has disappeared as some of the best colours will begin to 'pop' during this time.