Photographers Need to Look Down

A feather, delicately positioned between rocks, lies in a shallow pool of water on Squeaky Beach in Wilsons Promontory National Park, Australia.

I made the above photograph after a difficult weekend. It was one of those weekends where everything goes wrong. A friend I was traveling with caused as to leave late resulting in a missed sunset opportunity. The weather turned and our photography adventurers for the rest of the weekend were severely curtailed.

Weather Makes You Feel Alive

But I can cope with poor weather. The joy of travel and being out in the landscape calms the mind and refreshes the soul. I’m always invigorated by a day in the landscape, regardless of the weather. I drink deeply of the beauty around me and revel in the light, if and when it appears. And, after a day in the elements, boy do I sleep well.

Wilsons Promontory National Park

Wilsons Promontory National Park is the southern most region of the Australian mainland. It’s a huge area, much of it wilderness. The areas frequented by tourists are easy to get to, yet very beautiful. One of these places is Squeaky Beach, famous for its rounded quartz sand which literally squeaks when you walk on it.

Light at the Edge of Weather

Weather at the prom is fickle and rain can come quickly and, seemingly out of nowhere. However, the light that exists either side of such storms is, perhaps, what I most like about Wilsons Promontory.

The above photo was made, just as I was about to drive back to Melbourne at the end of the weekend. I only had a few short minutes to explore the beach. It was windy and very cold. I was forced to take shelter between some large rocks at the end of the beach. I looked down, to turn my head away from biting rain that had begun to fall, and noticed this delicate and tranquil scene at my feet. I set up the camera and made the photograph which, for me, made the whole trip worthwhile. 

Blessed Be The Archives

It’s a relatively old photo, at least in the world of digital photography, having been made in September 2006. I believe it’s the first time I’ve published it, and I’m really glad to have done so. It brings back a lot of memories and acts as a reminder as to how making that last effort allowed me to make a photograph that brought me a lot of joy and helped me finish the weekend on a positive note. What’s more, I’m now able to share it with you, eight years after having made it and long before I even knew what a blog (or Facebook for that matter) was. So much water under the bridge since then, yet it seems just like yesterday.

The photo was made with an original Canon 5D camera and Canon 180mm f3.5 Macro lens. This is a relatively specialized lens, which I didn’t use a lot. It was razor sharp, but big and heavy. Unfortunately, it did not include any form of in-built image stabilization which made using it, up close, difficult. Because of the closeness of the lens to the subject I choose an Aperture of f20 to provide the large depth of field (DOF) I required. I like the way the surrounding rocks frame the feather, lying delicately on a diagonal axis across the image.

I’m going to make a point of revisiting my archives, which I’ve been reorganizing lately, much more regularly over coming months and I look forward to sharing many of those images, and the associated stories, with you into the future.

Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru