Barwon Heads Sunrise


No longer a newbie, moving up!
Jul 11, 2013
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Hey all!
Once again I got up nice and early for a sunrise shoot down the beach.
This one wasn't a very successful sunrise but I still got some good shots from around the beach.
Let me know what use think!





79 views and no comments. Better scrap the photos.
I like the last one the best. The others aren't bad so much as just not captivating - for me anyway. I do like the shells in the foreground on #4, but the processing is flat.

79 views and no comments. Better scrap the photos.

1. Not all views are by members.
2. Only members can post comments.
3. Delete if you want, but base these decision on internal criteria rather than the random comments of strangers (or lack there of).
I think the third one has potential and 79 hits and no comments is pretty much the norm rather than the exception. One comment I would make and this pertains to most photos like these (sans the last image) is silky water shots are becoming rather passé. They're like Volkswagons..cute and unusual at first, then they became so plentiful as to lose that uniqueness. Everybody had one.
One comment I would make and this pertains to most photos like these (sans the last image) is silky water shots are becoming rather passé.

I disagree somewhat. Just because lots of people take (and post) a certain type shot doesn't mean we should all throw away our ND filters and avoid bulb mode. ;)
The bar for creating a compelling image may have been raised some, but people need to walk the path of the "often done" before they find the lesser traveled side roads.

Silky water (and this water isn't all that silky) isn't enough of an compositional element to ignore other aspects that would make any photo worth looking at for more than a minute.
A good shot is a good shot regardless of how many other people might have done it before. The "passe" moniker that I see tossed around a lot lately strikes me as elitist and I don't prescribe to that line of thinking.
I should have self-corrected and said that to continue such shots requires developing a new skillset to make the shot stand out above others. I guess what troubles my eye is the thought set that if you have silky water, you have a good shot...and that's rarely the case. Oh, and I still carry my ND's and remote.

On the third image down as I alluded to earlier, what I found lacking, hence my comment, was definition between the different elements in this shot. I think this could be taken far beyond what I've accomplished in a few minutes.

G'day Mate!

Generally speaking these are "nice" photographs. You've exposed correctly, straight horizon, nice and sharp, pretty location, etc.

I think the main thing they are missing is a compelling foreground.

When I am out shooting wide angle landscapes my goal is to find a perfect combination of three things: foreground, middle and background. You definitely have step one correct, which is get out there when you have the best chance for good light. So in this case you have a decent background (the sunrise) you point out, its not the most fantastic sunrise, but still some nice colour. As far as mid-ground, you have the silky water, which is nice, but as I said, you really failed to find a unique foreground to pull your eye into the frame.

I think the final image works best compositionally, because for me the foreground works to pull your eye to the center of the image, however, there really isn't anything in regards to the position of the rocks, or texture/colour of the rocks to keep me looking.

Next time you're out I would suggest to focus on finding a compelling foreground (for example, interesting patterns in the rocks, a place where the water flows in a cool way between/over the rocks, or a similar composition to the last one which includes some of those awesome shells, etc.)

Once you find a compelling foreground, you're pretty much guaranteed to have a nice image, as you already have a nice mid-ground (the silky water) and background (sunrise).

When I first started shooting landscapes, I felt overwhelmed by all these different elements, and would basically just look for 'something pretty' and point my camera towards it. Once I realised that my most compelling images all shared these three elements, I began looking for the perfect combination of all three, and after a while it just became second nature.

Of course there are exceptions to this way of shooting. This is just the way I prefer to shoot, but I think its a good way of looking at things while you are working on strengthening your eye for composition. But rules are always meant to be broken and often the best images come as a result of ignoring them.

I hope that helps, and I look forward to seeing more of your images!
Thanks for all the tips.
I'm just letting you know I walked around for 3 hours just to find these 3 elements you speak of. There was non to say the least and yes I was looking hard. In fact as I'm trying very hard to progress with my Landscapes I set me whole day around getting a perfectly composed Image but unfortunately it didn't happen. As a freshman in all this that's why I saw these different opportunities and gave them a go instead.
As an individual I have not done a plethora of the milky water look so I enjoy it still. I don't care to follow the heard like some people so will give anything different a go. They're obviously failures to the experts such as yourself but I was pleased with my fist attempts.
I also appreciate the feedback and will put it to good use.
Well first off I have to say that I'm certainly no expert! :D Just a guy with an opinion, which I'm willing to share. I can definitely understand the feeling of walking around for hours and never having those elements line up for you, and while I do think that the more experience you have, the better chance you have of finding 'the shot' where less experienced photographers would have walked right past.. sometimes things just don't line up.

I respect you're desire to break away from the herd, and work for your results rather than flipping a coin and hoping where ever you plunk down your tripod will be a great composition. I think your attitude and willingness to do it the 'wrong way' because you enjoy it, is the best way to improve your photography.. so keep it up.

I also agree with your idea of shooting the milky water anyways, even if your hard work didn't provide you with the 'perfect' foreground.. I would have done the same. Now the next time you go back (or the next, or the next...) when the sky explodes with colour, you'll have this experience to draw from and have that much better of a chance of getting it just right.

Lastly, please realise, in my opinion these images are FAR from 'failures'! as I said at the beginning of my first post "they are nice images", and I do mean that. No they're not amazing.. but you knew that even when you were shooting them. The important thing is you got out there and took them, and considering you did work to find a good foreground, you basically did everything well on your end, your choice of exposure, shutter speed, focus etc, are all spot on, therefore regardless of the fact that everything didn't line up like you'd wanted, they're still nice images, and I'd be happy to look at nice images of this quality all day, in the same way you'd be happy to shoot the milky water for the same reason.
My vote is for no4, keep shooting these and share them
The problem I have with the images is that there is no real focal point. They're pretty images with silky water, but there's nothing in them that's more important or more interesting than anything else in the shot. When I compose a shot, I try to give the viewer a lot to explore, but with these, I search and come up empty. In such a case, I'd hope that the whole is very compelling, but sadly, not here; for me at least.

I feel sort of the same way as the others about blurry water. As with many 'faddish' techniques, it requires a very special image to rise above the noise. Keep trying, though. You've got control of the technical part, now just find the magic image. Simple, huh?

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