Bouddi National Park Photography – read all about it! The Story Behind – Bouddi Swirl
So this is an occasional series where give a full account of a particular image… in this case it’s all about being taken by surprise at how popular an image can be. And certainly to be able to add to my collection of NSW landscape photography prints for sale.
My original photo story went something like …
A conundrum. Shoot the milky way with the Astro Facebook group of people ( a lovely bunch ) around a 90 minute drive plus 30 minute walk away, or watch Australia vs France [World Cup]. I ummed and ahhed and eventually decided to shoot sunset and maybe the core rising a bit closer to home, and be back home by 8 pm. Finally I decided on Bouddi National Park as I had not been there before, and I had seen good images of rock swirls. I drove a slightly roundabout way, and the clouds stayed put. Good for sunset? Maybe… good for Astro? A resounding NO.
I arrived late at the car park and a lovely lady gave me her ticket to use, and I started the walk, not knowing where on earth I was going. The colour was increasing so I found a couple of good-looking rocks and set up shot right on the edge of the cliff, trying to keep out of other ‘togs ways. And there you go, a lovely reverse sunset overlooking the sea. The actual sunset wasn’t as good, but – next time! Also – nice to meet Steve Daggar – we shot together for a while as the light faded and the clouds increased haha 😊
A few more details:-
What you don’t see.
I had a day to myself, and as usual got distracted. I hadn’t done Bouddi National Park photography before so I decided to give it a go. So I left for the drive later after lunch than I should have, then took a detour to my favourite bottle shop. Only then did I realise (a) I was well behind time (b) and I had taken far too much of a detour distance-wise and (c) I didn’t really know where I was going from my detour.
So it was all a bit fractious in the end. I do realise that doing landscape photography I don’t practise what I preach! So I really lost the ability to arrive and take stock slowly of a completely new location. And to really set up well before the light starts. I knew there were swirls to be found, but where were they, and more worryingly, where were the ‘good ones’ I had seen pictures of before? I settled on the swirls that I thought looked good. And boy was it near the edge of the cliff. Most of the shoot was on my knees – or my derriere – to get low enough to get the foreground to feature. I stood up each time slowly and carefully – at least until I met Steve. I took even more care when the lights levels faded, as the rocks weren’t exactly level.
And no, there was no Astro after dark – too many high clouds rolled in.
What I saw Afterwards
Back at home, I realised I had found ‘the Swirls’. Or rather even if they aren’t the Swirls that everyone finds, they were close enough. Composition was spot on in this one shot – though a horizontal composition alternative was less than successful.
The photo has great depth – you can read more about that here
The photo also roughly adheres to the Rule of Thirds with the horizon on a (horizontal!) line one third down from the top of the image – you can read more about that here
[Edit some time after:- I returned to the area, and indeed I did get lucky with this shot. Some mates and I spent the best part of two hours walking and combing the area for the absolute ‘best rocks’ we could find for foreground. We all agree that these were the pick].
Am I Happy?
I am sooo happy with this – despite my lack of prep, I got lucky with finding what I was looking for – I think. Apart from wishing I could have included more ocean in the frame around to the left (that would have been a drone shot) and also maybe used a Little Stopper I am happy. But afterwards! I shared the image on my page on Facebook, and straight away got masses of ‘FaceLove’, and even more ‘InstaFame’. A whole lot of people and institutions shared it as well – always nice when that happens. New ‘likes’ on my page galore. It’s always great when that happens as you can never predict it. The shots that I think are winners can very often fall flat.
Also – there is another point. I ‘do’ Australian Photographs. Many others do as well. There is a school of thought that says I need to have a whole portfolio of proverbially beautiful Australian landscape photography images up my sleeve. Uluru photographs, Bungle Bungle photographs etc. Which of course is difficult – you need to travel thousands of kilometres to get the iconic Australian photographic prints in your portfolio and and – oh my – get Great Light each time. However, I do consider this to be a NSW landscape photography icon, even if not an Australian landscape photography icon. And I bagged it!
I also find I am maybe sometimes too critical of my own work – having others like it in spades tells my demons to go away – at least for a while!
I will certainly return…
Canon EOS5D Mk III ~ Canon 16-35 F4 @ 16mm (of course) ~ 1/125s freehand-blended with 1/15s ~ F8 ~ ISO 100
The Berowra Photographer. Well, the Bouddi National Park Photographer this time.