Australian seascape and landscape photography

Westernport Bay

Downtime – a relaxing afternoon at Warneet

I have mixed feelings about the changes being made to the coastal village of Warneet.
Many of the grand old pine trees along the beachfront have been cut down and it appears that the main dirt roads are being surfaced. Progress, …..I guess.

Pictured below – Downtime – An iconic landmark (watermark) at Warneet coastal reserve.

Downtime - Warneet - boat - Jim Worrall - Australia - travel

Pictured below – some of the locals.

Warneet - gulls - Jim Worrall

Warneet - pelican - Jim Worrall


By the Seaside – Tooradin and Corinella

Following are some images from the shores of Westernport Bay.

Pictured below – The Journey Home, seagulls at the Tooradin foreshore take off en masse as the day gives way to night.
The Journey Home - Jim Worrall - Tooradin - Australia

Below – Corinella Sunset, a series of “God beams” appear from behind a cloud as the sun sets at Corinella pier. These “God beams” are also known as crepuscular rays and are explained at Wikipedia here.
Corinella Sunset - Jim Worrall - god beams appear from behind a cloud

Below – The Living Jetty.
At Corinella a jetty platform disappears below the surface during a king tide.
The local sea birds take advantage of the exposed posts by using them as a safe roost.
The Living Jetty - Jim Worrall - Corinella - Australia

Below – The best position for overseeing the activities at the Corinella jetty area.
Corinella jetty - Jim Worrall - Corinella - Australia


An Afternoon at Cowrie Beach, Phillip Island.

Cowrie Beach is located just a few hundred meters north-east of the popular tourist destination “The Nobbies” on Phillip Island, Australia. The beach sits just inside the entrance to Westernport Bay and is subjected to rough surf originating from Bass Strait.

The thinly vegetated sandy portions of the beach are home to Fairy penguins and some other more endangered species so there are signs present advising which areas to avoid.
The main attraction here from my perspective is at the water’s edge. The beach is blessed by the presence of dark basalt rock formations continuously pounded by waves.

Below – The Nobbies – an image from Cowrie beach with The Nobbies in the background.
The Nobbies - Jim Worrall - Phillip Island

Below – Down the Winding Path – a long exposure looking out to sea from Cowrie Beach.
Down the Winding Path - Jim Worrall - Cowrie Beach - Phillip Island

Below – Awaiting the Devil – a frightening part of the beach where unexpected waves suddenly inundate the dark basalt platforms. There’s a warning sign on the beach reminding fishermen and other visitors how easy it is to be swept off these rocks.
Awaiting the Devil - Jim Worrall - Cowrie Beach - Phillip Island

Below – The Ordeal – How the Phillip Island penguins manage to survive the violent Bass Strait surf combined with rocky beaches escapes me.
The Ordeal - Jim Worrall - Cowrie Beach - Phillip Island

Below – Through the Vapour
Through the Vapour - Jim Worrall - Cowrie Beach - Phillip Island


Exploring the light at Right Point, Phillip Island

Saturday’s excursion to Phillip Island turned out to be very rewarding from a photographer’s perspective.
In the late afternoon I stopped at a place called Right Point, which seems to be a very popular destination for surfers. As I peered over the edge of the cliff towards the beach I instantly fell in love with this spot.

Below me were the remains of an old jetty being pounded by the violent surf.
With the sun starting to drop towards the horizon what more could a photographer ask for?

I grabbed my tripod and camera bag and dashed down to the beach like an excited child. The images were already forming in my mind before I had even reached the sand, ……..oh what a feeling !! 🙂

Below – Drawn to the Ocean
Drawn to the Ocean - Jim Worrall - Right Point - Phillip Island - jetty

Below – The Penguin Pool
The Penguin Pool - Jim Worrall - Right Point - Phillip Island - jetty

As the sun dropped even closer to the horizon a good situation became even better when suddenly Crepuscular rays broke through a gap in the clouds.
Crepuscular rays, also known as “God rays” or “God beams” are explained here.

Below – Running to the Light
Running to the Light - Jim Worrall - Right Point - Phillip Island - jetty

Below – Sky Burst
Sky Burst - Jim Worrall - Right Point - Phillip Island - jetty

Below – Agaze
Agaze - Jim Worrall - Right Point - Phillip Island


The Window of Opportunity – Grantville Beach.

Amongst the photographic gems that Grantville beach makes available to photographers is a set of 3 rows of short pylons.
No doubt these pylons are the remains of an old jetty but they differentiate themselves from other such sites in a couple of interesting ways. Firstly, it’s unusual to see 3 rows of pylons like this. Most old jetties leave behind only two rows of pylons.
Secondly the pylons are extremely short here, with most of them extending from the muddy base by only a few short inches.

The short stature of these pylons provides photographers with an interesting challenge. At high tide the pylons are invisible as they’re completely submerged by water, and at low tide they’re an awful looking series of posts sitting in mud.
The challenge for the photographer is to arrive at the site during a narrow window of opportunity whilst the tidal transition ideally has all of the pylons surrounded by water around their bases and yet not enough water to make them shorten or disappear below the surface.

Below – “Runway to the Afterlife
Runway to the Afterlife - Jim Worrall - Grantville - jetty pylons
On my first visit to the site I was extremely lucky and caught the tide at just the right height. I wasn’t aware of how elusive these pylons could be until subsequent visits, hoping to catch the pylons in a different light, I haven’t been fortunate enough to arrive at the right time. 😦

Below – “Mortality” an image taken near the pylons on a different evening. The dark brooding sky sets the mood of the image. In the foreground lays a dead jellyfish, stranded by the outgoing tide.
Mortality - Jim Worrall - Grantville - jellyfish

Below – “Deep Creek Reflections“, also near the pylons Deep Creek enters the Westernport Bay.
Deep Creek Reflections - Jim Worrall - Grantville - Westernport Bay


Trolling around under bridges and piers

On excursions where I’m near a bridge or pier, my inner troll has a tendency to take control and drag me under.
Sometimes the results are quite pleasing. Strangely enough I often find the underside to be more photographically pleasing than the top side.

Below – “Gateway” the underside of the San Remo bridge.
Gateway - San Remo bridge - Jim Worrall

Below – “San Remo Bridge” the gateway to Phillip Island, Victoria, Australia.
San Remo Bridge - Jim Worrall - Phillip Island gateway

Below – “Dromana Downunder” the underside of Dromana pier. No trolls under here!
Dromana Downunder - Dromana Pier - Jim Worrall - HDR


Contrasts – Views from Jam Jerrup

Contrasting views from the beach at Jam Jerrup, Victoria, Australia.
It’s interesting to see how different a location can appear under different light and tidal conditions. This is exactly the reason why I like to return to the same places many times.

Below – “Aspirations” is a minimalistic long exposure image taken at high tide.
Aspirations - Jam Jerrup - Jim Worrall - Westernport Bay - seascape - long exposure

Below – “Blunderbuss” is a wider view of the same area taken at low tide with some more drama taking place in the clouds.
Blunderbuss - Jam Jerrup - Jim Worrall - Australia - Westernport Bay

Below – “Exploring the Meme” is the boat ramp and single post at Jam Jerrup.
Exploring the Meme - Jam Jerrup - Jim Worrall - Westernport Bay - Australia


A Photographic Trip to Tenby Point.

Tenby Point is a coastal village located on the shores of Westernport Bay, just a few kilometers east of Corinella, Victoria, Australia.
On this particular photography excursion conditions weren’t ideal. The sun was harsh and high in the sky, and there were no clouds around. Due to these harsh light conditions I chose to make a series of high key images whilst the tide was favorable.

Below – The Counsel of Many

The Counsel of Many - Jim Worrall - Tenby Point - Westernport Bay - Australia

It’s important to know what the tides are doing here from a photographer’s prespective.
I think it’s best here to avoid visiting at low tide unless you’d like images of sticks or trees sitting in mud.
The black and white images in this post were taken with both an ND400 and an ND8 filter attached to the end of the lens to achieve long exposure times in bright sunny conditions. The goal behind using such heavy filtering is to achieve long exposure times in order to blur as much detail as possible from the sky and water.
The result is a more minimalistic image.

Below – Sweet Survivor
Sweet Survivor - Jim Worrall - Tenby Point - Westernport Bay - Australia

Below – The Path to Yesterday
The Path to Yesterday - Jim Worrall - Tenby Point - Australia - jetty

Eventually all good things come to those who wait. The afternoon dominated by harsh white light gave way to a pearler of a sunset when some clouds moved across the sky at just the right moment. I drove home from Tenby Point wearing a satisfied grin. 🙂

Below – Sunset at Tenby Point
Sunset at Tenby Point - Jim Worrall - Australia - seascape


The Grantville Goal Posts

Captured below, a long exposure image of the incoming tide starting to submerge the concrete boat ramp at Grantville on Westernport Bay.
Due to the long shallow nature of the ramp the “goal posts” are used as a guide by boat owners to help prevent boat trailers from being driven over the sides or end of the ramp and into the mud/water.

Below – “Moving the Goal Posts”
Moving the Goal Posts - Grantville boat ramp - Jim Worrall - Westernport Bay

Below – The boat ramp fully submerged with the Grantville jetty to the left and the sun shimmering on the foreground water.
Grantville jetty and goal posts - Jim Worrall - Westernport Bay - Australia


Grantville – the pie and pier photography tour.

My excursions are never entirely about the photography. Often they’re about the escape, ….often they’re about self exploration, …….every now and then they might even result in a nice photographic image. Well, nice to me anyhow. 🙂

On previous visits to Grantville I’ve tended to concentrate on trying to capture an inspiring image or two from the mangroves dotted along the coast here. The mangroves are a fairly easy target for photography purposes. At high tide it’s possible to visually isolate them between the water and the sky which works to simplify the image by excluding potentially distracting background elements. On calm days the water can also act as a fantastic mirror for capturing reflections, particularly when doing long exposures.

Grantville pier - Jim Worrall jetty Westernport Bay

This particular visit to Grantville was all about capturing the pier though, so here it is.
In the black and white image above I’ve deliberately over exposed the image to blow out the sky and increase the contrast between the pier and the background. I personally like the contrasty result here, but I know this style of image is not everyone’s cup of tea.

Pictured below – “The First Days of Sun” which is available to purchase as a print here.
This image from the pier was created from 3 exposures using HDR tone mapping techniques to maintain details in both the bright sky and the dark shadows.

The Fisrt Days of Sun - Jim Worrall - Grantville pier - jetty

Pictured below – “The Promise of Warm Days” which is available to purchase as a print here.
Another 3 exposure HDR shot converted to black and white and processed with a bit of dodging and burning in Photoshop.
The Promise of Warm Days - Jim Worrall - Grantville pier - jetty

Now for some serious business. I’ve discovered that the cafe on the corner of the Bass Hwy and Grantville Glen Alvie Road in Grantville sells excellent homemade meat pies made with flaky puff pastry. The coffee is pretty good there too.
(Disclaimer – I have no connection with this cafe at all, I just enjoyed the pie so much I felt the need to share it with you.)


Down amongst the Mangroves, Westernport Bay.

You certainly have to admire the hardiness of the Mangrove tree.
It thrives in poor quality soil in tidal areas, and twice a day has it’s roots submerged in salty sea water. Under storm conditions the Mangrove is battered by both wind and waves yet it still manages to hold firmly.
The Mangrove tree is also an interesting subject from a photographer’s perspective. At high tide with the roots submerged it’s fairly easy to photographically isolate the subject from it’s surroundings by using a long exposure time to smooth any waves around it’s base and blur any clouds in the sky.

Below – TimeKeeper
Mangrove tree, Westernport Bay, Jim Worrall

Below – The Risen
Mangrove tree, Westernport Bay, Jim Worrall

Below – Approaching the Forest
Mangrove tree, Westernport Bay, Jim Worrall

At low tide the Mangrove tree has it’s roots exposed creating potentially a new subject of interest for the photographer. The long roots are often intertwined with each other giving the impression of writhing serpents (perhaps that’s just my imagination running wild).

Below – The Serpent Tree
Mangrove tree, Westernport Bay, Jim Worrall

Below – Wild n’ Woolly a long exposure with the roots exposed and the leaves thrashing around in the wind.
Mangrove tree, Westernport Bay, Jim Worrall

Below – On Borrowed Time the same tree as above but at high tide.
Mangrove tree, Westernport Bay, Jim Worrall