Waters and Beaches

Easter Sunday


Some footage taken on Easter Sunday 2015.

Locations are Redhead Beach, Newcastle Foreshore, Horseshoe Beach and Nobbys Beach.

Footage was taken from a Phantom 2 Vision+ drone.

Malpas Dam

Here’s a panorama taken yesterday of Malpas Dam, located just near Guyra.

Tech info: Images taken with a 10 – 24 mm lens at 10 mm, with a polarising filter. The panorama was stitched together in Photoshop CS5 using 5 separate raw images. The raw images had a mild ‘shadows & highlights’ adjustment applied to each first. The stitched image was then cropped into a clean rectangular shape. Then the panorama was finished off in Lightroom 3 with +6 on fill light & +3 on blacks to increase the dynamic range further,  a bit (+7) of clarity which increases the mid-tone contrast, a bit (+15) of vibrance which selectively increases the saturation of muted colours,  a bit of hue adjustment (+8) on yellows to make the vegetation look even more lush, and a very little bit of darkening adjustment (-2)  in the blues to make the sky and water punch even more as well.

The result is not at all subtle, but it seems to really convey the feeling of the Australian countryside at mid-summer.


Malpas Dam

Nobbys near Sunset

Just a few shots taken late Monday along Nobbys Breakwall.

I was playing around with a Hoya NDX400 neutral density filter….it’s almost as dark as welding glass!


East Coast Low

Newcastle’s just had it’s first East Coast Low of the winter, so I thought it would be a good idea to get some shots of the post storm seas this morning.

Here’s Bar Beach, taken from the new lookout at the bottom edge of the carpark.


And a couple of shots at Merewether Baths…


This sequence was taken at Nobbys Breakwall last winter…

Fleeing the Storm

Taken at Dixon Park Beach, 3:30 PM Saturday 11th February.


The Bogey Hole

The Bogey Hole is a popular swimming spot in Newcastle, located beneath a headland and providing a spectacular vantage point to view the ocean. It was carved out in 1819 for the personal use of Major James Morisset who was the commandant of the penal colony.

It’s a steep path down from the top of the hill.


The existing steps and handrails are a bit dilapidated, and Newcastle Council has approved a restoration programme.


It’s a great place to catch the sun in the morning.

Seal Rocks

Seal Rocks is around an hour north of Newcastle, and is a bit of a hidden gem. There’s still about 2 km of unsealed road to get there, and I suspect that’s the way the locals want to keep it.


There are two beaches facing north. This is Boat Beach, where fisherman still launch directly off the sand. And that rocky island is where Seal Rocks gets it’s name – fur seals hang around there.


This shot is taken from the western end of Boat Beach looking directly north. In the far distance you can see Blueys Beach.


This is getting to Boat Beach the hard way.


The other north-facing beach is Number One Beach. It’s the first beach you see as you arrive!

Storm Approaching Bar Beach

On 12th December 2011, a storm approaches Bar Beach, NSW from the south.

This video was a test of a technique and was composited from a series of still images. A neutral density filter and polarising filter were both used in order to allow 4 second exposures, hopefully capturing some lightning in the process.

This technique would work most effectively when it’s even darker, so the lens can be opened up a bit and longer exposures used.

Bleak Nobbys

I got this shot at Nobbys Beach a few weeks ago with my Samsung Galaxy phone, and I’m still quite chuffed about it. I feel it has a bit of a  ‘Mark Rothkoesque’ feel to it. The high noise of the sensor just adds to the atmosphere. Not sure if the lifesaver’s board at the right-hand side adds to, or detracts from, the shot.

Anyway this just confirms that an interesting photograph doesn’t have to be an optically good photograph. When I was a youngster in the scouts I learnt how to make a pinhole camera. Now perhaps I should start shooting Newcastle with one of those!

Dudley Beach

Just beautiful!

Swimmin Centre

There’s something of the slightly shabby, ’50’s era motel about this image…

Nobbys After the Storm

I must be in the mood for things maritime today. Here’s a shot of Nobbys Headland after a storm passed through. Taken 30th October. The clear light against the dark clouds was magic, and the harbour waters seemed almost unnaturally calm. Good for pelicans.


Azure, Sapphire, Turquoise, Cerulean, Ultramarine and Teal

So many shades of blue on display this morning at Newcastle Baths and the beach!


Harbour After the Storm

I was hoping to get some lightning shots today; alas the storm came through in a murky haze. At least afterwards, there was some interesting light.

Newcastle Baths Inundated

Just a shot I took earlier this month at Newcastle Baths….

Nobbys Breakwall After the Storm

With so many storms and rain this July in Newcastle, finally Sunday dawned with a hint of blue sky. I decided to take a stroll along Nobbys Breakwall to get some shots – the seas were still big, so it promised to be interesting.

Nobbys Breakwall was built in the 1850’s to improve the entrance to Newcastle Harbour and make the passage into the harbour safer for vessels. It extends for about 800 metres from the headland. The breakwall was built from rock quarried from the top of Nobbys Headland, which was named by Captain Cook as he passed by in 1770. Today, the harbour signal station and lighthouse sits atop the flattened top of the headland. At its base is a bunker constructed during WW2 as part of the defences for Newcastle Harbour.

Nobbys Signal Station


In this view you can see a bulk carrier which has just exited the harbour. It’s low in the water, being chock full of coal. (Incidentally, Newcastle coal was first discovered right under Nobbys Headland).

Ship Leaving Harbour


Every man and his dog was out to enjoy the sunshine and lack-of-rain.

Man and his Dog on Nobbys Breakwall

Jogger on Nobbys Breakwall


At the end of the breakwall, there was a small crowd watching the swell.

Watchers at the tip of Nobbys Breakwall

Breaking Wave on Rocks

Family Getting Splashed


I wasn’t the only person out to get a shot or two.

Photographer at Nobbys Breakwall


I waited 45 minutes for this sequence.


This shot was taken from the very northern end of Nobbys Beach, under the headland, where it abuts the breakwall.


Because of the recent storms, the swell outside the harbour was still pretty messy, This duo are about to give it a go.

Bodyboarders entering the water


And to finish, another puppy having some fun!

Dog at Nobbys Beach