When I was a kid one of the many rebuffs used was “take a long walk on a short pier” – it was, I suppose, a more imaginative way of saying get lost. Well whoever first coined the phrase hadn’t taken into account Busselton Jetty in Busselton Western Australia.
Busselton Jetty is the longest wooden jetty in the Southern Hemisphere and it is 1.81Km or 1.12 miles long. Building the jetty commenced in 1853 and it opened in 1865 and by the 1880’s it was already attracting tourists. By 1972 the jetty ceased operation as a commercial port and today it attracts a staggering 450,000 people per year.
At the end of the jetty is the Underwater Observatory which takes visitor down 8m to the seabed where they can observe the huge variety of marine life that has made the jetty home.
To get there you don’t have to walk, there is a solar-powered electric train, the Stocker Preston Express, which can carry up to 90 people. So now it is the case of a small train journey on a long pier.
The weather has gone absolutely mental!!!! We’ve gone from having days in the high 30’s to the low 40’s to belting rain and temperatures of 15℃. It is really strange to say the least.
The video footage was mainly shot on my iPhone and some on a Sony Action Cam. I must say I am a very late starter to using a mobile phone for photography and video. Dunno why – it just never appealed. Yesterday I was out walking the dog and I thought I better shoot some footage about the weird weather and the only camera I had to hand was my phone. I had no microphone nor anything to steady the footage. It was all flying by the seat of my pants. I went out again this morning and decided to take my Sony Action Cam to take some additional footage. Most of what I took was unusable – the quality from the iPhone is so much better. I did for a crazy moment think about editing the footage on my phone but I decided against it as I’d never used iMovie on my phone before and thought it would be quicker and easier to bang out the edit on my laptop.
Back in August I posted a blog called Mellow Yellow showing the yellow canola on the hills opposite our house. Well Summer is well and truly here and the crop has been harvested just leaving the sun bleached stubble. When the sun sets the colours are reflected on those hills with quite impressive results.
There’s no denying that summer and autumn here in the Wheatbelt of Western Australia is hot. The best time of day is just after sun up – the air is cool and refreshing. That is when I take Frida for her daily walk. Sometimes I also take a camera as well and on this morning I was rewarded with this yellow-billed spoonbill backlit by the sun.
Apologies to the late, great JJ Cale, who wrote the absolutely sublime song “After Midnight”, but I have been prowling around after dark with my camera and tripod. Every summer I do this because endless blue skies and fields of sun bleached wheat stubble do not make for very interesting photographs. Shooting at night can make the mundane look strangely beautiful and ethereal.
Most of the time the images are straight, i.e. I just set the camera up on my tripod and make an exposure, like the two images above. Sometimes I like to play a little with light painting and flash to make something a little more out there.
This image and the one below used flash with gels attached and fired by a set of el cheap “Poverty Wizards” I bought off of Ebay. I keep meaning to get a couple more old manual speedlites and some more wireless receivers to achieve more complicated lighting effects, but what usually happens is that summer ends and I stop going out at night and I quickly forget about it. Maybe this year.
What makes this fun is that it is experimental, you’re never completely sure how the image is going to turn out. Also with exposures knocking around 30 to 240 seconds it is a slow process and that makes it a more thoughtful exercise as it is not just a case of blazing away and hoping. I find because it can take up to twenty minutes making test exposures and then the final image I become thoughtful about composition. It is not unusual to have been out for a couple of hours and only make four or five images.
As always clicking on an image will take you through to my online gallery.