Photographer Dan Westergren recently traveled throughout South Australia, capturing the people and places of this exciting region.
Kangaroo Island, lying a few miles off the coast of South Australia, is a photographer’s dream. It offers a photogenic coastline, nature, and wildlife. But the most impressive shots are made at the aptly named Remarkable Rocks. These huge sculpted boulders are perched on a rounded granite dome that dramatically drops away to the surging sea below. Perfectly situated to catch both sunrise and sunset, the boulders are covered in bright-orange lichen, usually photographed best at first or last light.
I had only one chance to catch the rocks at sunrise, so left the hotel at 4:45 a.m. to get there before the sun rose. I arrived at the rocks under heavy cloud cover and a slight spitting rain. So much for my plan of capturing sun-enhanced orange lichen covering the rocks!
I set up my camera and tripod anyway and took a few 15-second exposures of the scene at ISO 400. The clouds in the sky were rendered a nice blue color, but the rocks turned into unattractive bluish blobs. I knew before leaving the hotel that I probably wouldn’t see the sun, so I had brought a small flashlight just in case. The scene was getting brighter. It would soon be too bright to make a long enough exposure for what I had in mind, so I had to work fast.
I made another shot, but this time I turned on the flashlight and shone it around the scene, “painting” the rocks with light while the camera’s shutter was opened. This is the only frame that worked. After this, the scene was too bright, and the flashlight wasn’t strong enough to match the proper exposure.
Photo Tip: Rain and clouds are never an excuse to turn off your alarm clock and go back to sleep. Get out there, but always have an alternate plan in mind. If the weather gives you lemons, make lemonade.
Photographed with a Fujifilm X-T1 and a Fuji XF 14mm, f/2.8 R.
Follow Dan Westergren on Instagram @danwestergren.