A friend from school, Riley White, recently invited myself and a couple other friends on a trip to WA’s south-west to shoot landscapes. I was somewhat reluctant to tag along as I didn’t really see myself as much of a landscape photographer and wasn’t sure if my work schedule would allow me the time. Luckily, timing was just right, I bit the bullet and said yes, hoping to perhaps learn something new and kick my Instagram into gear again.
The main reason for this trip was so Riley could finalise his landscape photography assignment. To keep things moving in the right direction, he’d planned a few specific locations to hit at specific times during the day, to ensure the lighting was on fleek for each shoot. This meant being on location for both sunrise and sunset each day. Included among these locations were Sugarloaf Rock, Canal Rocks, Busselton Jetty and a few other places around Margaret River.
With myself being more inclined to shoot video, and to make the most out of the trip, I’d planned to make a few videos mainly consisting of aerial footage from the drone, however, a slight incident involving a rather large puddle found death to my only drone compatible GoPro, throwing those plans out the window before we even arrived. While I could’ve rejigged the video plans to not include aerials, I felt it was better to just forget about video for now and return another time with a fully functioning drone to get exactly what I had in mind.
The first day went smoothly (apart from the drone mishap), hitting Busselton Jetty for sunset. Despite our schedule requiring us to be up for sunrise the next day, we found ourselves impulsively driving around looking for a spot to take advantage of the clear and un-light-polluted skies that night. We drove all over looking for a good place to shoot, but ended up pulling over and setting up in the middle of a road where we found the surrounding trees created a natural frame around the sky.
The next morning we braved the cold and made our way to a boat ramp in Quindalup. The sunrise was alright, but not ideal, lighting up only a portion of the sky. I focused on a few clips of behind the scenes video for this location while the others shot.
We headed to Sugarloaf Rock for sunset. I was taken back by the shear size of this thing that seemed to sit there, unshaken by the ocean waves. Traversing the labyrinth of rocks, I found a spot and set up my shot. I sat there for an hour, shooting the same frame, waiting for the perfect conditions and eventually ended up with a shot I was happy with.
The third day didn’t yield any keepers for me. We got up for sunrise, but couldn’t find a good spot for that first hour of light. Similarly, we arrived at Canal Rocks a tad too late for sunset, turning the shoot session into a scout session for the next day.
Our depleted will power on the final day allowed us to sleep in, leaving only half an hour to pack and leave our accomodation. We’d still planned to stay the rest of the day driving around to finish what we were wanting to do at Canal Rocks.
A heavy downpour prevented us from setting anything up for sunset that night. We called it a day and began our three hour journey home.