prickly cactus composition

Had to include the cactus

Shot this one in the early hours on Stradbroke island. I had previously found this cactus and some succulents growing up on the cliff side and had earmarked it as a future location for a sunrise. A few mornings later when I made the early morning run I headed to the area in hope of some colour in the sky. I knew there was some clouds which is often a good sign, but you never know exactly how it’s going to turn out. Too much cloud and nothing breaks through. No cloud and the sun blasts over the horizon doing little for dramatic colours.

prickly composition

As I was hiking my way to this location mother nature started to put on a show. I could see all the high level clouds starting to glow with colour and I knew I needed to get moving, as this was going to happen quickly.. I was forced to run my way up the sand dunes (side note: If you have run up sand dunes before you may really appreciate this.. Hardwork with a backpack full of gear). As I arrived at the location the light show was in full swing. I tried not to panic .. Get my camera gear together, Swat away the march flies, clean my lens, change my battery (yes it happened, poor planning), clean my filter, catch my breath, set up my tripod, Swat away more march flies, they were extremely feisty !.. don’t forget to relax and consider my composition option and build the scene in my mind…

After all that I manged to get about 2 different compositions complete before the quality of  light deteriorated.

Planning is very important in landscape photography, as is being prepared and being flexible. Note to self, even if the sunset says 4:40am, get there at least 30 mins beforehand. Being rushed and panicking will always hurt the quality of your images. I’m not saying take out the spontaneity, as this is always welcome, but be prepared for it.

Happy shooting.

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