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If you see a penny PICK IT UP! – lightning storm, Dunsborough

I am not a superstitious person. At least I try not to be. I even try to fight superstition with superstition by thinking that if I knowingly walk under a ladder that it will actually bring me good luck rather than bad luck. Take that superstition!

On the morning of the second day of my trip down south I was wandering some sand dunes looking for possible photo opportunities when I stumbled upon a 2 dollar coin. It sat there staring at me and I couldn’t help but pick it up and think to myself ‘see a penny pick it up, all day long you’ll have good luck!’. It is hard to ignore superstition in instances like these where the supposed outcome is actually beneficial.

After pocketing the coin I continued on about my day, scouting locations and keeping a keen eye on the weather. Up until this point the skies were blue and the light was harsh, (very uninspiring from a photography point of view) but over the coarse of the next hour or two clouds began to form on the horizon. As the clouds rolled in over the ocean things were starting to look good. There was a nice combination of low and high cloud with plenty of breathing room in between. The combination that often results in a spectacular sunset. As the sun finally began to approach the horizon and draw an end to the day things were looking really good. I scouted a location and composition I thought could make the most of the sunset  and waited for the light show to unfold (see image in my previous post). After the light show died down I headed into Dunsborough got myself a feed and a couple of drinks and called it a day.

After a restless couple of hours sleep in the van I heard the unmistakable sound of rumbling thunder. I took a quick peek outside and could see lightning flashes over the ocean to the north-east and noticed the storm was headed in a easterly direction. With a quick time check (2:00am) I decided to head straight to Quindalup Boat Ramp in hope of capturing some lightning images before the storm passed. On arrival at the location I was stunned to see that the storm was currently straight out in front of the Jetty, exactly what I was hoping for. With the storm moving fast I quickly set up, set my exposure for 120 seconds, f8 iso100 and started shooting. I managed to only fire off 2 exposures before the storm had moved to the right of frame. By the end of the third exposure the storm had moved out of frame and the number of strikes dramatically decreased. The image you see here is from the second exposure.

Now it was only at this point that I remembered about the whole 2 dollar coin incident. I hadn’t thought of it from the time of picking it up until just after capturing this image. Did the great clouds and spectacular sunset occur because I picked up a 2 dollar coin? Not a chance! I had observed the weather radar before heading to the Yallingup / Dunsborough area and was expecting conditions to be favourable. I couldn’t help but think however after being woken by thunder, immediately heading straight to this location and immediately setting up and firing off a couple of shots that I could have luck on my side. Is it likely, probably not, but who knows!

Quindalup Jetty / Boat Ramp – Dunsborough, Western Australia

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Radiance

1. radiance – the amount of electromagnetic radiation leaving or arriving at a point on a surface

2. radiance – an attractive combination of good health and happiness; “the radiance of her countenance”

The waves were continually rolling ashore and feeding into this naturally formed pool on the shoreline of one of the beautiful beaches in the South West of our state. There was just enough time in between waves for a perfect reflection to form on the surface, radiating the amazing colours and forms of an incredible sunset.

Yallingup, Western Australia

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One-on-One Workshops

For those interested, I am offering one-on-one sessions both on location and in the digital darkroom. Each session is customized to your skill level and what it is you would like to cover, whether it be equipment use, scouting for compositions, post processing or many other techniques. Session durations are from 2hrs to a full day.

For rates and further details please email me at info@lukeaustinphotography.com

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Seeking Solitude

I recently took of on a one week road trip covering some of the south of Western Australia. I had been surfing google earth and noticed this area from the satellite images. With a full moon due for January 9 I decided to head to this location as I thought the moon rising over the expansive area may make for a good image.

Salt Flats, Western Australia

2 image stitch with 45mm tse

Somewhere to Ponder

A dead calm Lake Quinalt blanketed in the morning fog.

Olympic National Park, Washington.

Sunkissed – Yallingup, Western Australia

The South West Coastline captures the last light of the day.

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Lancelin Sand Dunes – Western Australia

I managed to get up to Lancelin recently for a late afternoon/evening shoot. The conditions were looking good so I headed up there giving myself plenty of time to scout the dunes for a composition I was happy with. After roaming the dunes for 3 hours or so I had two compositions marked out that I felt were strong. It was then a matter of waiting for the sun to meet the horizon and for the lines in the dunes to take shape.

I hope everyone is in good health for the coming holidays. All the best for the new year.

5 images stacked for DOF throughout.

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Lupins – Alaska

Below is an image I captured while in Alaska in August/September of 2010. I was surprised to find these Lupins on the mountainside on the hike up to the Harding Icefield. All the wildflowers at a lower elevation were well past their best before date but as I slowly climbed higher the foliage and wildflowers were in far better shape. I decided I would continue on and upward and shoot the Lupin on the way back down later in the afternoon.

Once I returned to the area I had briefly scouted on my way up it began raining, only for a short period however. There was just enough rain to line all the leaves with tiny beads of water (clearly visible in print) and make the mountainside wet enough to cause me to slip n slide all over the place. Trying to hunt out a composition that I felt worked in the slippery conditions was frustrating and after one bad spill it became painful (a rock in the behind will do that to you. I said ROCK!). Anyway after finding a composition I was happy with I sat, waited and recovered.

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Patience – Moraine Lake

During my time in the Canadian Rockies of Alberta Canada I visited Moraine Lake on a number of occasions. I continually went back there not only to capture it under varying conditions but simply because the place is AMAZING. Each and every time I made it up there I would sit and stare in awe. It is hard not to.

Prior to my latest visit of this location I had captured it under your typical sunny summer conditions and on other occasions completely or partially frozen over but I still wasn’t satisfied. I wanted it snow covered with the lake in its liquid state.

On this particular occasion I was driving back to where I was living in Canmore, Alberta, Canada from Olympic National Park in Washington U.S.A. It was a long day of driving and after just having spent almost 2 months living out of my van/tent on the road I was ready to get home to Canmore. Anyway, I was just one hour from Canmore at 10:30pm when it started to snow pretty heavily, enough so that I was convinced it was going to stick (It was fall so the temperatures had just began to take a dive becoming cold enough for snow to not melt as soon as it landed). I thought to myself, this may be the last and only opportunity  I get to shoot Moraine Lake and the Valley of the Ten Peaks blanketed in snow. I figured it was too good of an opportunity to pass up and spent the night in the van hoping the conditions cleared in the morning.

I’m happy I decided to stick it out for one last night. What a magic morning.

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Karijini Colours

Here’s an image above Weano Gorge displaying the variety of contrasting colours after a great wet season.

Weano Gorge, Karijini National Park. Western Australia

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