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The Pinnacles at sunrise

This is the first in a series of posts of the story behind some of my favourite images from the last 12 months.

This image was taken on a trip down to Gibraltar National park in New South Wales, Australia. I had not been there before and wasn’t sure what to expect. I only had a few days and didn’t really have time to scout out locations but just had to get out to some of the attractions and hope to get some good light. From the map I guessed that the Pinnacles would be best in the dawn light so a very early start was in order. The walk in took around and hour and a half and I arrived at the end of the track just before first light. There is a fantastic viewing platform there but the composition wasn’t working for me so I skirted around along the ridge line to find this outlook.

I like the way the tree is silhouetted by the rising sun and forms a nice border, The light falls so nicely against the granite tors, giving them a gentle rim light against the dark valley where the sun is yet to fall on to. The foreground rock also adds a balance to the highlight of the sun and adds some depth to the image.

A sunrise shoot is a mixture of patient waiting for the light to arrive, then a flurry of action to capture the scene as you see it before the light dissapears. I usually take some time after the sunrise to have a coffee and just soak in the quiet, listening to the birds starting their days and watching the way the sun slowly kisses the landscape.

What you can’t see in this image is the bottom part of my tripod which I had to remove to get the tripod to the height I wanted – then promptly forgot to pick it up when I left. Hopefully it is still there when I next visit. Oops

One of my memories from this walk was the birds I saw on the way back but couldn’t get a shot of. I stalked a male Lyrebird for almost an hour, getting occasional glimpses but never a clear shot. I also saw several Eastern Spinebills they flitted close for the briefest moment before disappearing.

It is a truly spectacular part of the world and along with the adjacent Washpool National Park forms a part of one of Australia’s World Heritage areas. There are some great walks and excellent campgrounds, I hope to get back there later this year.

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