Day 3, Botany Bay Beach Part 1
I was right back in the line of photographers setting in their cars waiting for the gate to open at Botany Bay on the third morning. There is a little trail just to the right side of the gate that allows you to get past it. With a flash light or head lamp, you can easily walk up to the station, get the paperwork required for access to the site, take it back to your car, fill it out, and then return the necessary portion before the gate opens. On the way back to my car, I stopped at the vehicle directly in front of mine and met Clarence Holmes, a photographer out of New York who had been shooting along the coast as he trekked back to his home base. While there wasn’t as many photographers as the previous day, it still felt like we were in a competition to get to the beach first so that one could claim their preferred spot on it.
With sparse clouds and the sun not yet above the horizon, the colors in my Gold Beach piece were fantastic. I especially liked the golds on the wet sand of the shore and being reflected off the surface of the water. The oranges in the sky and the pinks closer to the skyline were equally attractive. I also liked how the silhouette of the tree breaks up the smoothness of the sky. Though the center of the tree is close to the left one third line, using the rule of thirds, I made the aesthetic decision to pull it over to the left a little to increase the space to the right and decrease it by the same amount on the left.
Shimmering Sand is close to being a horizontal companion to Gold Beach. They both feature the same tree and gorgeous colors. However, the perspective was changed. More of the thin cloud was included and the tree itself is further into the middleground. While not perfectly balanced (i.e., it is a bit heavier on the right side), I decided to place it fairly close to the center to allow the foreground stumps on both the left and right sides to be pulled into the frame. That aesthetic decision also made the tree feel more isolated and lonely. That being said, the reflections off the wet sand are the reigning super stars in this piece.
Morning Beach was also composed before sunrise, and, once again, my main aesthetic desire was to capture the colors reflecting off the wet sand. That goal drove several other artistic decisions including the tree group placement (both horizontally and vertically). While Mother Nature only gave us a couple of thin clouds to provide additional visual interest in the sky, she did nicely light them.