Sunday, May 11, 2014

Wyong Shire Exposure

We are spending the weekend at Wyong Shire to take a break from the routine of our daily lives as well as to give me a chance to shoot some photos for the Wyong Shire Photo
Competition – Exposure.  We have booked an airbnb home stay in Bateau Bay and arrive to find our delightful hosts Judy and Murray at home and waiting to show us our new home for the weekend.

Their studio is beautiful and has won an Australian architectural award and I am not surprised.  It is a very comfortable space and incredibly well equipped with everything you could possibly want for a weekend escape or longer stay. The studio is a great base to explore the surrounding area which is spectacular if you are coming up to take photos, to go hiking or to enjoy the beautiful beaches. Jude and Murray were very welcoming and hospitable and we loved the extra touches like having a newspaper to enjoy in the morning. 

I wished we could have lazed around in the apartment but we were here to take photos.  It was lunch time when we arrived on Friday, so after a bite to eat we headed out to check out the area.  I was keen to see the pelican feeding so we walked made our way to the popular spot, stopping to take photos along the way.  I had stopped to sit down under a tree to stake out the scene a little better when a lady sat down and started chatting to me. 

She turned out to be a popular country and western singer by the name of Belinda Fielding who was here for a shoot.  She uses photography in her albums as she too loves that connection with nature so it was great to connect quite serendipitously with another likeminded creative soul and get a little peek into her world.  We chatted for awhile and after exchanging social media contact details we continued on our way. 

I enjoyed the pelican feeding.  Many of the judges at our camera club frown on pelican photography.  I am not quite sure why, but it falls in the category of cats and for some judges sunsets.  Getting an award for a pelican shot is hard, no matter how good your capture might be.  None the less, I am keen to give it a go.  The pelican feeding is the Central Coasts most popular tourist attraction and has been happening on a regular basis for more than 20 years.  We enjoy the display and I capture some good photos.

We drive around scouting out a few places for sunrise the next morning before heading out to Long Jetty to capture a much photographed scene – the jetty at sunset.  We arrive to find another photographer already there.  Undeterred, I set up a little distance away and realise I
have an excellent spot to both capture the boat shed as well as to photograph the jetty with another photographer at work!  I get some great shots and after he heads off, I capture a beautiful long exposure of the jetty itself which I think will be the key photo for my upcoming exhibition – Fate or Destiny.

I am happy with my shoot and we head home to make dinner and relax a bit before we hit the sack.  We want to be up early for sunrise, so we don’t make use of Jude’s hot tub although it would have been lovely to have a good soak before bed.

We wake up early and head out to one of the high vantage spots but realise quickly the 
foreground here is not ideal.  We drive around and make our way to the beach but unlike my sunset shots I am disappointed with my sunrise capture. We head out to the surf club for a late breakfast as well as to shoot the surfers enjoying their morning surf.  Growing up in Sri Lanka, surfing was never something we indulged in although I now learn that Sri Lanka’s beachers are a drawcard for surfers from around the world.

We spent the afternoon at Ken Duncan’s gallery.  We were inspired both by his photography as well as his life story.  We ended up buying a couple of his amazing coffee table books and then having a relaxed lunch in the cafe. 

Steve is feeling a little tired so we head back in the evening and give the sunset a miss.  I cook dinner in the studio and we relax.  Tomorrow we head back and as I process my photos I realise that deciding on the 3 photos for submission will be tricky.  I settle for 3 categories and
enter for: Postcards of the Shire, The Natural World, and A Picture Tells 1000 Words.

A month later I learn that all 3 of my photos have been shortlisted from a total of over 300 images.  I am ecstatic.  Photography is a very subjective discipline and I am always delighted when I get good feedback or when my images are selected in a competition.  The 3 images have to be mounted and taken to Wyong Shire for an exhibition where they will be available for judging and also for sale.  Some outstanding images in each category will be published in a calendar to be given to exhibition entrants and distributed around the Shire.

I’ve got my fingers crossed. 

"Discovery is to seeing what everybody else has seen and thinking what nobody has thought."  
~Albert Gyorgyi

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