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  • Seascapes and Kangaroos at Pebbly Beach, Australia

    A couple of kangaroos at the beach. Fujifilm X-T3, @147mm f5 1/1250

    Recently I’ve visited one of the most scenic beaches in NSW, Australia, Pebbly Beach. It’s located in Murramarang National Park and there is a very convinient campsite just meters away from the water.

    I quickly took this snapshot when the kangaroos started moving away from me. Fujifilm X-T3, @21mm f6.4 1/640

    Locations like this one are great as a weekend getaway to relax, enjoy the nature and do some photography. There is no excuse for not photographing sunrise, sunset or whatever interesting nature scenes can be found in the area.

    This one was just hanging out at the beach, eating the grass and enjoying the views. Fujifilm X-T3, @56mm f5 1/640

    To my surprise there were many kangaroos right at the beach. Of course it makes sense, since this is part of a national park and this is not a very popular beach.

    I tried to take a few photos of them in this typical Australian scenery using a telephoto lens but also a standard zoom. I could get very close to them.

    Just before sunset I walked along the beach trying to find interesting compositions when suddenly the sky turned red. I quickly took a low, wide angle shot of the forest, the beautiful sky and the rushing water in the foreground.

    Wide angle shot of the beautiful sunset. A slight long exposure emphasizes the water movement. Fujifilm X-T3, @16mm f8 1/5

    I really liked the way the silhouetted eucalyptus trees looked with the sunset sky in the background. I took the folowing photo with a telephoto lens:

    Eucalyptus trees are native Australian trees and I think this scene represents the place very well. Fujifilm X-T3, @94mm f6.4 1/30

    When I turned around and looked at the east, there was full moon coming out behind the clouds. I had completely forgotten about it and I managed to take a quick photo. It was too cloudy in the east to capture a clear view of the moon.

    Full moon behind the clouds at Pebbly Beach. Fujifilm X-T3, @72mm f8 1/2

    The next morning there was some very strong swell and some of the waves were very impressive. I tried to capture some of them with a telephoto lens. Though, it’s not as easy as it looks like. In the end I had maybe a couple of hundred photos and only few of them that I liked. This is one of best ones:

    Close-up of waves at sunrise. Fujifilm X-T3, @214mm f6.4 1/1000

    Some of the challenges with photographing waves are focusing and the shutter speed. Focusing is tricky because the waves move very fast and you can’t always get an area of contrast for the autofocus to aim at. The shutter speed on the other hand is an element that can be used for achieving different effects: a fast shutter speed would freeze the waves and the spray (like the photo above) but a slow shutter speed would create streaks of foam making it more like a painting. It’s fun to experiment with different speeds.

    Another lesson I learned is that the best way of photographing waves is when the light is behind them. Here, the rising sun was creating beautiful back light and the backgroud was in shade.

    After spending too long trying to capture the waves, I decided to try a few wide angle shots. On this photo I went low and used a slightly long shutter speed.

    Mini waterfalls formed by waves covering some small rocks at the beach. Fujifilm X-T3, @16mm f13 1/10

    Needless to say I ended up soaked that day, but it was actually a great experience to wake up, 50 meters away from a beach like this with a bunch of kangaroos already having breakfast.

    Besides camping, there are a couple of cottages that can be rented to stay at this location with much more comfort. Well, maybe next time. Fujifilm X-T3, @72mm f8 1/20