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Vanishing Point



Princess Pier, Port Melbourne. Winter isn't the greatest time of year to be photographing the sunset at an area that faces south. But I'm pretty happy...
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Princess Pier, Port Melbourne. Winter isn't the greatest time of year to be photographing the sunset at an area that faces south. But I'm pretty happy with the result I got on this occasion. After 24 hours of solid rain and wind, the skies opened up enough in the afternoon for the clouds to be painted with the colour of the setting sun far off to the north-west. The pier is a serene spot, despite the number of photographers around, and I wanted to reflect this in the image. A 210 second exposure was plenty to smooth the water and capture the movement in the clouds above.
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14 Comments | Report
Mzung
 
Mzung August 24, 2016
really love it!
njephotography PRO
njephotography August 30, 2016
Thank you!
red9foto
 
red9foto August 29, 2016
Awesome image! Congratulations
njephotography PRO
njephotography August 30, 2016
Thanks!
brandonbowman
 
brandonbowman September 22, 2016
Outstanding image - well done!
daveblackwell_7467
 
daveblackwell_7467 September 22, 2016
Amazing shot, beautiful colours
KacperMichalik
 
KacperMichalik September 22, 2016
Amazing
jimfbauty PRO+
 
jimfbauty November 11, 2016
Seen many pics of this location and yours is very bright and amazing. love the lighting. Great capture.
njephotography PRO
njephotography November 12, 2016
Thank you for your kind words. Was lucky that the storm gave way to some lovely colour!
mgenkova
 
mgenkova November 28, 2016
Beautiful!
catherinethompson PRO
 
catherinethompson December 12, 2016
Stunning.
Mstudio1922
 
Mstudio1922 January 15, 2017
wow! perfect!
Went there in November,2015, the weather can be very random. hope i can go again
stephenshaffer
 
stephenshaffer February 02, 2017
Wow that is amazing, what is the use of the posts in the water
njephotography PRO
njephotography February 02, 2017
It's the remains of the end of the pier. The decking was removed but the pylons have be left in place
jalmariheikkonen
 
jalmariheikkonen June 23, 2017
Very nice image!
Samsonhill369
 
Samsonhill369 September 28, 2017
Amazing
Cesaragonzalezm
 
Cesaragonzalezm December 19, 2017
Just amazing, very calming
BabZz
 
BabZz July 16, 2018
Is dis a real place cuz it looks amazing fair play for putting the time in stunning pic

Behind The Lens

Location
This photo was taken at Princess Pier in Port Melbourne, Australia. I had heard about this location being a favourite among local photographers. I was visiting from interstate, so I had to hope the weather would be kind to me this day.
Time
This photo was taken at sunset. It had been raining and storming in Melbourne for most of this early winter day. The forecast had predicted the rain to ease in the afternoon and I knew then that I might have an opportunity to shoot at sunset.
Lighting
Any photographer would tell you that the time around sunrise and sunset "golden hours" are the best times to shoot. But they don't always turn out the way you want. You have to work within what the weather and skies give you. At this time of year, the sun was setting almost behind where my camera was set up. There were scattered clouds moving quickly in the sky. Some colour was painted in the sky with the setting sun far off to the north-west. I wanted to capture the serene pastel colours in the sky and try to get some reflection in the water, so I aimed to shoot my composition before the sun had set.
Equipment
I used my trusty Canon 5D Mark II alongside the Canon 16-35mm f/4L IS lens. I like to shoot my landscapes wide and often tend to use the 16mm perspective. I had the camera mounted to a Manfrotto tripod with an Arca-Swiss ball head. I used a LEE big stopper filter for a long exposure shot. My Canon intervalometer is also a must for sharp images. And I cannot forget my smartphone to calculator the position of the sun relative to me and getting the right shutter length using the big stopper.
Inspiration
I had heard about the popularity of this location on photography sites. Melbourne is a very photogenic city, and this location was no different. I wanted to capture a photo that was serene and dream-like. You might say I knew the composition in my head before I even got to Princess Pier! I really like the combination of the pastel colours, the smooth water and the pylons that extend way out to sea.
Editing
I tend to try and limit my post-processing and keep the image as true to the original shot as possible. I spend a lot of time getting the image as perfect as I can in camera. When it comes to post-processing my landscape shots, I tend to do some slight tonal contrast and adjustments to whites and blacks. I look to give the image a slight S-shaped curve in shadows and highlights as this often makes the image "pop". I will often selectively sharpen the image as the ultra-wide angle lenses tend to be softer towards the edges, especially on a full-frame camera. I tend to steer clear of saturation adjustments as they tend to make an image unrealistic, in my opinion. I slightly increased the Vibrance, however, by +5.
In my camera bag
I mostly do landscape photography, so my kit includes a Canon 5D Mark II, an ultra wide-angle lens in the Canon 16-35mm f/4L IS. I often have my Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS macro lens in my bag, as well as a Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L Mark II lens. I also have a selection of graduated neutral density filters, which are an important inclusion for my landscape work. I also have a few spare batteries, and a lens cleaning kit (great for when the weather decides to unleash upon you!)
Feedback
I think for landscape photography, some of the most important things to remember do not have anything to do with your camera but rather yourself. Be patient but constantly think about your composition. Look and move around an area and try to visualise the composition before you start trying to take photos. Once you're in this mindset, then it's relatively easy to capture the composition you're after. If you're traveling to an area for the first time, like I was for this photo, it is useful to either research the area ahead of time or arrive with plenty of time to look around the area. Never rush to take a photo or you'll almost always end up disappointed. The final piece of advice I would give is to hone your photography skills by doing not reading. Once you know how to use your camera, nothing comes close to the experiences and lessons learned "on the job" - visiting places and taking photos. I have had plenty of shocking landscape photo shoots. But when I look at my photos now, I can see how those experiences have helped make me a better photographer.

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