North Point Cowaramup Bay is where I had been exploring the coast for new images over the past few days. As the sun was setting I was reflecting on how I had started the day, near this spot, before dawn. About 12 hours ago, the blue pre-dawn gloom of the night sky was giving way to the soft magenta projected skywards by the earth’s shadow. The sea had been relatively calm that morning, but the swell had been building steadily all day, something I had noticed further up the coast where I had spent the day hiking and exploring. Now I was back at Gracetown at sunset, my movements had gone full circle.
The coastline around North Point Cowaramup Bay offers elevated views over the surf breaks. North Point is a granite cliff face and rock outcrop, strewn with boulders the size of cars. As the sun set, a few people with cameras materialised at certain vantage points around the cliff tops, looking towards the sunset. But my camera was aimed squarely at the last surfer of the day, bobbing gently in the swell off North Point, waiting to catch that final wave of the day before the fading light. A set appeared, he took off, cutting clean lines across the back lit wave, riding it all the way past the point.
I included this image in my latest update and printing of my Leeuwin Naturaliste postcard series, which will be available shortly. It has come as a bit of a shock, but next year, 2013, will be the 25th year I have been producing this series of cards that have showcased the coastline between Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin and the Leeuwin Naturaliste National Park.
Cape Naturaliste at sunrise with the shadow of the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse projecting across the Cape’s heathland. Spring is a wonderful time of year to be out photographing. Of course there are the Spring wildflowers, but even more exciting is the constantly changing weather and the drama it plays out on the landscape. I had left Perth about 3am on a cold clear morning. By the time I had reached Bunbury, pockets of mist were collecting in the open fields and flowing westwards towards the warmer coast. When I reached Busselton, visibility was reduced by what was now a congealed bank of mist, the beam of oncoming car headlights barely penetrating it. The dense mist remained all the way to Dunsborough, but just 5km out of town on the way to Cape Naturaliste the mist suddenly disappeared.
I was on my way to Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse having arranged in advance with one of the guides to accompany me so that I could get some sunrise images from the lighthouse as part of an update to my Leeuwin Naturaliste postcard series, now in their 23rd year. Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse sits high above the limestone cliffs of the Cape, and is shorter than its more southerly cousin, Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, which sits on a low, granite finger that protrudes into the ocean. While Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse may not be the tallest it certainly has commanding views of the Cape, Geographe Bay and the Indian Ocean. From the lighthouse I could see the morning mist which I had driven through flowing offshore into Geographe Bay. For a brief moment the sun broke through on the horizon, flooding the Cape with intense yellow light, creating dramatic, colourful scenes both east and west. I sighted several whales offshore making their annual migration. All too soon some rain laden cloud from the south had rapidly swept over the Cape, throwing the landscape into a deep shadow, the first spatter of rain drops hitting me. My work finished, I left the Cape, the rain was passing and the clouds were giving way to vast expanses of blue sky with bright sunlight hitting the distant landscape. Mist, cloud, light rain, a colourful sunrise, and the promise of a warm sunny day, Spring offers four seasons in one day.