Coastal flora Torndirrup Albany Western Australia

I think of light in terms of of painterly, mysterious, dramatic, soft or hard quality. Rapidly changing light makes for challenging conditions.

Coastal heath Andersonia sprengelioides

Coastal flora Torndirrup National Albany Western Australia. Albany south coast is one of my favourite locations. When the summer weather sets in, Perth can get hot.  The region offers a refreshing cool change with dramatic coastal scenery. Even in summer, small low pressure systems brush the coast near Albany. The change in weather not only means cooler temperatures but also changes in the quality of light.

Light Quality

I often think of light qualities in terms such as painterly, mysterious, dramatic, soft or hard. Approaching weather changes can provide a mixture of rapidly changing light qualities. That’s what makes photographing during periods of change interesting and challenging.

Cliff Tops

I was walking along the granite cliff tops near Albany when I made this image. It was late in the day and the sun was about to set.  The light was angled low casting deep shadows between boulders. In contrast to the deep shadows, bare granite rocks glistened almost white. Albany south coast is a high contrast scene that taxes your ability to record it on colour transparency. An interesting light is nearly always photographically problematic.

Colourful Coastal Heath

As I looked towards the direction of the setting sun I saw the various hues of green, brown, crimson and delicate white tips carpeting the foreground. Thanks to The Wildflower Society WA members who helped identify the ground cover is Andersonia sprengelioides rather than Andersonia caerulea as I had originally thought.

Coastal flora Torndirrup, Wista 4×5 field camera, velvia 50 ISO, 90mm Grandagon lens, no colour filter.

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Since 1989, Alex Bond has published cards, calendars, books, and posters under his imprint Stormlight Publishing. His images showcase the West Australian environment. Bond's handcrafted, silver-gelatin, fibre-based prints are personally made by the author in his darkroom.

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    • Thanks for your comments Peter. You raise an interesting point about colour being natural. It tends to be a contentious issue these days among photographers. Digital manipulation offers so much more control and is so much easier to achieve than in pre-digital days. Overall I think digital technology has improved colour photography and image reproductions generally. But the popular trend in digital post processing towards beautification is in my mind missing the point about colour. Film, with its inherent characteristics and practical limitations gave us greater appreciation for subtlety. Those who have never worked with film miss out on appreciating its nuances. The fleeting beauty of an object revealed under certain light and conditions is for me at the heart of what photography is about.