What to do in Albany Australia

The power of the ocean dominates and shapes Albany’s landscape, making it a great place to photograph. In this image, I use rear standard tilt.

What to do in Albany Australia? Well, for starters it is a great place for photography and photographers. Enjoy panoramic views from nearby granite hills towards the rugged coastline and sandy beaches. Massive swells from the Southern Ocean pound into granite domed headlands. Everywhere, the power of the ocean dominates and shapes this region’s landscape.

At times, the ocean around Albany appears almost turquoise in colour, the result of a combination of the region’s fantastic fine white beach sands and clear water.

Take your camera for a walk

The mornings are one of my favourite times for photography, especially when its overcast. This is ideal soft light that helps bring out details and saturates colours on colour reversal film.

Walking along the granite domed headlands I chanced upon this natural arrangement of eroded granite boulders. Bright splashes of yellow and orange lichen across the rocks caught my eye, contained within a background of distant headlands and turquoise ocean.

I moved around the rocks, closely observing the best viewpoint to show the lichen detail. Choosing my camera viewpoint, I unstrapped my tripod and set it up on the rocks. Removing my wooden 4×5 camera from my backpack, I set it up instinctively choosing a wide-angle lens.

Foremost in my mind was that this image was going to be a colour composition. I would be taking advantage of the soft light for textural detail and colour saturation with Velvia 4×5 sheet film. The colours and the physical shape of the foreground are to dominate the composition, drawing attention to its texture and colour.

Compose for details and distance

The camera to subject distance was very close, so I knew I would need the 90mm wide-angle to have sufficient coverage of the entire boulder.

Adjusting the bellows lens extension I focused on the far. That’s the ocean-sky horizon. Then, tilting the camera back towards me, I bring the foreground rock into focus. With my Wista field camera, this results in a slight shift of the far focus. So I refocus on the far and readjust the tilt with finer movements. I repeat this process until I’m satisfied with the plane of focus. Stopping down the lens to the working aperture further confirms the image area in focus.

Removing my focus cloth and closing the lens shutter and I am ready to make the exposure. Placing a film back behind the ground glass screen, I then checked my exposure with a one-degree spot meter.

Just before exposure, I remove the film back’s darkslide. A one-second exposure was made on the Velvia 50 ISO film. No colour filtration is used.

I published this image in my large format landscape Horizons Calendar 1999.

So if you are looking at what to do in Albany Australia, I highly recommend you at least take a camera with you!

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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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