Archive for the ‘Australia’ Category

“Ghosties Sea Cave”- Ghosties Beach, NSW, Australia – Steve Passlow – Guest Photographer   53 comments


“Ghosties Sea Cave”- Ghosties Beach, NSW, Australia – Steve Passlow – Guest Photographer 

This is one of the best natural frames I have seen in a while.  Steve really creates a 3D element that gives the illusion you are actually on the beach.  Probably a wise decision to be in the cave with the rainstorm coming!  Steve also has a ton of amazing photographs in his portfolio at  If you would like to see the original image or the entire Ghosties Cave portfolio  then go to  or  (image) .

Take it away Steve:

“I am a regular visitor to the area and to Ghosties Beach in particular.  Over the last few years, I have been building a collection of images from the area as my passion for photography has grown.  One of my favorite subjects is this cave that I call Ghosties Cave.  There are numerous other caves in the area but I find this one offers the best opportunities for photography.  On this particular day I was photographing in the area as I noticed a huge storm cloud dropping rain several miles offshore moving its way along the coast.  I predicted that it would eventually move into a position in front of the cave so I made my way to the cave, set up the camera and waited.  This is the result. Often this cave is not accessible due to high tides or rough seas so on this occasion I was lucky that everything fell into place for a photo that now takes pride of place on my living room wall. 

One thing that amazes me about this cave is how quickly and unpredictably it can change in a short period of time. Sometimes the floor of the cave will be a flat bed of sand with maybe a few rocks poking through. A few days later the sand can be totally gone and all the rocks are fully exposed. This unpredictability and variation is what keeps me taking the hike back there regularly, never knowing quite what I’ll find or what opportunities I will get for new photos.

To show detail in the walls of the cave, the sand in the foreground, the ocean waves in the middle ground and the clouds at the back I took several exposures and blending them together using High Dynamic Range (HDR) post-processing techniques.  The shortest exposure was 1/320s @f/14, ISO100 which allowed me to capture the clouds with no blown highlights.  The longest exposure, 1/20s @f14, ISO 100, allowed me to show detail in the ceiling and walls of the cave. Midpoint exposures showed detail in the sand and water with no blown highlights or clipped blacks.  The multiple exposures were taken using on-camera auto-bracketing and a tripod was used to avoid camera movement between exposures. Post processing software used included Adobe Lightroom 3 for color and curves adjustment + noise reduction, Photomatix (for HDR processing) and Adobe Photoshop for final presentation.

Twelve Apostles – Great Ocean Road, Australia   40 comments



Twelve Apostles – Great Ocean Road, Australia

Running for over 150 miles along Southeastern Australia is one of the most scenic roads in the world.  Don’t worry fellow Americans!  I know Highway 1 through Big Sur is beautiful as well, but with a name like “Great Ocean Road” how can you argue?  Besides I said “one” of the most scenic.  You see it hugs the coast most of the way while traversing through small towns and secluded beaches.  As a surfer, it is the ultimate surf check road.  The ocean storms here blow up straight from Antarctica without anything blocking their path therefore creating some of the largest waves in the world.  This raw power is evident when viewing the many rock formations carved out of the limestone cliffs along the way.  This amazing formation is known as the “Twelve Apostles” and located about 4 hours into the drive.  Not quite sure why they still call them the twelve apostles because there are only eight left.  The one in the foreground fell about a month before we arrived.  So get there soon or else you will drive four hours to get to the spot formerly known as “The Twelve Apostles”!

Gray Kangaroo Bouncing Blur – Southern Australia   19 comments


Gray Kangaroo Bouncing Blur – Southern Australia

Normally when you see a photo with motion blur either the background or subject are tack sharp and the rest is blurred.  In this photo I was trying to pan with the kangaroo from the truck window.  However, I panned too fast and everything ended up blurry.  I thought it was a throw away shot, but on a second glass of wine and a second glance I really liked the pastels and artsy feel to the image.  Who knows, I may regret posting this one.  It is too late now.  So if you think I am crazy and don’t like the photo then I will take a Mulligan and come back strong tomorrow.  Either way let me know what you think…    

Short Beaked Echidna – Kangaroo Island, Australia   13 comments

Short Beaked Echidna – Kangaroo Island, Australia

We all know platypuses are mammals that lay eggs.  Well, this is his less well known cousin the echidna.  These are the only two types of mammals that actually lay eggs and they can both be found in Australia.  Sorry, but don’t hold your breath for any platypus photos.  I looked everywhere for those little buggers and never found one.  Oh well, next trip.  The cool thing that I like about this photo is if you look closely you can see the little termites exposed from the ripped open mound.  Some locals call them spiny anteaters because they eat ants and termites.  If I was a termite I would call them “Godzilla” because of the ferocious way they tear open an ant city.  They are like little bulldozers with giant claws and full of determination.  The spines on their back are very sharp and should be handled with leather gloves. I found this out the hard way when I moved one out of the middle of the road that had curled up into a ball.

Crimson Rosella – Wilson’s Promontory, OZ   5 comments

Crimson Rosella – Wilson’s Promontory, OZ

My wife and I were in a hotel room packing up to return home from a three week trip in Australia when she looked at the airline tickets and realized we didn’t leave for another three days.  Although I am sure this sounds very strange, I assure you this is very normal in my household because plans are never set in stone and we (meaning my wife) are always on the go. Well with our “extra” three days of vacation we decided to go to Wilson’s Promontory which is the southernmost point of mainland Australia.  This place was surreal and reminded me a lot of Kangaroo Island with different animals.  We saw tons of kangaroos, emus, wombats, and colorful birds.  The Crimson Rosellas were like pigeons and would actually land on your head or arm if you were holding food.  It made you feel like a real life Dr. Doolittle.  This particular bird flew off my son’s stroller and into a tree where it posed nicely for a photograph.  After it was spooked by the flash it returned to a much safer place, my hat on top of my head.  Stay tuned for several other wildlife photos from this wonderful part of Australia.

Out of the Darkness – Brushtailed Possum on Kangaroo Island, Australia   5 comments

Out of the Darkness – Common Brushtailed Possum Kangaroo Island Australia

One night while hanging out in our hotel room on Kangaroo Island we heard some noise on our deck.  When I went outside I found this little guy cruising through the darkness.  In case you missed the title it is a Common Brushtailed Possum. I don’t understand why they call animals common, because if one was walking down my street in San Diego it would be anything but common.  Anyways, I followed him around and he kind of ignored me until he noticed I had some food.  Then I was his best friend.  He followed me everywhere and even tried to climb on my lap!  Now remember I only said I had food, I didn’t give him any until the very end when I handed him a piece of fruit and he grabbed it and ran up a tree.  This photo was taken with a Canon 550EX flash.  He didn’t even blink.  Afterwards I walked around the grounds in the dark and found several other really cool mammals that didn’t mind their picture taken.  Wow! That was such an amazing place.

Southern Koala – Kangaroo Island, Australia   3 comments

Zoo Photography

I went to the zoo last weekend with my family in San Diego.  We go at least once a month with my two boys and we all love it.  Here in San Diego the zoo and safari park are great places for photographing wild animals as well as the ones in cages.  Migrating waterfowl, hummingbirds, and many small mammals take advantage of the habitats created for the exotic species in the zoo’s collection.  In many cases these animals feel secure enough to be approached within a few feet for great portraits. So next time you are at your local zoo, focus your lens on some of the local wildlife as well.

Southern Koala–Kangaroo Island, Australia

One of the most amazing places I have ever been is Kangaroo Island off the coast of Southern Australia.  You know how when you think of Australia you picture kangaroos hopping around town and koalas in every tree.  At least that is how I pictured it.  Well this vision describes Kangaroo Island perfectly.  Wallabies, kangaroos, and koalas are everywhere.  In fact on a half mile hike with my wife and oldest son we counted 36 koalas.  Try that in downtown Sydney!  Koalas were introduced to the island in the 1930’s in case the mainland population went extinct. They did so well that had to move almost 1,000 back to the mainland and sterilize a bunch more. This little guy was in a tree about ten feet off the ground.  Since I am less than 6 foot tall I had to climb a neighboring tree to get to eye level and take the shot.  I was able to photograph several other Australian species on Kangaroo Island (including kangaroos) and will be posting them soon.

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