Yesterday, for the first time since I moved to this western suburb of Maribyrnong 6 months ago, I FINALLY got around to walking down to the river at dusk.
The light was just gorgeous.
The cool breeze was just so refreshing.
Really the best time of day at the moment.
Of course, as I walked past the Nature Reserve fence I couldn’t help but look over to the (now) inaccessible lake. I was rather taken aback to see quite a lot of bird life on the water and then, very disappointed that I’d left the long 150-500mm telephoto lens at home. Isn’t that always the way 🙂
I tried to zoom in with the Sony a6000 and 55-210mm lens…. Not good enough.
I could see a Little Pied Cormorant on a rock in the middle of the lake, with a Chestnut Teal (and mate?) to the left, a couple of Pacific Black ducks and that unusual dabbling duck on the right (tan colour with whitish head in the image below).
Might sound weird that it’s taken me all this time to do the 5 minute walk to the river at this time of late afternoon, but dusk is usually when I’m preparing dinner, watering my potted plants and trimming herbs on my balcony while it’s cool, or catching up with my favourite TV show.
I’ve meant to see what the sunset would look like from the river path for some time.
Last night we didn’t quite get a lovely sunset, but I thoroughly enjoyed the fresh breeze standing next to the artificial watercourse at Frogs Hollow watching the sun go down. It had been a hot day and very muggy and humid indoors (despite my air-conditioning).
I had my Canon DSLR and new(ish) 17-50mm landscape lens as well as a tripod (which I didn’t really need as it turned out). I had a steel waist-high fence to rest the camera on for some shots.
Weeds always capture my attention on the gravel pathway leading to the river
The lowering sunlight just caught the tops of the trees in the nature reserve.
It was heavenly standing next to the river catching the lovely cool breeze.
The dried leafless trees formed a silhouette against the bright clear skies.
I looked back to my apartment block from the river path, but it was still too early
The artificial watercourse in Frogs Hollow was falling into deep shadows at the edges.
But the water surface was a sea of silver.
At the edge of the watercourse the dry grass heads caught an uninterrupted beam of golden light…..
With the dark reeds on the water in deep shadow, the sunlit grass stood out quite clearly
And the shallow hollow of ground between the watercourse and nature reserve was a playing field of golden light for some people playing with their dogs.
High up on some phone or electricity lines a Little Pied Cormorant enjoyed the warmth of the dying sun.
My side of the river was gradually falling into deep shadows with the sun shining on the opposite river bank.
Up river not much to see, but pleasant all the same.
Down river, the tall apartments and houses were touched with golden light.
….and I actually captured a nice sunburst through the tall gum trees.
Looks like smog downriver and over Melbourne city?
I was disappointed to only capture this amount of light. No blazing sunset last night
So after having a lovely chat with a couple pushing a pram and walking their dog, who ended the conversation with the advice that there were often unsavoury louts drinking and hooning around between the river and car park further along and I would be well advised to head for home as I was on my own. My expensive looking camera gear might attract unwanted attention and potential theft. I’m past the age of running risks at night on my own in poorly lit places. Without being paranoid, no sunset photos are worth a mugging.
So that’s what I did.
I headed home.
As I got half way along the gravel pathway home, it seemed to suddenly get a lot darker as the sun dropped behind my hill and I turned on my (new) little bright lantern hooked on my wheeled trolley. I had bought it for indoors as we’ve had several power outages in my building in recent months and it’s really hard to navigate my lounge room with just a small torch. I’d bought a mini camping lantern with a USB charger for such occasions and to light my bathroom and galley kitchen to avoid setting off the overly sensitive smoke alarms with candles, but thought it might be a good idea to take it if I planned to walk anywhere in dim light.
So, no dazzling sunset shots to share. Just a lovely bit of golden light, a few wispy clouds and silhouettes.
I’m no ‘Spring Chicken’ any more and slow-moving, so I think I’ll keep my sunset photography to better-lit locations in future.
Not that I’m a wimp – just sensible when given some good local advice.