Last week I got up close & personal with lots of Seagulls. Not quite 101, but there were lots of them.
I love watching seagulls.
I make no excuse for buying several lots of hot fish n chips down next to the pier to warm up in the brisk winter wind and then, when the excess got cold, threw them to the many gulls on the sand to bring them closer to my camera lens.
There’s something about the smell of the sea air and the screech of gulls that makes for a holiday atmosphere (despite the virus restrictions).
On the first short walk of the week, the sun continued to tease me. One minute coming out and warming the temperature up to quite a comfortable level and then, next minute, going behind the clouds and the temperature dropping suddenly to a distinct chill.
The sun had gone behind the clouds so I decided to head for home – only 5 minutes walk away.
Gosh, it must be truly lovely to live near the beach in the summer when there is no waiting for the sun to shine and the screech of gulls is joined by the shrieks and laughter of children and their families.
I wonder what the summer of 2020/2021 will bring this year (in times of so much uncertainty DownUnder)?
It’s been raining on/off for a few days and today has dawned into the perfect photography day. (I might add the herbs and tomato plants in my Balcony Garden have got some new healthy leaves too).
Blue sky with a smattering of soft cloud cover and soft light. There’s barely a whisper of a breeze and I’m thinking I wish I still lived near the beach. If you’re Australian or have visited Australia for a holiday, you’ll know what I mean by the perfect day. Our sunlight in summer is harsh. Nothing like the soft light in central Europe or the U.K. in summer.
(I’ve never been to the U.S. or Canada so I can’t comment about their sunlight and I can’t remember what the light was like when I travelled for a short holiday in central Asia).
Reminds me of the perfect day down at St Kilda Beach & boat marina back on the 23rd August, 2015. This was a day I made lots of photos as the Winter light was so soft and I knew I’d get some ‘keepers’ (i.e. photos you keep and don’t delete).
Regular followers will remember I’ve shared some of these images before, but this is (nearly) the whole series I took that day, so there may be some images you’ve never seen.
You can see I experimented with taking shots with minimal sky (emphasizing the foreground) and then the same scene with maximal sky (emphasizing the clouds and sky colour). Since I can rarely see in the LCD screen on the back of the camera, I usually have to wait until I get home and download the day’s shooting on the large 27″ screen to see what looks good and what doesn’t.
I never ever knew where to put the horizon in the images until I read a photography book that said you can put it anywhere in the frame you like, depending on whether you want to highlight the foreground, background or sky. The Winter light in Melbourne is nearly always soft due to the cloud cover.
The iconic kiosk at the end of St Kilda Pier
It may be winter, but it was a lovely day for a beach walk.
The new boat slip from the St Kilda yacht club.
St Kilda Boat Marina
Lots of sparkles on the sea surface.
Looking towards the suburb of St Kilda from halFway down the pier
Oh no, the kiosk is closed so I won’t get my usual hot fish and chips.
Past the kiosk at the end of the pier is a rocky outcrop which protects some of the boat marina.
Looking straight down to the shells and seaweed around a pier pylon.
The top of the old Kiosk
A lone Silver Gull looks over the scene
The boat marina
…..an extension of the boat marina.
A couple of figures joins the scene to make for a better composition.
Images cropped as there was too much sky and sea
Looking down again and despite the lack of a polarising lens to cut through the water reflections, I got a fairly good view of the seaweed
Looking back down the pier towards the shore
Melbourne City in the background
Despite the winter season, plenty of visitors enjoying the Winter sunshine
St Kilda Yacht Club
Another scene incorporating all the cafes and restaurants (where I eventually bought some hot Fish & Chips).
A slightly better view of the scene gained by zooming in a wee bit closer.
It was probably the last day I visited this bayside beach which lies so close to Melbourne city. I could still get there via about 3 connecting buses/trams and a walk, but it would take ages and too expensive to just catch a taxi there and back.
I wish there were apartments I could afford back on that south-eastern side of Melbourne because while I can’t get out and about much for a nature walk these days, I could still visit these old photography haunts (Royal Botanic Gardens, St Kilda Beach, Brighton Beach, Melbourne Zoo, Port Melbourne Beach) easily if I had a car and could still drive.
So far, February, which is usually our hottest Summer month, has been relatively mild and the weather has included intermittent rain showers (and even heavy rainfalls) to help the firefighters still fighting the numerous large bushfires still burning (which will probably take months to burn themselves out).
Looking at next week’s weather forecast there is some rain still to come.
Looks like all the prayers for Australia from around the world are working. Sad about the floods on the north-eastern coast where many places have had more rain in one day than in the usual whole summer month though.
But farmers are filled with joy after a 3-year drought in which there was no stock food even in the middle of Winter. The creeks (small rivers) and rivers had dried up, so I’m hoping they’re back running again.
Around this time of Winter 6 years ago, I was down at the bayside beach suburb of St Kilda, (to the south of Melbourne city), and this day was the first, and only, afternoon in which I’ve ever seen the sea completely calm at low tide. The light was dull, but looking straight into the sun gave the illusion that it was dusk and the sun was setting. Occasionally the sky seemed slightly more mauve than golden.
The images below were made between 2.40pm and 4.20pm – both looking towards the sun……. and away from the sun.
(note: at this time of Winter in Melbourne, the sun goes down fairly early anyway, but 2.40pm………………such a strange and eerie afternoon).