When I first visited Nugget Point Lighthouse, I did so with my 7-year-old daughter with zero chance of setting up my tripod. I saw it, merely as a recce for future photography missions, and as we were moving to the area, there would be many more chances to set up my tripod. The first thing I noticed (apart from the obvious natural beauty of the area) were the tourists.....everywhere...taking selfies, taking photographs. I also noticed that (as with a lot of famous tourist spots), they were all taking the same photos from the same positions. I have made it, my objective not to take the same photograph twice, unless I can improve on what I have done before. This lighthouse, along with Nugget Point is far too picturesque to waste two exposures from the same viewpoint...there are endless possibilities!
Having said that, I encourage each and every one of you to get "that shot"! You know what I mean, the shot that everyone gets, whether it's Nugget Point or whether it's the Grand Canyon or the sand dunes of Namibia. Get the shot! Once you've got "the shot", then you can move around, get some different compositions and even have some fun with long exposures.
I started with the image above⬆️, which is usually the one that most people leave Nugget Point with...I guess you could call it "the shot". After visiting the lighthouse with my daughter, I returned during the Winter months...and guess what? No tourists! I do love Winter. The viewpoint juts out and gives a classic view of the lighthouse overlooking the nuggets. Using a 60-second exposure, I was able to smooth the water and create some awesome drama in the sky. This was just the beginning, however.
I've visited the lighthouse numerous times since, sometimes with, sometimes without my camera. Some people may think that it's a little strange to leave my camera at home, but occasionally it's good not to have the distraction or pressure of taking images and to simply enjoy what is around you. I think, as a photographer, you're so focused on getting an image or you've seen something on the internet that you want to replicate, that you forget the basics and end up with an image that isn't as good as it should be.
Now, this image⬆️. I want to show you that there is more to Nugget Point that just the lighthouse. Yes, the main focus of most visitors is the lighthouse, but there are images to be had, without the lighthouse.
The coastline around Nugget Point is amazing and my only regret is that it's not easily accessible, especially around the lighthouse. I am told that there used to be a track down to the rocks, but I can't believe that that could ever be safe and it's always important to be safe. No photograph is ever worth getting killed for!
So, this was shot looking over the back of the lighthouse, over the Nuggets and out into the South Pacific. It is (again) a 60-second exposure...do you see a reoccurring theme here?! I love shooting long exposures, it adds so much drama to my black and whites and takes the images up another notch.
I generally don't take lots and lots of photos every time I go out. I am a great thinker, some say I overthink things, and I'd much rather go home with 2 or 3 images that I consider really good, rather than 20 or 30 substandard ones. The 5 images that I've included in this blog, were taken in 4 separate outings to the lighthouse area. Rather than running around like a mad thing, I've taken my time and made sure that everything is right with my exposures. Not only does that help my stress levels, it allows me to spend less time messing around in Photoshop afterwards.
This image ⬆️ is a prime example of that because I knew the composition I wanted, I knew the weather conditions I wanted and everything fell into place perfectly. I visited the lighthouse on this occasion purely to take this image....and I love it. I love it so much, I've had it printed and framed and it is hanging in my office at home!
Like I've said before, most people visit Nugget Point to visit the lighthouse, but to 'see' the lighthouse, you don't have to be anywhere near Nugget Point. To finish off, I want to show 2 examples of this...one using a wide angle lens ⬆️ and one a telephoto lens ⬇️. Both images have a focal point (the lighthouse)...the first uses the shoreline to lead you in, the second uses the shapes of 'The Nuggets' to lead you in.
These images were taken along the road leading to Nugget Point. I parked the car and walked only a couple of hundred metres. There were no tourists. I did see plenty of people driving past, on their way to the lighthouse to get "the shot", but maybe the best images are to be found elsewhere...you've just got to look for them!