The idea of going to Cape Schanck started with a suggestion from my girlfriend about spending the day there while we camped in Rye for the long weekend. I thought it was a great idea, and I spoke to two other Melbourne photographers, Jarrod Hyde and Alistair Wilson about possibly catching up for a shoot. They liked the idea, and we planned to shoot the sunrise, which my girlfriend wasn't too keen about as I would be leaving camp at 6am, so she ended up staying in bed.
It turned out the Al couldn't make it, so it was just Jarrod and myself. We met in the Cape Schanck carpark at about 6:30, with really, not much of a plan or idea as to what the Schanck had in store for us.
We started along the 750m walking track down to the pebble beach, when all of a sudden we got hit by the extreme wind that the Schanck is renowned for. Holding onto the rails, we made our way down, careful about where we stepped, and glad we had heavy backpacks full of gear to keep us from being blown away!
We finally reached the bottom, and our first comments to each other were 'This is crazy!'.
The waves were breaking right in front of us, instantly getting sprayed by sea spray. Suddenly this didn't seem like such a fun and relaxed morning of shooting..
We got stuck into it straight away and this is the view we had as soon as we got down to the water.
Canon 6D , 24-105mm: 24mm - 1/6 @ f/8 ISO 500
Safe to say I was pretty excited by now. I stood there for a couple of minutes, watching the raw power of the ocean and the crashing of the waves hitting against rock.
There are many parts to Cape Schanck, but I only explored 2 parts of it, saving the other parts for another trip.
Most people when they think of the Schanck, or see photos, it almost always involves Pulpit Rock.
Pulpit Rock is a stand alone formation that sits on the tip of Cape Schanck, right where the oceans of Bass Straight and Western Port meet.
I had to take one of these iconic photographs, basically to say, 'Yeah, I've shot there, here's the proof!' sort of thing. I dunno,
Canon 6D , 24-105mm: 24mm - 1 Sec @ f/20 ISO 50
I didn't come here to take those shots though, the purpose of this visit was to really try some techniques I hadn't yet had the chance to use, and to shoot this location in a way that maybe nobody else, by trying to find different angles and viewpoints, and really getting amongst it by getting my feet wet (and eventually my gear) and getting those shots that most people might have stood back and said 'Nah, that's too hard'.
Canon 6D , 24-105mm: 24mm - 1/4 @ f/22 ISO 50
I took this shot, which almost got me in a fair bit of trouble by using that same mentality. I was edging further and further out on the rocks, when I had finally found a composition I was happy with. I took a few quick shots in succession, and then crouched over my camera looking down, quickly attempted to clean and dry my lens from the sea spray. Suddenly there's a massive crash, water crashes into my back, instantly soaking my clothes and getting my gear fairly wet.
After that, I decided it was time to get out of there and retreat to some dry and stable land and attempt to dry off.
Here are a couple more shots from this particular viewpoint:
Canon 6D , 24-105mm: 24mm - 45 Sec @ f/16 ISO 50
Canon 6D , 24-105mm: 28mm - 1/6 @ f/22 ISO 50
Canon 6D , 24-105mm: 24mm - 15 Sec @ f/8 ISO 50
Black and white seascapes are something I've been obsessing over lately, so for this trip, I really tried to 'see' in black and white. It's not the easiest thing to do, and often you don't know exactly how it will turn out until you get to post production. So with that in mind I set up some compositions, trying to imagine everything in black and white, and this is what I was able to come away with:
Canon 6D , 24-105mm: 24mm - 1/13 @ f/22 ISO 50
Canon 6D , 24-105mm: 24mm - 59 Sec @ f/16 ISO 50
Canon 6D , 24-105mm: 35mm - 1/5 @ f/22 ISO 50
By now the sun was fairly high in the sky and most of the oranges, yellows and reds of the sunrise had turned into a bright blue.
Jarrod and myself packed up our gear, drying and cleaning our lenses, filters and camera bodies as much as possible, and started the long walk back to the carpark. Just was we were leaving though, I found a small steep little path that somebody had made to get on top of a fairly large cliff/rock. I thought this would be great to try and get a panorama of the large ocean and cliff faces, to really show what Cape Schanck has to offer.
Cape Schanck was definitely an eye opener, very tough conditions, new techniques were attempted, but I am so stoked on how these images turned out, especially after stressing the whole long weekend about whether even 1 would turn out okay due to all the seas spray and contestant wiping of lenses and filters.
I really hope you enjoyed the story behind this trip, as much as I did experiencing it.
It was great to meet up with Jarrod Hyde, and look forward to shooting with him in the future.
Here are links to his work, make sure you check it out: