In this blog series I am telling the stories of 100 of my favorite images, how I came to be there, what it was like and why I still enjoy the image. For image 11 of the series we are exploring Newcastle Ocean Baths, NSW.
21 June 2008. Newcastle Ocean Baths, NSW. Australia.
It's hard to remember the particular reason why I headed down to the baths on this day but I really wanted to get an image where I had the smooth water against the detail of the wooden boardwalk. Winter mornings in Newcastle can be quite cold, especially with the wind chill off the water but I still had to contend with a lone swimmer to my right side cutting laps back and forth. I thought that he might ruin my image but I was able to time my exposure for when he was taking breaks behind me. What prevented me from getting the image that I pre-visualised was the wind, the wall in the background was shielding some of the baths from the wind but allowing the wind to create a light chop on the right side of the boardwalk. Being slightly disappointed I made an exposure then left for another area.
Over time this image has meant more and more to me. It has taken years of study to understand what it is that I like about it, the way that the boardwalk divides smooth with rough water. The way that the whitewash on the edge of the baths intersects the image horizontally and how the tiny amount of white paint on the boardwalk intersects the image vertically. Lastly, the colour gradient in the sky divides the sky into two, light over the starting blocks and dark over the right.
Where 'rule of thirds' is the norm, this image is about quarters - but it works.
Creating fine prints is my favorite part of photography, sharing the ultimate expression of an image with someone who will cherish it for years to come brings me great satisfaction. If you would like to purchase a print please contact me, prints from this series start at just $100.