Swells Up at Wave Rock!


Hi Everyone,

I recently went out to Wave Rock at Hyden which is about 3.5hrs East of Perth in heart of wheat country.    I went out there as  I didn’t want to spend another weekend in Perth shooting, the past couple of weekends travelling down obscure country lanes have been really enjoyable so I thought I’d extend my reach yet again.  

I always knew that Wave Rock was going to be a tough gig.    There aren’t that many great photos of Wave Rock and when you get there you realise why, its short extremely curved and high with a stack of trees in the middle so that you can’t capture it in its entirety.   Any way I started checking out compositions and figuring out how I was going to shoot it.  

The sun started to set and once the sun had actually set, the orange light on the rock really fired it up.    There was unfortunately a really strong wind which as we all know doesn’t help in long exposures.

So what did I learn from the trip?   Have a really wide angle lens, this is a must.    The best shots are from the right (if you are facing the rock) almost at the end of it , lean right against the rock and go for it, this makes the rock seem more imposing and allows you to capture more of the rock.

Due to the direction of the rock and its curvature it is nearly always in shadow at some point in time so don’t get hung up on the shadow, some part of your photo is always goning to be dark use it creatively.  

Would I go back?   Probably, but my widest lens is 24mm, next time I’d take a wider lens, I’d even like to try a fisheye out there that would be pretty cool!

Thanks for stopping by and commenting,

Jamie Paterson

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  1. dylanfox March 15, 2009 at 6:16 pm #

    Pretty nice capture mate. I have always heard that this thing is a bitch to shoot. But what I didnt know is that it was so close to Perth!

  2. jamiepatersonphotography March 15, 2009 at 6:22 pm #

    Hi Dylan,

    Yeah its not a very long drive at all. If you go out there sometiime let me know as I’ll probably have another crack at the place.

    There is a campsite right at the base of the rock no more than 20M away.

    Jamie Paterson

  3. Kingsley March 15, 2009 at 6:25 pm #

    very nice capture Jamie! very nice!

  4. Flemming Bo Jensen March 15, 2009 at 6:27 pm #

    It’s very hard to get any sort of good angle on that rock, I agree! Hope you don’t mind a bit of feedback:

    I reckon with this shot you might crop the top to create a tighter crop with more visual tension. Perhaps crop the bottom a bit too. I would crop just above that tree on the left. Really make that curve stand out and appear to break out of the frame. Sometimes when you keep everything in frame you loose tension.

    Also your bw conversion is a bit too dark and lacks contrast. You have to blend in some more red channel to really make the rock pop!

    I got one boring shot of Wave Rock, just passing by in 1999, just a standard stock shot of it: http://www.pbase.com/flemmingbo/image/61982449

  5. jamiepatersonphotography March 15, 2009 at 7:22 pm #

    Hi Flemming,

    I’ve given it a go. Its definitely an improvement.


    Jamie Paterson

  6. Beau March 15, 2009 at 7:58 pm #

    I do like the crop more than the original, Jamie. It’s a cool shot of a difficult subject. Well done, mate.

  7. ecomuseimages March 16, 2009 at 7:36 am #

    Hey mate…did you get out and around the rock? Places like Hippos Yawn and the salk lake make for AMAZING photographs. I agree, the rock itself is a very hard (pardon the pun) subject.

  8. James March 16, 2009 at 9:47 am #

    Cliche shots are always difficult, if all you do is shoot them, then thats not that bad.

    What about pulling the blue out of the sky, but leaving the rest colour or evey punching up the colours in the rock? For me, the colour looks better than the B&W.

  9. jamiepatersonphotography March 16, 2009 at 6:51 pm #

    Hi James,

    I’ve always been a fan of colour rather than B&W. This is going to be one of those photos that I have to sit on for awhile and think about it.

    Thanks for the feedback,

    Jamie Paterson

  10. Flemming Bo Jensen March 17, 2009 at 12:50 am #

    Hey the new colour version isn’t bad! Orange rock and blue sky go so well together. I also sent you a quick version of your cropped black and white one.

  11. mattlauder March 23, 2009 at 6:33 pm #

    Great shot Jamie… from what I have seen of Wave rock it isn’t the easiest location to shoot. The B&W conversion has worked a treat.

  12. jamiepatersonphotography March 24, 2009 at 1:13 pm #

    Hi Matt,

    I really appreciate you taking the time to stop by and comment. Flemming and James Knight-Smith both sent me copies of ‘improvement’s they have made and I must say that with their improvements, which I haven’t posted it would be a sellable photo. You are right, its difficult to shoot.

    Your website is looking great and it looks like you’re going great leaps and bounds. 🙂

    Jamie Paterson

  13. greatend April 3, 2009 at 1:11 am #

    The mood of this image resize is dead-on touching. Kudos.

  14. katie April 12, 2009 at 9:29 pm #

    wow, I’m actually really afraid of tidal waves and when I first saw this image I thought it was a tsunami 😉 haha, that probably sounds really pathetic. Very interesting subject, if I ever go to WA I will make sure to check it out.

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