Life is full of wonderful fleeting moments that make it all worth while. If you go to any landscape and sit there and listen what do you hear? What song is the ocean playing? Is it different from the land or sky? How does it change throughout the day and throughout the seasons? These are questions people and societies were asking long before we turned in on ourselves and lost who we are.
We’ve stopped connecting to everything else, we’ve stopped being part of our living planet and we just speak to ourselves and we think it’s modern progress but it’s not - It’s a great breakage. The way to restart the conversation is by shutting up for a minute and take in the natural world. The world we are part of, a world humanity can’t survive without. Stop, look and listen - Reconnect and be amazed...
Map of Avalon Beach. The photo journey runs from north to south and when you have the time it's worth the walk to reconnect with nature. Best time is when a high pressure system sits over Sydney. Go in the morning on a low tide with a small swell and be amazed.
Located below the tide line, at the foot of Indian Head North Avalon, these enormous boulders have remained unmoved by the most massive ocean swells. But size is no reprieve. The journey started 350 million years ago as sand in a river and, these boulders are destined to return to sand.
Located at the outer point of North Avalon headland and frozen in time on a blistering west wind this wave has never been surfed. Risk factor 9 - Blow the under the lip take off and you're crab meat.
Third day of an intense low pressure system hammering Sydney and this awesome photograph pretty much tells the story. North Avalon is one of the few places, on the Northern Beaches, that handles any size swell and remains accessible, if your prepared to run the gauntlet...
Another amazing side to Avalon. Off Rocks is the only "classic" point break (left hander) on the coast. It can be scratchy but, the recent huge storms seem to have knocked a few tidal boulder into place and, it's been pumping ever since...... On an in-coming tide with east to north east swell it's goofy footer heaven
I waited to catch the last flicker of light, from the setting sun, and a minute latter it was gone. I love this shot for the perfect balance and the textural contrast between the fragile mirror like pool and the heavy tidal boulders. South Avalon headland and the clear open sky make for a perfect backdrop
When the winter high preasure systems float over Sydney the air clears, the ocean calms, the wind fades away and it’s well worth the walk to the beach. This is North Avalon at it’s absolute beautiful best and long boarder heaven.
Nth Avalon - In's and Out's. High tide with the beach steep and cut away. If you're after some heavy duty fun then the backwash at North Avalons' the place to get smashed. When 3' becomes 10'
The foam along the edge of the sand looks like beer foam. So, an ocean of beer and cocktails then wake up on the beach and throw yourself in the ocean to calm the head.
One way to attract attention - Running along the beach - Start a trend.
Crystal clear water and cool westerly winds are on order when mid winter high pressure systems roll out over Sydney, to create the perfect Indian Spring Summer's day.
For two days and two nights the waves flooded over the northern sandbanks. The entire ocean seemed to be slipping sideways, pushing thousands of tons of sand along the beach. The rush of water past Avalon pool was like rapids in a fast moving river and surged out to sea, far beyond Little Avalon in the south.
In this extraordinary photograph we see the beautiful fleeting moment of dawn and simultaneously, at a more elevated level, we are prompted to ponder what the day may bring. Mans intrusion into the image adds a sense of strength and formality, fenced off from natures random pallet.
This storm blacked the mining town of Broken Hill on Tuesday before sweeping east, and was caused by a major cold front whipping up dust from the drought-stricken hinterland. Gale force winds - measuring in excess of 90kmph by noon on Wednesday carried an estimated 5 million tonnes of dust and stretched for thousands of miles across the eastern states of Australia and is unprecedented.
A landscape photographers most powerful tool is the fall of light. Before I take a photograph, I do a light study, over an extended period, and choose the best time to achieve a balance between light and dark - "The Notan". Good Notan is the first step towards a great photograph
Forget taking the dog for a walk as long Winter shadows point you in the right direction. Jump on the pushie, burn to the beach, throw off the rubberies and run for it. It's there, it's big, it's perfect and it's all yours baby.
Avalon pool is the lowest tidal rock pool on the Northern Beaches and at high tide, on a big swell, it's as good as being in the ocean. The end of the pool is also the launch pad into the surf and NASA cadets know the score.... Choose the right moment or you're going to get hammered.
Avalon Pool on the King Tide – 5th December 2017 10:10am. Another shoot and run situation – What we see is high tide today. In another generation, or two, this is what low tide will look like. We need governments prepared to take action on global warming.
When the tide and swell are just right you can sit at the end of Avalon pool, take in the warmth of the mid winter sun, and enjoy a very special symphony. After 3 weeks of bad weather and huge pounding seas, it's nice to have some calm...
With twin low pleasure systems off the east coast generating two giant swells from slightly different directions, this is the result. Massive and unpredictable. If you want this dirt wave look what's following - There's a price to pay!
I was first introduced to Bastille Day and the La Marseillaise at La Perouse Public School in 1960. I still remember the first few lines: Allons enfants de la Patrie, Le jour de gloire est arrivé. "Let us go children of the fatherland, Our day of Glory has arrived". Anyway, 225 years later Bastille Day remains significant... Killer left handers at Avalon in another time and place.
Located just 10 meters south of Avalon tidal rock pool, it's another world.... I sat there for a long time with my feet in the water. Shooting directly into the sun is a real challenge but well worth the effort. Back lighting adds to the depth, dimension, movement and beautiful mood to this lively seascape.
On a brisk westerly wind the scattered clouds raced passed Indian Head and out over the eastern horizon. The ocean held firm, clinging in a scalloping effect to Avalon beach and adds to the minimalist effect of this beautifully moody image.
Sweeping west winds and energy charged air created this heavy cloud formation with multiple isolated dumps of rain and swirling patters on the ocean.
Framed by Avalon headland to the north, this is one of the most powerful formations I have seen in my 30 years at Avalon. The heavy black clouds above add to the intense feeling of foreboding and drama. For an idea of size, the white specs in the far distance are a yacht and oil tanker.
On a cool clear night the mist rises off the warmed Hawkesbury river then, drifts to the coast on a light westerly wind. Picked up by the morning north east wind it meanders down to engulf Avalon. A rare and wonderful event
I couldn't help myself - The light was crystal clear perfect, the clouds were isolated monsters, the composition was inspiring and it made me feel tiny.
I live on South Avalon headland so I get to see every sunset. Sometimes the fall of light and the cloud structures just come together and you wish it would last but it doesn't. Look away and look back and it's gone.
At the height of the June storms, and on a blistering south west wind, Little Avalon went insane. Over the roar of the wind, you couldn't hear the waves knifing across the inside reef but, you could feel them and, the rarely seen outer reef was giant. Moving mountains of water running at about 5.5 on the Richter scale with that distant icy spray tearing into my memory like shards of glass. As dusk turned to dark, It wasn't just the chill wind making me shiver.....
While ravens scan the cliff tops, the guy in the tube is having his own rave.... On a really tight south swell, Little Avalon goes off. This is a grindy right hander with the swell dredging up out of deep water and launching over a shallow rock ledge. Deadly at 4 feet and monumental at 8 to 10.
If you pull up in the car park and see this what do you do?
The only way in was to take off under the lip and risk being slabbed to death on the shallow rock ledge - Wave after wave, this guy owned it.
I took some preliminary shots and sketched the layout. Next was the patient wait for the right combination of low tide, light west wind, good swell and, a beautiful sky with perfect sun location. As I settled in for the shot, the surfers walked into scene. Avalon at it's best.....
Another patient wait for the right moment on the right day. Taken just after sunrise on the Spring Equinox and speakes volumes if you quieten your mind enough to look and listen.
The Rune appears when the rising Spring sun cuts across the southern face of Indian Head. Avalon Rune symbolises fertility, fertile ideas and creativity (A triangle within a circle). Also within the rune are distinct symbols depictions the rising and setting moon or moon cycle. At the apex of the prominent vertical triangle is a lesser moon symbol representing the middle of the moon cycle or the most fertile time. Head south past Avalon pool and have a look. Go at sunrise on low tide in Spring.
One of the hottest Spring days on record. The heat haze set in early and the heady smell of salt cloaked your entire sweaty body before you fell under water and the noise sudenly stopped.
Located just south of the Little Avalon surf break, this 20' rush of ocean jumped up out of deep water, exploded onto the rocks and came at me like a Freight Train. To take a photograph like this you need to put yourself in the impact zone..... Know the ocean, study the situation, check your escape rout and be prepared to get bowled over, skinned alive on the rocks, saturated, concussed and drowned
The Gate Keeper - Stop! Beyond Little Avalon and beyond this point it's a lost world. Walk the vast open rock ledge at low tide and you can feel the ancient monsters that roamed the area in search of prey and hear the echo of your heartbeat in the amphitheatre of vertical cliffs. South past Avalon pool at low tide - Follow the fisherman's trail behind the boulders. It's worth a look.
With a backdrop of vertical cliffs and open to the ocean this jump rock and swimming hole is blue water intimidating but a great place to freshen up before heading back.