Welcome to my local: Hallett Cove Beach, South Australia.
Here on Adelaide’s metropolitan coastline, residents are rewarded most nights with beautiful sunsets over the sea that saturate the sky with an array of warm colours. Hallett Cove, one of the southern suburbs, is best known for one of Australia’s best known geological sites and has been placed on the Heritage Register for educational and scientific significance. Hallett Cove Beach has a bedrock that dates back 600 million years ago to the precambrian, with it’s unique cliff shape and rock deposits created from glaciers in the Permian Ice age around 270 million years ago when this entire area was an ice age. At this time Australia was part of a supercontinent called Gondwana.
Amazing history, stunning coastline!
After years of being on the road, time finally came to spend some serious effort into photographing the beach I grew up on. So over the past several months throughout winter, I’ve visit this stretch of coastline several times a week, in an attempt to capture this unique coastline with some of that magic light. This would have to be the longest I’ve ever photographed a single location, and wow – have I learn A LOT! This brings up the point – you can never stop learning. I’ve been lucky enough to travel and photograph many countries throughout the world over the years, and each and every location has definitely had it’s own challenges. But photographing a single area on assignment was new to me and brought a whole new bag of challenges with it. Because I knew this place well, I really wanted to do it justice and come away with some really nice shots. But to get those shots I had to learn patience, patience …and some more patience. Photography can be a tough gig at times; out in the middle of winter, freezing my absolute butt off and getting regularly soaked, for sunsets that often just did not happen. It can be demoralizing at times, but you push on through and when that magic happens, all that pain and effort you went through to bring you to this moment becomes worth it.
Photographing Hallett Cove Beach
It’s up there amongst my favourite seascape photography spots I’ve visited. Unique rock formations with the addition of the sun setting over the sea in both summer and winter. No matter what time of the year it is, this place is great to get snap happy! However, it’s also known for its strong currents and swells. Being a rocky beach with high cliff faces, the last thing you want to do is get stranded here at the wrong time (which has happened quite a few times to people over the years). If it’s a calm summer day, you’ll be right. However, if you’re going out for dramatic stormy conditions – research the weather, tides and swell first! The floor is full of jagged edged bedrock, and scattered boulders, both above and below the water – so you’ll definitely need something on your feet and watch your step. You can shoot at any focal length here, so bring your whole kit. Though with seascapes, my favourite is always towards the wide :-) Before setting up here, it’s important to watch the waves first, as they come in hard and fast. The last thing you want is to have you or your camera gear getting dragged over a bunch of rocks from some freak wave. There’s quite a few interesting places to shoot along this stretch, both north and south of the main beach. So once you’ve sussed out a spot, get into position and experiment with your shutter speeds. Regular waves rolling over the countless rock formations gives way to some really interesting water movement.