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Stormlight at The Pinnacles

May 1st, 2011

A while back i posted a new pano stitch image of the Pinnacles Desert at Cervantes in the North West of WA.  I made a 1.5m print of that image  a couple of days ago and next week (when i’m in the Kimberley) it will be on the wall in the gallery.

Limestone piers at the Pinnacles Desert in the town of Cervantes WA

Pinnacles Stormlight 1

On the same day as that pano image i also shot some single frame shots around the Park, and i had a look through those this week and remembered how amazing the light was.  The day had been overcast with very little wind, so the clouds had some lovely shapes in them, but no directional light was getting through, which made a lot of the shapes of the limestone piers of the Pinnacles rather flat and two dimensional. This is lovely light for flowers or portraits (as the light is very even with no hard edges) but not so with a subject like the Pinnacles, which needs something a bit more dramatic.

Stormlight on the Limestone piers at the Pinnacles Desert in Cervantes WA

Pinnacles Stormlight 2

Around about 4.30pm there was a break on the horizon and the sun streamed across illuminating the scene with this magical warm light with the dark brooding sky as a backdrop.

This sort of lighting is called stormlight, because it normally happens only when you have a storm brewing, and it is the sort of light landscape photographers dream about.  The dark sky and the lighter foreground give an almost reverse contrast which brings the colours into stark relief, giving a mystical quality to the image.

This time i was in the right place with a camera and i managed to get a few frames.  This sort of light never lasts very long, usually the break in the clouds closes up or the sun sets, so you have to work fast.

Stormlight on the Limestone piers at the Pinnacles Desert in Cervantes WA

Pinnacles Stormlight 3

These images were shot on the Canon 5D Mk II with the 16-35mm f2. L lens at 16mm.

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