A Light Lament or Why You Should Always Have Your Camera

October 23, 2016

I should have known better!

We are taking a break up on the Gold Coast but all day it has been a cold wind from the south and solid overcast…definitely a jumper day! We visited the markets at Coolangatta and being an optimist, I carried my camera… just in case. I’ve done this a lot this trip but most often it has just been a lump to carry and not much used. It was the same today.

Suffering from a head cold and lack of sleep I took a nap this afternoon while my wife Sue walked the northern beach. I said I’d join her for the trip south. I guessed by then we would be walking at about sunset, so maybe I’d carry my camera again.

I’ll blame it on my foggy mind because when I awoke and looked out it was still dull flat and grey out over the sea. Damn it I thought, I won’t carry that weight again tonight.

There is a view to the west when we enter the lift. In a corner of my mind I observed some sunlight and guessed the clouds were clearing. Something registered. I felt it but ignored it and took the lift down to meet my wife and battle the cold wind – better dressed this time in a jacket and jeans.

As we approached the south end of Burleigh I noticed a strange sunlight glow in the east! Weird, the sun is setting – isn’t that Surfers Paradise SunsetSurfers Paradise SunsetGlittering Sunset after a dull day. Note that digital zoom on a camera phone is going to give nasty "pixelated" results - particularly on my old lowish res phone. west? Then the penny dropped. The sun was now sending rays below the cloud layer and I started to cringe. Damn! This could be the best light of our stay and too late to go back for a camera. So out came the mobile phone camera knowing it would never be good enough. Cursing my stupidity.

The lowering sun was now beaming golden rays, sending glittering light to isolate the skyscrapers of Surfers and I knew, before long, this light would be skimming the bottom of the layers of cloud creating highlights of colour with gorgeous reflections in the water. All Sue and I could do was enjoy the splendour, learn the lesson and shoot some reference shots on our phones. Frustration! What I could have done with a tripod and a slow shutter speed plus a good camera and lens. This sort of light doesn’t happen often. Burleigh Beach Sunset and waterBurleigh BeachWets sand reflections and lovely low angle sun rays skimming the bottom of the clouds. A good camera and tripod could have created a masterpiece.

I should have known better. Now all I can do is lament my laziness and show you a few approximate examples (from our phones) of what we missed.

The light shines in peculiar ways! Enjoy and have a laugh with us.