Newcastle Ocean Baths in Black & White

The Newcastle Ocean Baths is my favourite spot to shoot in Newcastle. There’s just something about the light and all the interesting areas to shoot and the rich textures that really inspires me when I’m there. I think it’s almost impossible to get a bad shot there.

I did a photo challenge at the Baths with my Newcastle photography group last weekend. The idea was to try to shoot in a way that you normally wouldn’t so I used a filter on my camera to shoot entirely in black & white. At the time I thought it was going to be quite limiting but it was actually fantastic. There’s something about seeing your composition in b&w at the time rather than converting it later that feels really liberating and I almost felt like I was seeing the place with new eyes.

I’ll have to do the challenge again from time to time just to change things up. Maybe try shooting with a different lens too. I hope you like the photos.

Photos © CJ Levinson 2019

Belmont Baths Sunset

I wandered down to the new Belmont Baths and Jetty to shoot the sunset a couple of days ago. It’s a great time of year to shoot at the Baths at the moment as they’re rarely very busy and the sun sets right across the lake so you get beautiful light and colour.

I took the chance to get a few photos of the new amenities block as well. It looks very nice and really completes the area. It’s been fun watching it all go up over the last year.

Photos © CJ Levinson 2019

Old Toronto Station

I’ve been wanting to shoot the old Toronto railway station for a while now and I finally got the chance a couple of weeks ago. The station is an interesting piece of Lake Macquarie history – it originally opened in 1891 and was active right up until 1990. It’s now been repurposed as the Lake Macquarie Heritage Centre and the line and station are still mostly intact. Wandering around you can really feel the history and it’s a great area to photograph.

I hope you like the photos. I’ll have to go back at some stage to shoot a sunrise.

Photos © CJ Levinson 2019

Cliffs at Redhead Beach

Rocky towers
Rise from the sand,
Silent guardians
Of this ancient land

I took this at Redhead Beach a couple of weeks ago. The light was beautiful and I loved the contrast between the shadows and the orange rocks and the blue sky. The whole scene reminded me a little of the temples and tombs at Petra.

Photos and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2019

Belmont Jetty at Dusk

A purple and yellow sky
Dotted with clouds
Marks the end
Of a long day

This is from a couple of weeks ago, by the new Belmont Baths. I’m really enjoying exploring the baths and jetty, there are a lot of fantastic opportunities for photos, particularly now there are less people around.

Photo and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2019

Between Speers Point and Warners Bay

Walking by the water
The sun on my back
A breeze on my face:
Peace

This shot is from a couple of weeks ago. I was actually walking in the opposite direction but noticed how beautiful the light was and swung around in time to capture this moment. It’s easy to forget to look behind you but sometimes that’s where the best shots are.

Photo and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2019

Lightning over the Lake

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A bright streak
Flashes across the sky
Lighting up the night
And your eyes

We had an amazing, fairly sudden storm this evening. It had been overcast most of the day but the thunder and lightning still seemed to come without warning. Luckily I was nearly home when it started and so I grabbed my camera and tripod and hurried down to the lake to try to get some shots.

Lightning is tricky to photograph and it took some experimentation – you’d think you’d want to use a high shutter speed to freeze the strike but because lightning is so unpredictable, I find you actually have to go the opposite way and use a slow shutter speed to give yourself more time to capture a good strike. Working out exactly how long though is a bit of trial and error so it can be fiddly and if it’s a short burst, you might not get anything at all.

I really like how this one came out though. It was a 25 second exposure which is about the sweet spot I find, particularly at night. I’ve taken a few lightning shots before but since moving to Belmont I’ve always wanted to get a dramatic one over the lake. I guess that’s one thing I can check off the bucket list now. 😀

Photo and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2019