Planning a Chicken Run Sunrise / by Steven Johnson

Last weekend I was down at Middleton, on the Fleurieu Peninsula south of Adelaide, and I wanted to do a sunrise shoot on the Sunday morning. Now making photos isn't just a matter of going somewhere and taking some snapshots, a little bit of planning is required, well to get good results it is. This planning includes decisions such as choosing a location or time of day, and then while shooting it is about planning the actual image itself. Choosing a location and time for the shoot requires consideration of a number of factors, sometimes the time of day or location will lend itself to a particular choice for the other factors, e.g. a particular location might be best at a particular time of day due to the position of the sun and/or the direction of the light. In this instance I was planning a sunrise session so I wanted somewhere with an Easterly aspect to be able to take advantage of the rising sun and (hopefully) colourful sky. The image I was envisaging also required somewhere with some foreground interest, such as rocks. Having spent some time surfing on the south coast around Middleton I thought that the surf spot known as 'The Chicken Run' might be suitable. The Chicken Run is located near the point at Basham Beach Conservation park and is a spot that is sheltered a little from the Southern Ocean waves and happens to be a rocky section of coastline in the Middleton area that "faces" East (i.e. runs North-South). So I jumped on to the The Photographer's Ephemeris and checked out the area to see what time the sun was rising and from what direction, and it looked to fit the bill.

With my plan in place I headed there Sunday morning only to experience pouring rain. I didn't really have suitable wet weather gear with me (I didn't plan that part!) so I stayed in the car and checked the rain radar. It was only a smallish patch of rain and I figured it might pass after about 15 minutes, only leaving me about 15 minutes till sunrise. The rain did stop after about 15 minutes and so I ran down the track to The Chicken Run to give me enough time to set up the tripod and camera and start taking some captures. Luckily enough the clouds cleared a little and I was able to capture some images that I was happy with and that would fit with my plan for how I wanted to post-process them, but more on that another time. In the meantime I hope you enjoy these images!