Smokey (1X1C8602)


Smoke enhanced sunset at Cable Beach, Broome, Kimberleys, North West, Western Australia.

Quite often during the early dry season in the Kimberleys of Western Australia’s North West, burn offs take place, often lit by the local aboriginal people as they have done for thousands of years. The modern intent being to reduce the wet season growth to a manageable level to avoid out of control bushfires and to stimulate regeneration of the land.

Depending on the wind direction, the smoke can fill the atmosphere resulting in stunning sunsets with interesting colours and shades, even on cloudless days. On this evening down at Cable Beach near Broome it was no different. The smoke filled sky provided an interesting sunset to capture, whilst the foreground added a degree of interest to the endless sand flats at low tide. Normally I wouldn’t shoot the sunset until the sun had retracted below the horizon, but the thick smoke haze combined with distant cloud enabled enough filtering for a pleasing result.

Titled “Smokey” to convey the smoke induced atmosphere of the evening.

Cable Beach is a 22 km stretch of pristine white sand beach, washed by the stunning turquoise water of the Indian Ocean near Broome in the Kimberly region within the far north west of Western Australia. Named after the telegraph cable laid between Broome and Java in 1889, its natural beauty attracts visitors from around Australia and the world.

The western facing beach experiences large tidal movements on a daily basis, peaking on the spring tides, where the tide can recede several hundred meters from the high tide mark, leaving interesting ripples in the sand. There are several sections where the low flat reef just offshore is exposed on low tide, making for excellent photographic opportunities with some foreground interest. Combined with the stunning sunsets typical of the northern Australian skies, it is heavily photographed as a result.

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