Windmills Storm (5X2C3462)


Purple sunset as a strong cold front batters the Windmills area, Cape Naturaliste, Dunsborough, South West, Western Australia.

This image is the result of 7 individual frames stitched together to make a large format panoramic, of which “Storm Flow” and “High Seas” were part of. Captured during a powerful storm that hit in the area locally known as the “Other Side of the Moon” on Cape Naturaliste, in the South West of Western Australia at sunset.

This was actually intended to be a black and white image, full of drama, appropriately reflecting what unfolded as the last image was taken. However the unusual purple colour of the sunset reflecting into the storm clouds contrasting against the water and rocks was too stunning to ignore, so I decided to leave it in colour this time, despite my monochrome tendencies. Anyway you still have a few of the storm in the black and white section anyway 🙂 And if you ask me nicely, I might share the black and white version for you.

One of my favourite images, mainly because it reminds me of what photographers often do to capture the image. Early starts, or late returns, bitter cold or sweltering heat, driving rains and winds, long hikes across difficult terrain with heavy gear or simply being in a position of danger.

On the last frame of this stitch, which incidentally wasn’t able to be used due to excessive motion blur, a large wall of white water came rushing over the rocks, threatening to take me with it. I managed to keep my footing and hold onto my tripod in waste high water to save both myself and my gear from being washed off the rocks into the churned up water below. And that wouldn’t of been a good end to the day. Although my ex wife might think so…I called it a night for that vantage point and retreated to safer drier ground, soaking wet, but happy to be ok.

Titled “Windmills Storm” to reflect the location just north of the Windmills Surf Break and the storm at the time

Cape Naturaliste is the northern most headland in the South West region of Western Australia, famous for its world class wines and surf. It separates the relatively sheltered waters of Geographe Bay from the often wild and rough Southern Indian Ocean. Geographe Bay was named by the French navigator Nicolas Baudin in 1801, after the French exploration’s ship Georgraphe, whilst Cape Naturaliste was named after the expedition’s second ship, the Naturaliste. On the tip of the cape is the 20m high Cape Naturaliste Light house, activated in 1904 which provides a warning to passing ships of the rocky dangers that surround it.

The western side of the Cape is often wild and rugged, battered in winter by huge waves driven by powerful storm systems, whilst in summer things are far more subdued and a popular tourist destination, with many frolicking in the clear water bays that line its shore. The eastern side is typically clear, calm and inviting in summer and post card perfect on clear winter days. Both sides of the cape are heavily photographed due to their natural beauty in all of nature’s varying moods.

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