PHOTO OF THE DAY- Horse Head, Self Portrait

The Sapphire coast in Australia’s East is aptly named after a precious jewel, it holds so much beauty…

There is so much diversity here from dense rich rainforest to unique rocky coastlines. Around every corner is something new and exciting and its teeming with animal life that’s all around you such as emu’s, kangaroo’s, wallabies, echidna’s and whales just to name a few.

This is known as the Horse Head, which can be found down the far south coast of New South Wales, a good 500km away from either Sydney or Melbourne. I love it not only has the horse head shape but also has the green plant life on its top that actually looks like a horses mane. The stone in the local area is odd because it is quite porous but at the same time is one of the hardest rocks I’ve come across. Its jagged sharp edges made it difficult to walk across as I made my way along the rock boulders from the neighbouring beach and I got cut quite a few times whilst in the area. I wasn’t certain of the location of the horse head, but was 80% sure I’d done enough research to find its location. So, it was on this hot summers day that I made my way around along the beach that I came across this magnificent natural formation. Sometimes what I find more remarkable is the fact that I often have these places to myself?! How come something so amazing not be witnessed constantly! The beach itself has many small shells on it and each wave that runs up on it makes a wonderful sound as they all rub and rattle together.

I came back to photograph the horse head 3 more times in search of that moment when the light is just right, and thats where luck plays a big role in landscape photography- the weather! Both sunset and sunrise offered no clouds and the colours did not create anything of interest to highlight such an amazing landscape. I did however get some great results from a midnight shoot of the milkyway as a backdrop over the horse head, which I hope to share soon. As well I will release a landscape shot of this image without my figure in the image at soon.


Discussion Point: Rule of Thirds

Recently I’ve been working hard on my compositions and one of the foundations of photography is the rule of thirds. So much so that the “rule of thirds” setting can be found on all modern cameras where the frame is divided into a 3×3 box (seen in the image below). On my Sony A7r, the viewfinder is digital so I can turn the lines on and off without even taking my eye from the camera. The idea is to place your object of interest on one of these lines or at the point of intersection of these lines. In this composition I placed the horse head along the right third but with nothing to balance out the image on the left side the photo lacked any equilibrium. Sometimes it doesn’t matter if the object of interest has that much power that the rest of the space is empty but I felt on this occasion it needed something else. There are also other plays that come into factor here like colour and tone. In this image to balance it out I introduced a 2nd element of interest into the composition on the left third, my own person. The image now has a lot more balance and intrigue as the figure and horse head have a connection based on the power of the rule of thirds.

Horse Head, Rule of Thirds, Web Prepared

This image combines a lot of shooting and editing techniques that Ive been mastering and I definitely couldn’t have created this a few years ago. Im both being a part of the moment and looking to the future as I gaze up at the horse head.

Software Used:

On1 Photo RAW


Thanks, if you’d like to leave a comment with your google account below you’re more than welcome.

Cheers, Luke

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