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Thread: When photography means running for your life.

  1. #1
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    When photography means running for your life.

    Hi,

    I'm in Newcastle at he moment.

    I had some free time this PM so, I rocked up to the Newcastle Ocean Baths at around 4:30 to see if I could catch a few surfers. As the tide was half out by then, I didn't expect any huge wave action.

    I was wrong, the seas were HUGE.

    Not a single surfer was out (sensible) and, as the waves were crashing over into the baths, I thought I'd stick to the safety of the ocean baths.

    For those of you who don't know the area. The baths normal level are a few inches below the pool deck which runs up a gradual slope for about 6 feet until a sheer wall of 4 or 5 feet. From there, another gentle slope for about 4 metres until the change rooms. Got it?

    Well, at the top of this sheer wall, are a few benches, upon which I put my bag.

    And took a few picks of the water gently surging from the pool unto the wall (about 4-5 feet below) where it was only just touching the wall.

    Then, the water seemed to recede back into the pool so, I went down the side ramp that leads to the pool deck. Wary of the possible return of the water, I stayed at the bottom of the ramp (ready to retreat).

    Well, lucky I did, after a few minutes, while I was busy looking through the viewfinder. A massive wave came up. By the time I noticed it, it was pounding over the top of the pool. I ran for it back up the ramp but, the water beat me. By the time I was half way up, I was knee deep in bubbling water.

    Luckily, another guy with a camera had seen it, noticed my bag and grabbed it - saving it from near certain doom. He gave it back and before I could properly thank him, disappeared.

    Anyway, the seat the bag was on was totally inundated by the splash coming over the wall.

    Thankfully, the main surge didn't reach overtop the wall (though only by a few inches), but a huge volume of splash did causing (a bit of) water the enter the change room (only just).

    I consider myself very lucky.

    It was several minutes later that I noticed, in the excitement, I had bumped the focus switch to manual, so most of my shots are badly oof. When I get home Sunday, I'll see what turns out.

    Scotty
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    Way Down Yonder in the Paw Paw Patch jim's Avatar
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    Cool!

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scotty72 View Post
    Luckily, another guy with a camera had seen it, noticed my bag and grabbed it - saving it from near certain doom. He gave it back and before I could properly thank him, disappeared.
    No doubt an AP member who recognised you and........... just kidding.

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    Ausphotography Regular agb's Avatar
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    Nice excuse for out of focus shots
    But I am glad that all the equipment is saved, thanks bystander.
    The age of entitlement isn't over, it's just over there where you can't get to it.
    When several possibilities exist, the simplest solution is the best.
    "There are no rules" Bruce Barnbaum, The art of Photography
    Graham


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    Very good Scotty.
    Now you know why rock fisherpeolpe have rocks in their heads
    Was K-Mart open so you could get some dry & un-soiled clothes
    I hope you got some snaps after all this
    How fast did you say you ran
    Col

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    I amazed myself how quickly I scampered. I've been to that pool area literally hundreds of times. It was a nice place to take the ladies when I was at Newcastle Uni

    I'd never seen it anywhere near the size it was today. I can only imagine what it was like an hour or so before when the tide was up.

    Scotty

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    Quote Originally Posted by MARK L View Post
    No doubt an AP member who recognised you and........... just kidding.
    Na. That was the guy trying to push me back in

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    Thats why I always have a dunny roll in the back of the car.
    Geoff
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    Ausphotography Regular agb's Avatar
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    I have just had a look at the Nobbys beach web camera and waves are still up a bit. Would have been good yesterday.

  10. #10
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    theres a definite safety message in there! glad it was only your clothes that got wet

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    glad you didn`t get drowned Scotty....and your gear too... I was talking to the (then) operator/owner of the kiosk at the baths a few years ago and discussing this very thing and he said on one occassion several years earlier, the water was coming right up into the shop.... That`s a BIG surf I reckon.
    Graeme
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    I am older than I look. peterb666's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scotty72 View Post
    It was several minutes later that I noticed, in the excitement, I had bumped the focus switch to manual, so most of my shots are badly oof. When I get home Sunday, I'll see what turns out.

    Scotty
    The out of focus ones are called 'artistic' shots.

    Oh Scotty, I am a little disappointed that you didn't choose to emulate the X-man. You would then earn the crown of being 'S-man'. Cheers and have a good sunrise tomorrow morning.
    Cheers

    PeterB666


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    Hey guys.

    I met up with a certain, as yet unnamed AP member who is a little anxious tonight.

    Picture it, sunrise at the northern end of the Newcastle Ocean Baths (yes, I keep going back). Those familar with the baths will know there is about a 5 foot drop off from the pool deck down to the roacks below where excess water often spills over - back to the ocean. Well, we went down the ledge to photograph the water cascading. I kept a safe distance from the ledge - my fellow AP member did not . A freak wave saw a 1 foot high surge come over the pool then, rather than dribble over our ledge, spew out a distance of 6 or 8 feet from the wall. Unfortunately, the AP member was only about 4 feet. Cradling the camera, the AP member was drenched (shoulder down) but kept his/her footing. The camera did receive a partial shower.

    The nervous wait is to see if, after a good wipe down and a day or so to dry out, it still works.

    (pictures tomorrow)

    2 days = 2 lucky escapes from me.

    Scotty

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    And now,

    The pictures from Friday's near miss

    #1
    I arrived, and saw what I have seen on dozens of occasions at this pool. Rough surf splashing over a bit and topping up the pool. No dramas.

    035 by CyclingScotty, on Flickr

    #2
    Hey, that's pretty big: still, no probs

    042 by CyclingScotty, on Flickr

    #3
    Gee, Glad I'm not in the lower rock pool

    048 by CyclingScotty, on Flickr

    #4
    Wow! that's huge

    063 by CyclingScotty, on Flickr

    #5
    But, still, no dramas

    072 by CyclingScotty, on Flickr

    #6
    Still glad I'm not in that rock pool

    077 by CyclingScotty, on Flickr

    #7
    Now, for some reason, that wave at my feet isn't registering as a threat . I was shooting out over the other rock pool and didn't see it crash into the wall. I guess, I was concentrating on the background one, which I was thinking, 'That's big - better get ready to bolt.'

    106 by CyclingScotty, on Flickr

    #8
    It was about a second or two before I took this that I kinda started thinking, 'Hmmm, probalby should get out here.'

    114 by CyclingScotty, on Flickr

    #9
    About now, I'm thinking, 'Oh! sh1T.' - you'll have to forgive the exposure - I thought it best to not stop and check the light meter.

    117 by CyclingScotty, on Flickr

    #10
    Now I was thinking, this is more than a big splash, this is a frikken torrent that ain't gonna stop. I turned and ran, but, unfortunately, the ramp does a right turn which slowed me down (not so the water) which surged up to my knees. Keep in mind, my bag was resting on a bench at the top of that ledge - you can see how the water completely inundated the ledge.

    119 by CyclingScotty, on Flickr

    #11
    At the top of the ramp, I managed to turn around, compose and snap the now receeding water.

    124 by CyclingScotty, on Flickr

    #12
    After a few seconds where I figured out the other 'tog had rescued my bag (and checked I was alive), I managed to take this of the receeding water.

    126 by CyclingScotty, on Flickr

    BTW, that second wave I was more worried about, it fizzled into a medium surge

    Scotty

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    It's a wonder there are no sharks circling around the pool looking for fleshy togs
    That place should be dug-up & moved
    Time to realise global warming & rising sea level
    This looks like a pedestrian friendly walkway, where are the DANGER signs
    Beaches get closed, so should this area ?????????

    And to think the ............ guy goes back the next day
    How many times have you crashed you bike & banged ya head !!!!!!!!!!
    Col

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    Wild stuff. Looks amazing - I haven't heard from the oher 'AP member' yet even after sending a txt msg so I hope 'AP member' isn't in a foul mood. What is it about Canons that attracts the water like that?

  17. #17
    Way Down Yonder in the Paw Paw Patch jim's Avatar
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    Well documented Scotty. Never mind the exposure (easily fixed) this is quite an exciting series.

  18. #18
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    Very good "Running Commentary" there Scotty. Would have been rather scarey by the look of the pics.

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    Thanks guys.

    Never crashed my bike - I slid out once after taking a corner a little too aggressively. No damage (except for skin off the side of my arse ) - so I don't call that a crash.

    I don't think there was much danger to anyone wanting to swim: Whilst the waves were crashing in quite violently (as any wave does) the water was only gently receeding as the pool deck is quite flat. Admittedly, you would want to time you entry / exit to the pool so you weren't push by a wave into the wall but, once in - no probs (assuming you were comfortable in regular surf). In fact, when I went back (only slightly smaller seas) there were 4 - 5 swimmers. I was more worried about them swimming at dawn in the middle of winter

    As for global warming = rising sea levels: without getting into a huge debate, the scientist are talking about rises in terms of millimetres (maybe centimetres) - I'm not sure that explains freaky conditions where waves come a few feet about normal.

    And yes, I admit, by about pic #10. I was getting very, very nervous about things.

    Scotty

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    Another shot: hopefully giving an idea of the huge waves. Taken from the same spot as the others a few minutes later


    275 by CyclingScotty, on Flickr

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