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Sunday, 18 September 2011

Point Danger to Rocky Point at Torquay

Travel Photography - Photo Walk

By Darren Stones

In Victoria, one of my favourite locations to enjoy a travel photography walk is the area on the Surf coast between Point Danger and Rocky Point at Torquay. Three hours along this stretch of Great Ocean Road coastline is a great way to relax and unwind, whilst also being able to let the creative juices flow.

Point Danger Lookout, Torquay, Victoria, Australia IMG_0007_Torquay
Lookout at Point Danger

Torquay can toss up some interesting weather conditions, and it really does make for great photographic opportunities. I usually park my car in the car park at Point Danger and begin to soak in that coastal ambience ... the smell of the sea, the rolling waves, the gentle breeze, and the surrounding photogenic vista.

Main Beach, Torquay, Victoria, Australia IMG_0017_Torquay
Main Beach at Torquay

On a sunny day, the ocean is the bluest of blues, and the striking contrast from the ochre-coloured hue of the cliff faces and rounded rocks causes any photographer to get a little itchy in the trigger finger. With waves washing up and creating patterns along the shoreline, the wet sand adds a curving leading line into the distance.

Main Beach, Torquay, Victoria, Australia IMG_0048_Torquay
Rock stack on Main Beach

Every so often, you can see something out of the norm, and a stack of rocks can become another photographic opportunity. Exposed rock shelfs at low tide draw the adventurous ones a little closer to the wave action - but be careful, as it's quite possible to get the cuffs of your pants wet when looking through the viewfinder.

Point Danger, Torquay, Victoria, Australia IMG_9994_Torquay
Exposed rocks near Point Danger

With lookouts along the cliff top, a meandering walking path, seats facing the ocean, grassy areas ideal for picnickers, a surf club abuzz with activity, and a creek at the mercy of the tide, photographers have an abundance of subject matter to explore.

Main Beach, Torquay, Victoria, Australia IMG_0057_Torquay
Inflatable surf rescue boat on Main Beach

I love watching the safe swimming flags fluttering in the breeze, people entering the water with their boards, kids making sandcastles, and surf lifesavers keeping a keen eye on the water.

Main Beach at Torquay, Victoria, Australia IMG_0071_Torquay
Safety flags on Main Beach

Spring Creek enters the ocean near the Torquay Surf Lifesaving Club, and when the creek is gently flowing, it is a genuine point of interest and a minor challenge for photographers to negotiate as they walk towards Rocky Point.

Rocky Point, Torquay, Victoria, Australia IMG_0094_Torquay
Rocky Point during low tide

This stretch of coastline is within a comfortable 1-hour and 20 minute drive from Melbourne. A brilliant location for a day trip, with modern facilities nearby.

Equipment suggestions
When it comes to what equipment to take for a photo walk, I keep my kit in a Lowepro backpack because it allows me to have both hands free. A selection of zoom lenses covering wide-angle to telephoto allows for versatility. A polariser filter and neutral density filters, a tripod, and a cable remote switch all come in handy. I highly recommend the use of lens hoods.

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Darren Stones