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A Photographic Trip To Two Rocks

A view of Two Rocks

Coastal Photography In Perth’s Northern Suburbs

Beach & coastal photography is always satisfying, even if you don’t come away with any images.

Just being on the coast & exploring the beach is very grounding & you arrive home feeling relaxed & uplifted.

There’s nothing like fresh salty air to clear the mind & invigorate the spirit.

But on this particular excursion I was satisfied to have come away with a couple of photographs that I was happy with.

Where Is Two Rocks?

Only 8km (5 miles) north of Yanchep, Two Rocks is the most northern suburb of the Perth metropolitan area.

The suburb is part of the City of Wanneroo & is just over 60 kilometres (37 miles) from Perth's CBD & provided you’re not driving during peak times, it’s about an hour's drive up the Mitchell Freeway.

The road into Two Rocks

Why Is It Called Two Rocks?

Well… because there’s two prominent rocks sitting just offshore.

This was my motivation for heading out there, to capture some long exposure shots & coastal images with some interesting landmarks.

Brief History

Perth has grown & expanded enormously over the last 20 to 30 years.

Two Rocks was only declared an official suburb of Perth in 1975.

People would make the trek up to Two Rocks to enjoy the pristine beaches & bountiful fishing.

Once the Perth road network connected to Two Rocks, it became an even more popular & accessible area.

It became even more prominent in the early 1980’s when Atlantis Marine Park was established there.

The plan was to create a resort as well & build the suburb around these attractions.

I definitely don’t agree with how this agenda was moved forward, as a number of local bottlenose dolphins were captured & trained for the central attraction of the theme park.

In 1988, 3 female dolphin calves were born at the marine park & this created regulatory changes in how marine animals were allowed to be held in captivity.

These new changes meant the marine park was required to build a larger enclosure for the dolphins.

The cost of expanding the enclosure, along with falling numbers of visitors, led to the marine park closing down in 1990.

The old marina at Two Rocks

Two Rocks Marina

The marina was built in 1987 as a response to the America’s Cup challenge.

It became a training ground & headquarters for yachtsmen/women as well as providing facilities for the local fishing industry & boating enthusiasts.

The marina is still popular today & used by fishermen, boating enthusiasts & day trippers.

The Challenges Of Coastal Photography

There’s 3 main challenges when it comes to beach photography .. salty water, sand & the weather.

The weather being the main one as it affects how the water & sand are going to behave.

And on this particular day I had a 4th challenge .. seagulls!

Although it was a summer’s day, a storm had blown in creating fairly windy conditions.

This meant when setting up the camera closer to the water's edge, there was a constant need to keep the lens free of salt water blown in off the sea.

A storm at Two Rocks

You can view & purchase this image here.

For the above photograph I found a great position & a good composition to set up for the shot.

It was on top of some rocks but still exposed to the wind & salty air.

So I levelled the tripod & camera, worked out exposure & other settings & settled in for taking a number of shots whilst constantly wiping the lens clean.

Little did I know but I must have been near a seagull’s nest or territory, as the next thing I’m being dive bombed by a flock of angry birds!

I never realised seagulls could get so stroppy, but I wasn’t going to move!

So not only did I have to deal with the weather, I’m now flapping my arms about to ward off these antagonistic feathered beasts .. but I’m pleased with the final image which made it all worthwhile.

coastal photo of Two Rocks

You can view & purchase this image here.

I feel the above image has a serene & calming quality.

Long exposures can do that, creating smooth & tranquil water.

Plus the storm clouds had blown away leaving a clear sky.

But there were still strong winds & constant drops of sea water kept collecting on the lens.

Long exposures can be a few seconds to half a minute or more.

I’d set up the camera on the tripod to where it needed to be & adjusted the settings for a fairly lengthy exposure.

Not sure if it was due to the wind or simply the tide, but the waves kept creeping closer & closer to not only my feet, but the base of the tripod.

The last thing you need when the camera shutter is open is water around the base of the tripod, as the sand will shift & the tripod can sink.

But all in all, it was a fun day out & I’m definitely going to return to Two Rocks to explore the area further.


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