I was on my way south. I’d just visited the tropical north of Australia with some very blokey friends and the draw of solitude was strong. The surf was bad and I wound my way down the Great Dividing Range in the rain, through the Gwydir and Oxley regions, the persistent patter of precipitation pushing me to continue in the hope of clearing weather or at least an excuse to get a roof over my head.
The final stop before my hop past Sydney was Terrigal, on the Central Coast. I arrived at the hostel I’d seen online, only to find that there wouldn’t be anyone at reception until 6pm. It was 3. I parked my car on the headland and wandered about for a while, the cloying but cool humidity threatening drizzle which never quite eventuated. On a whim, I took my camera and tripod down a small cliff and onto a rock platform. The swell was small, but big enough to create substantial wash over the barnacle-covered boulders.
Scrambling around the base of the headland, I perched my tripod over a small inlet and composed this shot. I took about five different exposures, and this one captured my eye upon review because of the ethereal cloudiness of the water and a hint at motion. It was a nerve-wracking balancing act; the bigger swells created more striking patterns, but knowing the ocean, a rogue splash could have ended the photo session in a soaking instant. The day was as gloomy as it looked, and it was getting dark by the time I skirted the rising tide and slid over patches of algae to head back to my car and the hostel.