Early Morning Post: Old Railway Traffic Signal

I have not checked back, but I think that this is the earliest in the morning that I have keyed up a post. It is 5:37 a.m. as I start this and I was actually up at 4:15 a.m. I had to get up early to drive my son out to site for a (very) early morning start.

It was a little scary driving out to site at 4:30 a.m. just as the tiniest hints of thin yellow sunlight start to strike high up in the sky and cast the faintest haze of light across the land. This is prime kangaroo movement time as the kangaroos seek to find good breakfast grazing.

As you drive along at 20 kph under the speed limit—just in case you have to brake in order to try and avoid hitting a kangaroo—you know that even though you cannot see them there are hundreds of kangaroos just off to the sides of the road in the paddocks grazing.

On the return trip back to the motel after dropping my son off, even though the sun has not yet bobbed above the horizon, there is more light. Just enough light now to see into the paddocks. And sure enough. Now you can see lots of groups of 10 and 20 kangaroos out in the paddocks. They were there before, but you could not see them. As long as they stay in the paddocks grazing then all is okay. But they don’t. They like to move around, and moving around means jumping fences and crossing roads.

In all my time driving I have hit three kangaroos and I can assure you that it is not fun. Hitting a kangaroo is about the same as hitting a lamp post; not that I have hit any lamp posts to make a true comparison. If you hit a kangaroo with the middle front of the car then the chances are you are going to be walking because your car will most likely suffer terminal radiator damage.

When I got back into town I picked up a Maccas breakfast wrap (containing scrambled eggs, bacon, and tomato) and a regular long black coffee. Then I did a quick loop around town which is when I decided, now that I take my camera down to site with me in my new bag, to take the following picture. This is totally in line with my 2014 semi-resolution to try really hard to take more photographs. So far this semi-resolution is not going that well as this is the first photograph I have taken since making it—some 14 days ago now.

[Clicking the picture will open a 1.8MB 1800x version from SmugMug in a new Window]


As you can see the sun has now crested the horizon. I love the old railway traffic signal that they have in the middle of the round-a-bout. I wanted to catch the sun coming through the trees so I had very little time. It as amazing how fast the sun gets up once it crests the horizon. But very quickly I tried a couple of angles to try and feature this signal arm more. This was about the best I could do.

This is really just a ‘jump out of the car and snap it’ and I was under pressure as the sun rushed up—so don’t judge it too harshly. Also, apart from resizing and putting a border around it, there has been no post-processing hence there is a slight blue cast that I might have otherwise removed.

For anyone interested I spot-metered this shot off the top of the planter in the bottom centre right of the picture and then locked that exposure. Then I took focus on the back of the Give Way sign you can see in the centre of the picture. As you can see the K-7 got this pretty right and it is actually quite a challenging exposure. It is possibly a little darker than I imagined it in my head but still not that bad. I could have lightened it up in PhotoShop Elements but decided not to.

Unlike most of my pictures this shot was not post-processed using DxO because I don’t have DxO on my notebook. Hence there is a bit of lens curvature happening that DxO would normally have fixed.

The lens used is Pentax’s amazing DA 18-135 f3.5-4.5 walk-around lens.

I really should try and take more pictures in early morning light. As any ‘photographers’ (for some reason I don’t like that term and I try really hard to avoid using it) reading this will know the truly magical light happens in the first and last 40 minutes of the day.