Like many landscape photographers, I am a self taught. After picking up a camera in 2012, I soon realised the best way to figure out what I was doing was to just get outside and have a go. Reading books is one thing, but nothing compares to learning first hand from your own mistakes. I have spent many, many hours by the sea at sunrise, learning about light and how to try to capture it in it’s finest form. After a while, shooting the same locations isn’t satisfying and the urge to explore can’t be ignored.
Living on the coast, seascape photography naturally makes up a large portion of my portfolio. Where I live in the Illawarra region of NSW Australia, there is plenty of coastline to explore, but some places just keep calling you back.
Of the numerous beaches and rugged coastlines I have walked, there is no location quite as impressionable and unforgettable as the enigmatic Bombo Quarry.
Located between Kiama Downs and Kiama, the Bombo headland was quarried for blue metal in the 1880′s and 1900′s. By 1940 the quarry was closed, leaving behind a land that time forgot. The main attraction here is the large basalt columns that were left standing to prevent the ocean from entering the quarry. These columns along with the surrounding trenches and rubble create an mars-like atmosphere.
The first time I saw a photograph of Bombo online, I could not make my way down there fast enough. I have spent my life living within half an hour from the site, but never knew it existed until I got into photography.
Since the first visit, this is one place I have returned to time and time again. But it has only been in the last month that I feel I have come a little closer to capturing the quarry in a way that slightly does justice to what my eyes have seen.
Just like Cathedral rocks (located south of this headland) there is a strong sense of history and significance in the air here. Perhaps it is this that captivates me the most.
Sharing sunrises with these ancient stones really makes you feel like you have gone back in time, back to a simpler world.
Although this land is slowly falling apart, with it’s best days behind it, there is still much beauty to behold here. Like all of us, we are broken in one way or another but it doesn’t mean we still can’t shine. As these walls continue to stand the test of time, refusing to fall, I look forward to the light to be displayed in the years ahead. I know the best of Bombo is yet to come. WP
(The sea-waterfall at Bombo is a rare sight. Very large swell combined with high tide will sometimes allow freak waves to defy the walls that were meant to contain them.)