Merewether Ocean Baths

Merewether Ocean Baths is located in the suburb of Merewether in Newcastle. The area contains a couple of large swimming pools made up of saltwater from the ocean. It is in a stunning region of mossy cliffs at the southern end of Merewether Beach.

I was in Newcastle for work and whenever I travelled for work I always took my camera with me. I had always wanted to shoot these baths as they are so photogenic and make a really interesting composition. The morning I planned to shoot I woke up before sunrise and all I heard was rain. I was really disappointed and I thought to myself it was going to be a waste of time heading out. I sat in my hotel room thinking to myself when am I going to get back here again, I should just go, but the rain was really putting me off. Then I heard thunder and lightning and I thought, gees, I should go, I have nothing to lose, this could be really interesting.

So I headed out in the dark and in the rain thinking to myself, what am I doing. When I got to the baths I wasn’t the only crazy one, there were quite a few photographers also out shooting the lightning. It was pouring with rain and I stood under cover hoping the rain would pass so I could get into position to shoot. Just before the sun rose, the storm moved out to sea and the rain stopped. I ran into position and set up my camera and then I couldn’t believe what unfolded before my eyes. The sun was rising, there was a storm and lightning all in one go. It was the most surreal, incredible shooting experience I had ever had. I would say it was a once in a lifetime experience. My body was rushing with adrenalin and I was praying that my shots would capture the lightning.

In the end I captured one of the most incredible images I could ever had dreamed of. I went on to enter this photo in a few competitions which I won. Most notably I won the sunrise/sunset division of the 2017 FOCUS Photographer awards for this image. Winning this competition had been a goal of mine for a number of years, so I felt extremely proud of my efforts.

Merewether Ocean Baths, Newcastle – NB11

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