This day has finally come, and I went to shoot a lighthouse sunrise at the famous Hornby Lighthouse! It is located at the Watsons Bay, South Head. I wanted to go there for a while now, but it requires certain weather conditions to do so.
Also, check out a massive Seascape Photography guide I have produced.
Lighthouse As Photographic subject
What’s special about this place? First of all, it’s a lighthouse, and every single one of them is special. They serve a real purpose in helping ships to navigate safely. They are also huge and tall and beam light, and you don’t often see those in your daily life. That’s why they make a fantastic photography subject.
Weather To Access Hornby Lighthouse
Now let’s get back to the weather conditions. Of course, you can hang around during any sunrise walking on the cliffs, but there is a rock platform down there, and it is only accessible during the low tide and small waves, otherwise, the waves could easily smash you against the rocks. During the high tide, the rock platform just goes under water. Not to mention that there should also be some beautiful clouds.
Going to the lighthouse is a little tricky. First part is OK. You just drive to the Cliff Street, and there is a free car park at the very end. Easy. Then you turn on your headlamp and walk along the Heritage trail that starts right on the beach after Cliff St ends. There is only one trail, and you keep walking until the path splits into 2. It makes a circle, so you may pick any. Go right to reach vantage point sooner.
The tricky part is how to go down. There is no marked trail, and it’s not obvious especially in the darkness. The little trail starts right before the bridge (the bridge is under the “S Head Heritage Trail” on the map). It’s not steep, and an average person can easily walk down. Then you’ll have to go all the way back to the lighthouse to get the best views.
Having said all that you now see why it took me months to track down a matching morning. At first, I did a few photos from the cliff top. And shortly afterwards doing these pictures went down to the rock platform. I’ve been to this place before and knew how to get there. The photo below is a single shot, and I will list EXIF parameters after the picture.