The Making of “Harbour Lights” by Cheryl Eagers

An early evening panorama of Mackay Harbour brings together a visually tantalising combination of blue and gold. The wind blows the cloud cover in the sky, blending the blues and greys of a storm front passing through. Below, the dazzling lights of the harbour offer warmth from the solace of the clouds – showcasing the wealth of gold the sugar industry has provided for Mackay.

Technical Specs

  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III
  • Lens: EF16-35mm f/2.8L II USM
  • Focal Length: 16.0 mm
  • Aperture: f/16
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter Speed: 30 sec
  • Tripod Used: Yes
  • Flash Used: No
  • Metering Mode: Evaluative Metering

About the Experience

It was a very early evening in May – about 6:00 or so – when the Creative Shots Photo Club of Mackay got together at the Mackay Marina for this photo session. And when I say windy, I really mean it! The strong gusts made me glad I had a windproof jacket with me. But the jacket wasn’t for me; it was for my tripod and camera.

I wanted to make sure my camera remained as still as possible for this 30 second exposure shot of the Mackay Harbour Sugar Export Terminal. As the daylight continued to diminish, I quickly remembered to adjust my aperture to f/16 to create a brighter, star-like effect from the Mackay Sugar Wharf lights. The result is a wonderful contrast between light/dark and warm/cool between the water, the sky, and the wharf itself.

My Thoughts

I’ve always admired the star-like effect of slightly longer exposures like this one. It was one of the reasons I’m glad I remembered to change my aperture setting and protect my camera from the wind!

I also made sure to create a very high contrast during the processing phase of this image to enhance the dynamic interplay between the blue and gold you see in this shot. The image itself really speaks loudly about the sugar industry which is so popular here in Mackay. Despite the darkness around it, this bright industry brings a wealth of gold to the people in this area.

Get Your Own Unique Harbour Lights Wall Hanging Today

If you enjoy Harbour Lights, good news: the print is available to purchase as a decorative wall hanging or other piece of photographic art. This portrait will make a perfect complementary piece within your home décor. It can also accent any other space you frequent such as your office or workspace.

Click here to order your own print of Harbour Lights today. And you can also feel free to browse any of the other wonderful pieces of photographic art available from Cherish Artz Photography.