Interesting Photo of the Day: Australia’s Boneyard Falls

Bombo Headland was the site of a tremendously scientifically important quarry in New South Wales, Australia. That’s where, in 1926, someone discovered the world’s longest geomagnetic polarity interval, near what would become the town of Kiama, giving the quarry its geological title of the “Kiaman Reverse Superchron”. Also, it’s really pretty: 

boneyard-falls

The basalt columns, once part of a quarry, allow the waves to shoot straight up, requiring good timing for the waterfall effect. (Via 500px. Click for larger image.)

The shot makes the water look like painted brushstrokes. Australian landscape photographer Peter Hill snapped it in August 2011 with a Canon 5D Mark II and a 45mm tilt-shift prime lens.  as part of his ongoing series capturing the lush greenery and harsh rock of Australian nature. Despite some critics of the photo believing it to be more processed than it is, Hill, on his 500px page, assures us it’s real:

“In the past at least one viewer has questioned the authenticity of the shot, so listen up when I say it is a real photograph and has not been manipulated. If I could I would show you the shots taken immediately before and after to prove it beyond doubt. More recently the shot has been replicated by others, shooting from the same spot, without acknowledging their inspiration was not entirely original. That pisses me off somewhat.” – Peter Hill

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5 responses to “Interesting Photo of the Day: Australia’s Boneyard Falls”

  1. Greg says:

    That place is amazing and that is just a gorgeous capture, just a beautiful image.

  2. Roger Dunn says:

    Please, it is New South Wales (as in Wales the country) not Whales as in monsters of the deep.

  3. jbross says:

    This is a beautiful shot and I would have loved to have been the person to take it or even to think about capturing it.

    Let me address the part of the comment about others replicating the shot w/o giving credit.

    #1 – It is possible that another person stumbled across this scene and took a similar shot without having been inspired by the photo above. The sheer beauty of the scene could have been the real inspiration.

    #2 – If someone did see the above photo and replicate itd based on what they had seen, then that flattery should be ample validation.

    In the past, I felt that i was the first to do something or say something and another person came along and got credit for it. I just use that to validate what I have thought or what I have done. We can’t own everything we think of or create if it is within the public discourse/view.

  4. Peter Hill says:

    My name is Peter Hill and I am the photographer who shot “Boneyard Falls”, six years ago. It amazes me how this photograph has taken on a life of its own, including making people believe there is such a place as Boneyard Falls. This is a made-up name. The locals refer to the site as The Boneyard, and I thought the shot looked like a waterfall.

    Anyways, to address the comments of jbross:

    “#1 – It is possible that another person stumbled across this scene and took a similar shot without having been inspired by the photo above. The sheer beauty of the scene could have been the real inspiration.”

    Ah, no. I was specifically asked by another photographer how to get to the exact spot from where the photograph was taken, and I can tell you it is not easy to just stumble onto. I gave him the detailed directions, he went, and he copied and published. It is a moral code amongst photographers to acknowledge source, help, and inspiration, but he did not. Instead, he made it appear he had “found” the location. That person has been on my shit list ever since.

    I am used to other photographers seeking to replicate this shot, and others I have taken, and I have to say it is a pointless exercise. I could go back to the Boneyard a million times and never get the “same” shot again. Any photographer worth their salt knows this is a truism. Since I published Boneyard Falls I have seen many “similar” photos and that is fine – the location is now very popular – and each photographer brings their own level of skill and creativity to the art of the capture. I certainly do not “own” the location.

    I have exhibited, and sold, other photographs I have shot at The Boneyard, but I have never exhibited “Boneyard Falls”.

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