At the end of 2007 I set myself a project to photograph all of the tidal pools of Sydney’s Northern Beaches (you can see the results of this project here). Since then I have gone on to shoot many of the tidal pools in the Eastern and Southern suburbs of Sydney as well. Tidal pools are interesting subjects as they combine contrasts of still water against crashing surf, man-made elements contrasted against natures rocks and cliffs.
North Narrabeen would be one of my favorite tidal pools because of the unique walkway that goes through the pool itself and the opportunities to feature these planks and walkways.
Special Photographic Features or Notes
The first thing you need to be aware of if you are going to shoot North Narrabeen pool is the strong overhead sodium vapour lighting. This will cast a horrid orange cast on your images if you are shooting the pool outside of daylight hours. To correct this you will need to apply some pretty drastic colour compensation at the RAW processing stage. For details on how I converted the above image, see this article in my blog.
Those glorious planks
Without a doubt, the highlight of North Narrabeen pool is gorgeous planked walkway that stretches through the middle of the pool. This allows numerous compositions of converging verticals and walkways heading off into the distance.
Photo by Oat Vaiyaboon
Stroll the rocks to Turimetta
North Narrabeen pool is a very short and pleasant stroll over the rocks to Turimetta Beach. When you leave the pool you will pass a lovely reflective pool immediately on your left (assuming the tide is not in fully)… there are some lovely reflections in this pool from a variety of angles. As you get closer to Turimetta, you start approaching some very interesting formations of rocks.
North Narrabeen is not that great for night landscape work as the sodium vapour lights are very strong over the pool.
There is nothing very special required to have a great time at North Narrabeen pool, you might want some rock hopping sandals if you are venturing over the rocks towards Turimetta.
Best Time of The Day
Pre-dawn and sunrise of course. However sunset is also quite nice.
The tidal pool is not overly sensitive to tides, so you can shoot this pool at any tide…. the pool is also back far enough that it doesn’t really get impacted by large swells. If you do want to walk the rocks around to Turimetta, you can get around them at any tide, however if the tide is high you will have to scramble over the boulders rather than walk along the shelf..
North Narrabeen is reasonably exposed to NE and SE winds, and offers some protection from Westerlies. Wind shouldn’t spoil your shoot too much except to disturb the glassiness of the water… In warmer months early bird swimmers will probably be doing that anyway.
Getting to North Narrabeen tidal pool is pretty simple, from Pittwater Rd you can take a right onto Ocean Rd and drive along Narrabeen beach, or you can turn East onto Walsh Rd at Warriewood. There is plenty of parking just North of the lagoon and it is a short 5 min walk along paved roadway to get to the tidal pool. No rock hopping or scrambling involved.