‘Awe-inspiring’ storm image delights Warrnambool hobby photographer

Warrnambool photographer Dan Atkinson with a much calmer Lady Bay in the background, compared to the spectacular image he captured of the breakwater on Tuesday (inset).

Warrnambool photographer Dan Atkinson with a much calmer Lady Bay in the background, compared to the spectacular image he captured of the breakwater on Tuesday (inset).

DESPITE taking the iconic image of Tuesday’s wild weather, Warrnambool’s Dan Atkinson has no desire to pursue photography as anything more than a hobby.

His black-and-white picture, which graced the front page of The Standard yesterday, went viral on Facebook, leading to numerous requests for prints from as far afield as Sydney and Mount Gambier.

“I’m happy to keep it as a hobby, but if I sell some photos here and there it’s a bonus,” Atkinson said.

Atkinson moved to Warrnambool in 2003 to study environmental science and never left after he “met the missus and had a family”.

Now studying education and working full-time, he said he has little time for photography but tries to get out when he can and is part of an informal group of local photographers that catch up and go snapping together.

One of Atkinson's spectacular images taken on Tuesday.

One of Atkinson's spectacular images taken on Tuesday.

Hearing the wild winds on Monday night made him head to the breakwater on Tuesday morning and he described what he saw as “pretty awe-inspiring”.

“I haven’t seen anything quite so spectacular down there before,” he said.

Parking at Worm Bay due to Viaduct Road being closed, Atkinson said he walked to The Pavilion and took his front page photo from “either on the balcony or in front of the pavilion” using a 70-200mm lens. 

He then used Photoshop to tweak the contrast, allowing the wave to stand out more against the similarly coloured sky — a technique similar to those used in the dark rooms of old.

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