Gravel Loader in Bass Point

Gravel Loader is about 1.5 hours drive from Sydney. It’s about 100kms or so on the southern side of Wollongong, part of Shellharbour. This area here is popular for scuba diving, rock fishing, spear fishing and water sport based activities. It is also great for picnics—there are picnic tables and grass lawns. Perfect for outdoor activities that families can enjoy—if you are not the fishing type like me.


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Shellharbour in itself is a tourist destination with it’s picturesque surroundings. You can go for a stroll along the beach, or around town and enjoy the viewpoint that townships have to offer in comparison to city life. There is not much activities for you to there though other than sight seeing—unless you bring the activities with you. For instance, scuba diving—I suppose you can hire there, snorkelling, fishing. These all require some kind of prep work and gear

Bass Point reserve is toward the end of Shellharbour. It was named after a great Australian explorer George Bass. In May 1943, the American merchant ship ‘Cities Services Boston’ sank off Bass Point. No sailors died but four Australian soldiers drown when they tried to help.

We used to go there on not so regular basis — mostly for rock fishing at the end of the picnic area called The Gutters—which name is so appropriate as you would often see fish guts there and crowded with people fishing.

Gravel loader is the correct name for this structure that you see on this image. For years, I called it gravel loader and a special wharf! It wasn’t until I re-wrote this post that I realised I have been wrong all these years.

Normally though, you won’t see the boat there. Perhaps we have been going to the Bass Point Reserve when the boat isn’t docked. I am glad it was here that day because it really brings out the uniqueness.

I took this photo as you enter Bass Point Reserve. The sun was already up because I have been taking photos earlier that morning at a place that I remembered as Lake Tuggerah. At that point, I was deciding whether or not I’d take some photos or take the chance and go into the reserve hope to find a location for that stunning sunrise landscape photography.

Between looking for a stunning landscape photo to what’s staring me at that very moment, I had choice to make. Take some photos now or come back another day—which translates to, drive another 1.5hrs and hope for a firey sky like this day. I decided to take some photos instead and it turned out to be a great decision.

Gravel Loader, Bass Point Reserve, Shellharbour, NSW Australia

The HDR Process

When we talk about HDR, we often mean that there are multiple photo exposures and merged into one photo. We often take the dynamic range of each photo from one spectrum to the other—to the darkest shades and to the highlights. To create this photo, I have merged three different images here.

There’s a software that will easily do this and it’s called Photomatix from I used to use this a lot, but one of the problems were it simply looked surreal—also that fact that it too much of an effort for me to play around with the software. I am sure if I did spend more time with the software that I would get just the right touch to create an image that looks a bit more natural. I’ll talk about this with another post.