14 Beginner Tips to Become the ‘Rembrandt’ of Taking Sunrise Photos

So you want to be a ‘Rembrandt’ of Photography.

It’s just a click of the shutter and Voila! Taking sunrise photos is so simple. Right?

Call me blonde. But while these ‘tips’ may seem to be commonsense, I’m sure you’ll agree that sometimes when we (adults) have a new toy, commonsense can go straight out the window. It’s just like when we were kids, the focus is on getting out there and in this case, taking sunrise photos that show amazing colours. 😊

Looking at the photos back at the ‘lab’ you wonder what’s happened. There’s no colour but there was colour yesterday and the two mornings seemed to be the same so why isn’t there any colour this time?

Taking Sunrise Photos Sometimes Shows a Different Side to the Mornings and Not Display any Colours.
Both the water and the air was still and the colour of the sun remained relatively absent at this sunrise.
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100 Decades Ago. Vietnam’s Ancient Capital: Hoa Lu

HOA LU. Home to Vietnam’s First Dynasties

I was up early. I’d eaten my breakfast and had packed the backpack before the travel alarm had sounded that morning.

This was going to be a full day out and the first stop was Vietnam’s ancient capital back in the 10th century.

Hoa Lu which is in Northern Vietnam was where the first two dynasties based themselves and was located a couple of hours drive from Hanoi.

Temple dedicated to Vietnam’s first 2 emperors.
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The Beach Holiday Haven with the Jewel in the Crown.

Standing on the vast stretches of white sand overlooking the blue Pacific Ocean to the horizon.

This little creek may have a strange name but it’s definitely a draw card for the community.

Low-key style

The beach holiday haven of Pottsville is a small town community that’s about 30km (19miles) from the NSW northern border and is located on the northern side of Mooball Creek. It offers visitors a low-key style of holiday that’s popular for everyone.

This beach holiday haven offers camping to cabins right by the creek.
The natural waterway is an idyllic spot for safe and relaxed swim.

The coastline here is a vast uninhabited stretch of white sand and surf that offers multiple photo opportunities to the budding photographer. The Surf Life Savers patrol the beach in two locations and do a wonderful job of keeping swimmers safe. But, their work is seasonal so care needs to be taken and especially when the beach is deserted.

Another recreational area is Mooball Creek and although it’s a strange name, it’s an excellent place to enjoy swimming, fishing and most importantly, it’s perfect for the novice kayakers: Us!! 😊 

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Take a Hike! The Mt Warning Hike.


The Mt Warning hike is a must do they said. It’s a ‘Tick Off the Bucket List’ they said. I should’ve paid more attention to the actual name and taken it literally because it’s no ‘walk on the park’!

This silent craggy peak, which is near the border of Queensland, stands proudly as a sentinel for the region and can be seen from the Pacific Ocean. The mountain is a sacred place for the Bundjalung People who have been the guardians for thousands of years and both travellers and locals have admired it for decades.

What we see today is the remaining core of a volcano that blew 23 million years ago. It left a caldera which is now a fertile rich valley that spans across some 40 odd kilometres (25miles) to the coast so one of the reasons why people take the Mt Warning hike is to get a full view of the Tweed Valley (the caldera).

A view of the south western side of Mt Warning.
The mountain still dominates the horizon no matter what angle.
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The Benefits to Visiting the Best Sunflower Field.

Sunflowers Are More Than Just a Pretty Face and a day trip to the Best Sunflower Field Offers so Many Benefits.

There is something special about the humble sunflower as it seems to have a unique ability to make a sad person smile so why not add a little sunshine to a friend’s, or your life with some natural therapy and buy a couple of sunflowers or better still, track down the best Sunflower field closest to you. It’s bound to convert sadness into a smile plus it offers so many benefits.

The Best Sunflower Field has hundreds of Huge flowers with bees busily removing the pollen.
The Sunflower is facing the sun allowing bees to do their thing.
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Sitting on the headland at Fingal Head looking out at the whales that are so close.

It’s a ‘2 for the price of 1’ holiday when you stay at Fingal Head

Whales escape

Fingal Head NSW is an excellent low-key holiday location where you’ll come back to year after year. It has a choice of two magnificent beaches as well as an excellent view point to watch the Humpback whales as they migrate! So it’s a ‘2 for the price of 1’ holiday as the whales are a bonus.

A view from Fingal Head NSW looking out across Point Danger and the Pacific Ocean.
Looking out across to Cook Island which forms part of Point Danger.


Peace & Tranquility, yet Only 20 Minutes From the Gold Coast.

Pristine beaches

In terms of tourism and population growth, the region of the Northern NSW coast where communities once laid quiet until about the 1990’s, is now definitely buzzing. From the Queensland border south to Pottsville, this area offers so much variety in things to do and places to see such as
vast pristine beaches, the natural coastline and countryside.

You’ll also enjoy the smaller boutique style accommodation plus the choices range from camping to self contained cabins to apartments. And… plenty of dining options at popular trendy cafes.

This area will have you going back.



Tam Coc Sampan Ride. Hey, Lady! You Bling Good Ruck!

Monolithic Mountains

A tasty lunch was waiting when we arrived into Tam Coc, Vietnam and once that was finished it was time for the Tam Coc Sampan Ride. Wahoo!! I was soo excited!!

Sampans are low sided flat bottomed boats designed to use in shallow waterways. This portion of the day tour was the highlight for me. 

The pictures in the brochure reminded me of other photos that I’d seen online. These were of people in small boats floating down the Li River in China. It just looked magical with the monolithic mountains surrounding the serene valley.

Tam Coc Sampan Ride
Gliding along the waterway in a Sampn

Wow! My thoughts immediately went to my bucket list as I’ve wanted to experience it ever since seeing it online. Hanoi isn’t far from the Chinese boarder and the scenery looked spectacularly similar so it was close enough for me!    

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Xin Chào Hanoi

Xin Chào Hanoi

How hot is it?! It’s late October and I’ve just walked out of the air-conditioned Hanoi International airport and the heat and humidity has hit me like a ton of bricks. Instantly beads of sweat exuded across my forehead and the top of my lip.

For a brief moment… I regressed back to my first sauna experience. I’d perspired that much I swear I’d shrunken in size. But then again, maybe it was just wishful thinking on my part.

Hoan Kiem Lake bridge

Having now landed in the North of the country and based on the fact that Hanoi was closer to the North Pole 😊, I expected a little less of both the heat and humidity but no; that wasn’t to be. Silly me.

Xin Chao Hanoi!

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