What's New in July 2013
LARGE Panoramas - Suitable for enormous prints metres wide.
With that glorious luxury called time I headed up into New South Wales armed with some particular objectives. On a previous trip through Armidale I'd found their lovely little chapel and essentially planned the whole return journey around visiting it again, this time in autumn. With a forecast for morning fog dialled in I drove 14 hours, arriving well ahead of the dawn and started scouting out compositions. The fog was heavy, the red leaves glistened, all was as it should be. In the end I couldn't decide between two angles and kept swapping between them. What a glorious spot!
With that shot in the bag the rest of the excursion became something of a struggle with day after day of empty blue skies, wonderful for holiday markers, but not so grand for landscape photographers hoping for a dramatic sunset. I spent a lot of time shooting waterfalls at dawn before the bright morning light had a chance to invade. Sometimes that situation yielded interesting results. Oakland Falls, for example, developed fingers of streaming light, always a beauty to behold and a nightmare to photograph, though on this occasion the cave provided a natural, enormous lens hood eliminating flare.
I'd conducted a great deal of research into Nightcap National Park before leaving, but as fate would have it, the hike I wanted to do was closed due to storm damage. Although I don't mind jumping the occasional fence in the interests of art, I balked at risking a fine, so started talking to locals to explore other options. I got the name of a private land owner and left a message. Amazingly a few days later he replied granting me permission to use his "road". I hesitate to use the word since it was really an overgrown, snake infested jungle of waist high grass and vines, but beggars can't be choosers. Up the mountain I trekked, and the shot looking towards Mt Warning was the result. All good in the end.
What else happened? Oh yes, that Mt Barney scene was interesting. I managed to scout the location completely in the dark of night by driving up and down little roads for hours. I'd form compositions using only vague silhouettes and an idea of what shapes would look nice together. I knew I wanted a road, or track leading the eye towards the peak. When dawn arrived I could see my guesswork had paid off. The clouds even decided to play ball. I fell back to sleep afterwards, exhausted by the night's adventures, only to be woken by mounted cattlemen herding a flock down the same road, whips a-cracking. Would have made an even better shot, but they'd gone before I could spring into action.
5000 kms more on the odometer and my aging, but ever faithful steed had me home again. So where to next? Something local I'm guessing. There's a scene in Melbourne I've been working on, and I'd also like to get back into the high country mountain huts when the snow season arrives. Plenty of ideas, all I need is the elusive commodity of time.