What's New in January 2014
LARGE Panoramas - Suitable for enormous prints metres wide.
This little collection of shots is something of mixed bag, ranging from city to mountains to coastal. Over the last couple of months, particularly in the lead up to Christmas there wasn't the time for real travel so I reverted to the "mad dash" approach, grabbing a spare day when one appeared and taking advantage of every hour in it. Most people say "mad" is the operative word when I mention I'd driven 3 hours to the Grampians, hiked up the steep and rigorous peak of Mt Difficult for 4 hours in the hot sun whilst burden down with gear, taken one photo at sunset, hiked out in the dark and driven home again. Never-the-less, one of my favourite Grampians images came out of it so this brand of madness, to me at least, is rewarding.
There are a number of locations that I know of, within a day's drive, that require certain weather conditions, season, tide, angle of light, etc. When a day comes free I quickly scan the forecast and match that to my ever growing list of picturesque scenes, pick one and head off. The view of Gibsons Beach at the Twelve Apostles is the perfect example. I've attempted to capture this scene many times over the years but never quite had the perfect combination of zero wind and interesting dawn clouds. Usually the off-shore breeze is more like an off-shore gale, and when it's not the sky is an empty blank canvas. Finally it all came together, and incredibly for this location, I had the place to myself. Well at least for a little while.
Next was the photo of Melbourne's city lights reflected in the Yarra river. It's a fairly well known site, but not one I'd tried before. Turning up in the dark, hours ahead of the dawn, I was able to pick my spot at leisure and shoot throughout the night whenever interesting clouds passed by and the light breeze dropped off causing the water to become a mirror. When the sun rose so did the rain and wind, a neat trick that Melbournians are used to but enough to send me home frustrated. However, when I later examined the images I realised all was well and truly not lost. My nocturnal captures were better than I'd hoped, with an inky magenta sky and stars trying to twinkle behind low cloud smoothed by the slow shutter.
Finally Christmas was upon us, and that love-hate thing we call the family vacation. A few days down at Mornington Peninsula proved both tiring and enjoyable. The image of my wife and our little boy aboard an inflated tube and hurtling down a water slicked hill at The Enchanted Maze, soaked and smiling, made it all seem worth the effort. And with a careful eye on the forecast I also managed to spend each sunset at a location that's been plaguing me for years, Cape Schank. After many prior attempts, one of Victoria's windiest points finally delivered the light and calm I needed, showing me the lighthouse bathed in a gloriously golden evening sun.
So where to next? Well actually I've already been up into northern New South Wales and home past the Blue Mountains, but you'll have to wait a few weeks before I can find the time to work on those shots. Hope you had a good Christmas. Happy New Year to all.