What's New in July 2015
LARGE Panoramas - Suitable for enormous prints metres wide.
Late autumn and early winter provided me with some wonderful photographic opportunities. This series of images come from several short trips where I managed to both revisit some old favourites and discover new scenes.
I think the best shot of the collection shows off the autumn hues at Pickerings Hut near Mansfield. Each time I'd checked it out in the past the trees were not in form, or the weather was against me. This time luck was on my side with a light early morning rain easing off and really enriching those colours.
Having been silly enough to leave my umbrella behind I tried to hold a coat over the camera but as the hours past my arms ached. I then tried to rig up a shelter out of jackets and sticks but ended up thoroughly wet through anyway. Kneeling under the contraption continually wiping off the lens and reshooting, I was pretty sore by the end of it. The effort was wasted anyway, because the rain eventually ceased and a few moments of magic light filled the scene before it became too intense. Awesome fun and a great little area to explore.
A return to Craigs Hut was next. I've shot it dozens of times now, but somehow it lures me back. It was bitterly cold up there in early winter. A real bone chiller. Lots of people camping overnight though. Kids wrapped up in 16 layers still managed to race about with smiles. It's that kind of place. Guaranteed to exorcise the mundane out of your brain.
Next up was a return to the Alpine National Park, specifically to hike up Mt Howitt and try to find a spot I'd photographed with my father some 30 years ago. During that trip we'd run out of water and energy and been forced to sleep the night on the Cross Cut Saw with nothing but a fruit cup each to quench our thirst. The view however, was spectacular, and it was that scene from my childhood I'd wanted to recapture as well as my recollections.
I trekked up in the dark ahead of the dawn, donning my snow shoes about half-way up and making the summit with ample time to spare. The pre-dawn, however, revealed nothing but fog. I picked a composition and waited none-the-less. Incredibly the sun, when it did rise, forced its way through a heavy mist and lit up the landscape with a magnificent glow.
Afterwards, having found the best spot along the ridgeline I set up my tripod and spent the day basically waiting for the sun to set, reading, sleeping, and generally being at peace. I watched the light play across the range of peaks, and clouds cover everything then retreat, only to return. It all came down to one moment in the end, but I'd had all day to prepare and was more than ready with the shutter release.
The drive, along snow covered dirt tracks was an experience in itself and a good test for my fledgling off-road abilities. Just enough to scare me without being really serious. Actually the one thing that did provide a worry were the "deer stalkers" as they called themselves. Being on my own, in the middle of nowhere, miles from help, but surrounded by random gun fire ads a level of adventure to the experience. I'm sure they're nice enough chaps, but it did make me want to hurry up the mountain a little quicker.
The Twelve Apostles of course is another of those places that lures me back. This time however I braved the tides to capture the scene from water level. Okay, it wasn't that daring, but the thought of the tide returning and cutting off retreat added a spark to the adventure. I got wet anyway, what with the occasional big wave, though it was more a laugh than a worry.
The question of where to next is always a tricky one. Money is still tight for us this year, so if I do go it won't be far. I've also had a back injury so another snow hike might have to wait for next season. Australia is so beautiful, I'm sure I'll find something. Until then, all the best and thanks for reading.