What's New in March 2018
LARGE Panoramas - Suitable for enormous prints metres wide.
Well here we are again with another photographic update from my landscape photography adventures. As you can likely determine from this series of images, I was able to head up north again, making it as far as a hot and humid Queensland. Here I spent some quality time in Lamington National Park seeking out waterfalls I'd not photographed yet.
One of those was Morans Falls, where I had my first encounter with a strange form of wildlife I'll call the YouTube generation. Four young lads and their drone, one of whom posed semi-clad upon the cliff top and stared off into the middle distance, whilst the others snapped photos and piloted their craft to film him. It was an unusual experience. I'm certainly more used to being alone during my photographic endeavours. However I felt encouraged to hear their rather vocal appreciation of the quality of light we were granted, and the splendid natural environment that surrounded us.
On another evening I hatched a plan to hike up a peak near Mt Warning, in the dark of night, in order to catch the first light falling upon that impressive mountain. I'd visited some info centres and obtained some track notes, maps and directions. Thus armed I drove to the trail head, geared up around 2am, and commenced walking. Within a few metres, however, I came across such a volume of spiders blocking the path that I thought I'd wandered onto the set of an Indiana Jones movie. I admit to not likely the creatures at the best of times, but this was something out of nightmare.
I forced myself onwards for half an hour, but was making such little forward progress that I was sure I'd never make the summit before dawn. I've thrown in the towel on hikes before due to exhaustion or lack of water, but this was the first time I'd basically chickened out. Getting back to the car was a relief, and I was still able to make Brisbane for a back up dawn shot of Story Bridge, which worked out well in the end.
You can see a few other Queensland shots I managed including Surfers Paradise backlit by the morning light and penetrating a lingering fog, as well as one from further east at Lake Moogerah where I had a sheer luck moment with evening light piercing a thick brooding cloud cover to spot light the mountain range. I had waited for hours in the heat, and that event had lasted just seconds, making it all the more rewarding to have captured it.
Curtis Falls was another photo from that region which worked out well. From previous trips I'd learned I needed a perfect water level to show it off. To much and it just looked muddy, and too little and the excitement was gone. This time around it was just right, though I had to work quickly before the morning light invaded the valley with harsh shadows.
Of course I'm editing as I go here to not bore you with the failures. Writing about endless days of driving, dodgy truck stops in the dead of night, and standing about in the cold to witness yet another bland dawn is hardly the stuff of epic prose. So I'll skip forward, to my homeward journey back through New South Wales where I found Tacking Point Lighthouse in excellent light.
Having photographed this scene quite a few times now, I will say I'm impressed by the number of people who get out of bed to witness the dawn. There must be something about Port Macquarie that encourages vigour. There are always people fishing from the rocks, trekking up and down the beach or just patiently awaiting the arrival of the sun. Maybe it's the brisk salty air, but I can't help feeling energized by this place.
I've left the best to last, because the shot of trip came right at the end. Returning south via the Blue Mountains I made my usual attempt at Govetts Leap fully expecting it to be clouded in just as it has been for the dozens of previous times I've tried it over the years. My expectations were set so low that I nearly slept through the most amazing light I've ever seen from this view.
With my camera set up, I huddled down on the cold damp ground to wait it out, completely enveloped in low cloud as usual, only to be awakened by some excited voices beside me. A couple of tourists had chanced the early morning too. I immediately jumped into action and was blown away by the beauty before me with shafts of light slicing down from the heavens like some kind of biblical epiphany. Once again, I had only seconds in which to work, but got the shot I'm very pleased to say.
Where to next? I won't be able to afford another big trip like that one for a while, so it will be local stuff. Our boy is growing up so fast, he's great company on photography adventures. We'll probably do some short hikes together, car camping, and maybe come away with a shot or two.
So that's it for another blog dear readers. I really hope that at some point in your busy lives you also get to witness moments of sheer beauty and joy. It can be easy to become so bogged down by the daily grind of work, bills, chores, and so on that time just slips away and before you know it another year has gone by. May some good light find you.