What's New in March 2021
LARGE Panoramas - Suitable for enormous prints metres wide.
MEDIUM Format - Latest technology. Easily suitable for prints 60 inches and beyond.
So the big news for my photography business is that after several years of deliberation, I've gone ahead with purchasing the latest digital medium format camera, the Fujifilm GFX 100s. This amazing camera can deliver superb, gallery worthy image quality suitable for massive prints, 60 inches and beyond, in a more traditional aspect ratio that is quite close to square. This won't mean I'm stepping away from the panoramic format that has consumed my creative endeavours for the last decade or so. I still love the panoramic view. It mimics how we see the world ourselves and shows off Australia's wide open spaces so well.
As a professional landscape photographer, I still advocate travel over equipment to up-and-coming players of the game unless there is a specific need. What this new camera means for me is an opportunity to provide my customers with more options. Moreover, sometimes a scene just screams square, and now I'll be able to accommodate that and still maintain the ability to make the huge, wall filling prints that have become the mainstay of this business.
In this series there are two images from the new gear, the first of which came from a trip to Victoria's Mt Buffalo. On this occasion I wanted to find a view of The Cathedral that I had not already captured, and possibly a completely unique perspective. Arriving well ahead of the dawn I explored the region, reacquainting myself with various options, but none jumped out at me.
By torch light I scrambled over boulders, and edged carefully across precarious drops, acutely aware of each calculated risk. The air was still and cold, not a whisper of a breeze. It filled my lungs, fuelling my exertions. Faintly, in the distance, the clear night sky began to illuminate the range below me as the sun pushed closer towards the horizon.
Would I find something in time? Twice, maybe three times I had stopped, mentally framing up a composition, but without satisfaction. With increasing vigour and anticipation, I slid between two rocks, hauled myself up, and suddenly there it was. Like the earth had revolved and with an imaginary "click" slotted into place my perfect frame.
Pack off, tripod up, camera on, remote connected, F11, manual exposure, protect the highlights, focus bracket, shoot, and repeat. Eventually I stopped when the light became harsh, and then just sat there and took it all in, listening to the sounds of nature awakening. What a grand morning to be alive.
The second square image here is a view of The Apostles found along Victoria's famous Great Ocean Road. Being only a few short hours from home, it is easy enough to pop down for a couple of days when time permits. Over the years I have often had the pleasure of wandering along Gisbons Beach, where this image was captured, but there is something about the weathered old crags rising so impressively out of the ocean that keeps me coming back.
Clearly, I'm not alone. The Great Ocean Road, lures photographers from all ends of the country. However, as crowed as it can get, it is still possible to have fun, partake in interesting conversations with like-minded individuals, or alternatively find a little space for quiet contemplation. During one such moment, as twilight began to fade, I was able to capture this scene.
Turning our attention to the panoramas in this series, you'll see a shot of Flinders Pier on the ever popular Mornington Peninsula. My interest in the pier has, of course, always been of a photographic nature. Over the course of a few decades I've attempted to capture many a sunrise here, but it proved to be a difficult location to photograph, at least to the level of "wow factor" that I was set upon creating. Often wind can be an issue with piers and with Bass Strait nearby you'd think that would be the case here, but, whilst certainly breezy, it had always been manageable. Instead the problem was simply me, I wanted something amazing, colourful and absorbing.
As luck would have it that special morning did eventually arrive during a photography trip with our young boy. The two of us had cameras set up as usual, and were treated to one of the most spectacular dawns I have ever witnessed. What an inspiring sight to behold and share. Hopefully this image conveys what we were feeling on that fiery morn.
Lastly there's the image of the Pinnacles Fire Lookout in the Alpine National Park. The Pinnacles is a rocky lookout high above the Wonnangatta River Valley on an escarpment known as Eagles Crest. Getting there involves a good two hours of rough and winding dirt roads with plenty of blind corners and the same again to get out, so I'd been putting this one off for a few years.
With our young lad often accompanying me on these photographic excursions, the last thing I wanted was to be that deep into the bush and have concerns about bushfire threats. So we picked a wet weekend with zero incidents on the emergency app, and I drove extremely carefully through the night. The result was being in position for and amazing dawn that made all the effort getting there worthwhile. Hopefully, looking at this image, you'll agree.
Right so that's it for this entry. I've another photography trip planned in the near future, probably up into New South Wales and along their southern coastal regions if there are no travel restrictions and the recent flooding is not a problem. Fingers crossed I manage to make good use of the new camera and have more work to show you soon.
All the best dear readers, may peace and happiness find you.