What's New in July 2022
LARGE Panoramas - Suitable for enormous prints metres wide.
MEDIUM Format - Latest technology. Easily suitable for prints 60 inches and beyond.
So here we are again with another batch of images for the collection. This time my travels saw our boy and I exploring the south coast of New South Wales and a brief adventure into the Victorian Alps where we were met with mixed success mainly due to tide issues and a lack of light, though ultimately a few solid keepers.
Our first trip brought us back to Budderoo National Park where a pleasant morning was had in the company of the delightful little waterfall at Nellies Glen. The scene was backlit by the sunrise which had some advantages in terms of colour, but also proved challenging in terms of glare on the water surface.
Given the hideously long drive through the night, we slept most of the day away, and focused on Carrington Falls in the evening. I built an anchor and roped us up so we were both well protected and could approach the top of the cliff in safety, but whilst the falls were spectacular the wind was too much for my kind of detailed photography on this occasion.
Where to go next? With an eye on the tidal charts several options were abandoned. In the end, we went for the old favourite of Bermagui. Dawn was a fizzer, however, with the tide just too aggressive despite being moderately lowish. I faffed about dangling off outcrops and trying to balance my precious medium format gear with each tripod leg resting more on hope than on rock. At one point a wave splattered me and that was enough to call it silly and move on.
During the day we managed some good scouting discovering a new location I am super excited about. More on that later. As evening approached there was debate upon where to shoot. We ended up back where we had begun, Camel Rock. A completely cloudless day is generally the bane of the landscape photographer, but I was determined to try.
Once again, the tide was too high, but walking out I turned around for one last look and was suddenly taken by an arrangement of the crags that had previously escaped my attention. How had I missed such an obvious shot? I pushed my tripod deep into the sand and let the waves swirl around my legs, shooting hundreds of frames over the course of an hour or so, until a colourful twilight glow lit the sky.
The next morning found us at Mimosa National Park were the novelty of hiking over large, rounded stones which roll underneath you somehow proved enjoyable, and we were in good spirits when the sunrise provided a cracker of a scene. I was keen to capture the rock outcrop for which the park is named so we milled around in the pre-dawn murk eyeing off compositions until eventually settling on one which I shot both as a big panorama, and in a traditional 4x3 aspect. These two images were to become my favorites for this series.
With time running out the question then became should we head home along the Victorian east coast or go up through Kosciuszko instead. I checked the Snowy Mountains Highway, and saw it was still open, but only for one more day. Our boy made the call, wanting to have some time in the snow.
The drive was longer than expected. I kept an eye out for photo ideas, but side-of-the-road photography tends to be more miss than hit. Finally, with only an hour or so of remaining we reached the wide-open plains, all white and glittering with a carpet of snow.
Our lad, being of that age, wanted to go chasing about for the sheer joy of it. I managed to get him into snow boots and put a jacket on at least before he was off. As I scanned the terrain for photographic potential it occurred to me that some of it was moving. Tiny brown dots were hopping about before my eyes. Rabbits!
As a budding wildlife photographer our youngster focused his energy trying to capture an image of them. They were a little too shy for him, but it was fun trying. As the sun began to sink, my attention was drawn to an unusual tree, sitting all alone on the snowy plateau whilst the low cloud closed in and temperatures dropped towards freezing.
Our last dawn saw us at Tallangatta on the edge of Lake Hume. Having driven through this region countless times I am always on the lookout for photographic potential. We returned to a particular scene overlooking the township to make another attempt on it. How many times we had done this before I forget, but on this occasion, I was overjoyed to witness swirling fog and direct golden light dance across the landscape.
That was the end of the first trip, but another mid-winter escape was granted to us. Wanting to have more snow time I booked us a day pass for Mount Hotham and we made sure to get up there crazy early to nab a good park.
I invested the dawn into a composition I was familiar with, looking towards Feathertop. It was bitterly cold with a hungry wind. Our fingers, sans gloves, would not move so it became a little dance. Warm fingers, change camera settings or shoot, then seconds later, quickly back to warming them again. Somehow, I managed a crisp detailed panorama of the scene that I am genuinely happy with. The peaks catching that golden glow through misty low cloud with the deep shadows all filled with colour, marvelous. Given this location, at this time of year, is almost always invisible of a morning, it was certainly something.
Remember that new location I was excited about on the coast? Next, we drove all the way back there, some seven hours, but alas the light was poor, and worse the low tide was not low enough. Hugging the rocks, we made a daring nocturnal approach but with the ocean crashing upon us out of the darkness, it seemed irresponsible to try advancing further. Instead, I made a careful note and will return perhaps during a neap low tide.
Over the course of the next couple of days we continued to come up empty handed at every turn. Scouting locations, committing to a shoot, only to be undone by mediocre light. I was starting to think I had lost my mojo, when finally, an early morning near Traralgon yielded a worthy view of Tyers Gorge. A few patches of fog floated through the scene and the sky caught some subtle hues. Nice. Not epic, but not every image needs to scream at you and a great little finisher for the end of trip.
So that is it, dear readers. Nothing more to report. As ever, I hope your own lives provide some outdoor serenity. The benefits of even an hour under some trees can be truly rewarding if you are open to it. All the best until next time.