Avon Valley

Well I had quite an enjoyable weekend spent in the Avon Valley region, between Northam and the Swan Valley. Obviously well known for the Avon Descent, the white water event held along the river annually. A race of this size requires a large support crew, one of which is the swiftwater rescue teams, of which I joined them on their scouting run of the valley. Hopefully i’ll also be there this weekend for the main event, but at this stage i’m not sure.

Misty Avon

Misty Avon

What a morning we were treated with as well, with stunning fog and low cloud as we descended into Northam. My trip to Kallanie the other week was also much the same, and I’d love to hit the region properly in those conditions again when I have no time restrictions! Anyway, the river was extremely low- so I imagine there’s going to be some sore and tired bods next weekend from having to drag the boats over the rocks which in sections is the only way to pass.

We stayed at Cobblers Pool, which is also the overnight camping area for the race weekend, and it didn’t disappoint with thick fog in the morning. So I headed down to the river and was able to snap a few pics. The low water level which will make it tough for the competitors, was perfect for me to use. As so many interesting boulders were exposed, creating nice cascades and water motion. It also enabled me right out into the middle of the river, which usually at this time of year would be under a meter or 2 of water!

Late in my shoot as I was about to pack up and head back I came across this little cascade. I love the vailed water, and also the streaming water around the rock in the foreground. For nearly 8am, the fog was so thick the sun was still struggling to penetrate it!

Got a few more to come from this weekend, and also my weekend at Kalannie a few weeks ago. With me moving up North shortly i’ve actually been incredibly motivated and inspired to get out and about- shooting some locations I’ve wanted to for a long time, and also some unexpected locations too! So stay tuned! 🙂

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19 responses to “Avon Valley

  1. As far as the Avon decent goes the river is a shocker. The lack of rain is bad news all around.

    Where are you shifting to Stephen?

  2. How beautiful! I made a quick trip to Bells Rapids while I was in Perth, but did not take any photographs; I was taking a break from my camera. It is very stunning country, in that area.

    • Thanks Melissa, it sure is some nice country. there were so many people at Bells so I didn’t stop there, but the whole way along the valley was stunning

      • Yes, there were a lot of people when I was there, too. I ended up walking along a track farther down the river; much fewer people and a lot more pleasant! My sister had never heard of the place, despite having lived in Perth for a few years, now, so we headed to the best-known spot.

      • Good one Stephen.

        Work related I take it.

        Hope you get plenty of time to get out with the camera, there’s plenty to see out there.

  3. I agree with you totally Melissa, I usually stay well away from people when I’m in the bush. It was actually quite an unusual feel for me being in the bush as it was with the rescue crews. about 60 more people then i’m used to lol.

    good to hear you got out and experienced it though. there’s so many great spots so close to Perth that many many people don’t know about.
    great way to wind down after a week at work 🙂

  4. yeah i’m transferring up there with work Mervman. leave in about 6 weeks for up to whenever I get sick of it.

    photography will be the main factor, with pretty much every spare moment i’ll be heading out to different spots. I can’t wait! 🙂

  5. Lovely misty look to the image Stephen, really enjoyed the story. Would be a bit disappointing to show up to a white water event and then there’s hardly any water!

    As for composition I am not totally sold. You know me, that Horizon Stuck In The Middle With You returned and there’s a bit too much sky 🙂 Sorry. Gotta tell it straight 🙂 I do love the mysterious myst though.

    • thanks Flem- not sure how you followed that story with no gaps haha. I think something happened to the format of the post because it’s looking a bit weird right now. glad you enjoyed it though- nothing compared to yours but I give it a shot 🙂

      haha, yeah the horizon, i’ve chopped it back on the master and it has improved. the main components I focused on was the water play around the rock and small cascades a 1/3rd of the way up.
      no need to apologize to me though!

  6. Do you ever give Flemming as much grief as he gives you?? 😀

    Those are lovely tones in the photo. I know you do minimal editing to your shots and I’m always amazed at the results you get more or less straight out the camera. You landscape togs are saintly in your patience. I start to think about long exposures and the thought of a tripod gets my ADHD revs up (not giving myself any cred in a forum of landscape photographers am i?). But one day, I’ll actually own a decent tripod (or any tripod at all) and maybe things will be different then 😀

    • i picked him up for dust spots once 😀 haha.
      nah I don’t mind- over the years he’s helped me out so many times and more times then I could go into. so if he tells me why, etc etc- then he’s helping me to get to the standard I want.

      if it was some hack out there ripping me to shreds and unable to explain why, how I could have improved- or with a low standard of images themselves then I guess it would be a little different- but with Flem I have no problem at all. I probably help him out sometimes by explaining how the lamens look at his images lol

      thanks for the comment- and i’m glad that you are impressed, and can still see the minimal editing. which is literally the basic RAW conversion, which obviously still has made a huge difference on my images from the old jpg’s.

      and yeah I so often just stand there doing nothing, waiting for that light to bring the image together. sometimes when the light is on i’m a blur, running everywhere between pre-scouted compositions though haha.
      in the last 6 months though i’ve really slowed it down- literally taking 40-50 images during a sunset shoot. of which probably only consists of 4-5 compositions, just waiting, sampling the light/contrasts/waterplay, and then wait again or moving on. I think from a personal pov that it has worked big time 🙂

      • Thanks for the words Stephen. Seriously though, let me know when it’s too much. I just instantly analyze and really only want to help friends improve their art. But sometimes I get carried away.

        Btw. it’s an interesting discussion. Does one have to be a great artist to be a great critic? It’s a common and natural defense from artists to critics “well, what have you done”. The critic might correctly point out “nothing…I’m no artist…I’m just good at analyzing and being a critic…that’s who I am…you’re the artist”.

        And yes, you have helped me out plenty as well, thanks!

  7. nah Flembot as I said I have no issue at all. 🙂 I was honestly just wrapped to get you to comment on a image with a creek/cascade/water in it! 😛 lol. huge respect for you and your photography, so the fact you take the time to do this is very much appreciated.

    and it is a great point you make. and very very true. that’s why I openly encourage any constructive criticism, both here and on Flickr. I understand that photography (and all art forms) is incredibly down to the individual. and what one person may absolutely love, and class as perfect- another may hate and say it’s totally flawed with no merit at all.

    that’s why I think getting many viewpoints is valuable, and no matter how basic if it is put in the right way can be used. sometimes it’s easy to over analyze, and totally miss something basic that someone else picks up.

    there is however a big difference I think between constructive criticism and ripping into an image- which is where my above comment to Charlene came in 🙂

    if anyone points out I think you should have done this, because of this reason, to achieve this result I’m all ears no matter who that person is. I may not always agree, and may not necessarily use that information, but I’ll always welcome it.
    as they say you have to have a thick skin to be an artist of any form! 🙂

    • I was just giving you grief Flemming, like I do Stephen all the time 😉 I can’t seem to resist, given how nice you guys are about it. Heh. Hats off to all of you for playing well, even when you’re being tough. The Force is strong in you all!

      I’ve slowed down a lot as well, learning to think about what I’m shooting without needing to shoot it at all if it doesn’t work. I just can’t do this stationery. As long as I can keep walking, I’m ok to not fidget otherwise. See why the idea of a tripod stresses me out?

      • yeah you are a sh*t stirrer Charlene haha. at least this year you have a good reason to say to me that I seem to travel so much. I think i’ll be at record km’s traveled this year!! 🙂

        and yeah I reckon slowing down is the way to go. so many people snap snap snap away because it’s digital. end up with 100 shots, but none of the quality that could have been achieved.

        i can’t stay stationary at all either. just ask the poor people who share my office at work haha, or anyone else I work with probably….. drive them crazy singing at the top of my voice (ridiculously well mind you), dancing, throwing stress balls at them and just about anything else you can think of lol.
        they’re gona be bored when I leave!! hahaha.

        but when I shoot, I can slow down, i’m happy to just stand there thinking, taking it all in. probably why I enjoy it so much as it’s really the only time I actually do slow down!

        i’ll get you out on a shoot with me one day and we’ll get you stopped and shooting with a tripod 🙂
        i’m thinking a farewell shoot/drinks down at a beach somewhere with the fellow bloggers i’ve got to know over the years before I head on up to Newman 🙂

  8. Me, and a tripod? Oooh, look who’s stirring the sh*t now!

    A farewell shoot/drinks sounds really good. Keep me in the loop willya?

    (No promises about the tripod though)

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