Category Archives: darling ranges

Sunset-Avon Valley style

This is an image from the Saturday, where I headed down to Cobblers Pool to see what I could get. I loved this view from early on, but had to wait till 15-20min after sunset before the highlights from the harsh light were manageable. Still a little blow out but at a minor level. So after shooting a few other compositions I returned and shot away.

Remnants of the mighty Avon

Remnants of the mighty Avon

As I mentioned in my previous post- the water level was incredibly low, and not looking at all good for the Avon Descent this weekend. But that low water level was perfect for me! 🙂 The rocks being exposed also lend themselves to the flowing water, creating the fantastic long exposure effects. The foreground here is magic, and I reckon could have worked as an abstract image too. But I ran out of light to try that out haha. Next time! 🙂

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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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Araluen Revisited

A while back now I touched about my visit to Araluen with the Camera Club I’m a member of. Gem Camera Club. We had a bit of a fun day out in which we did a photo rally. Where a list of 12 subjects was given and we had 2 hours to get photos, only taking 1 image of each only. Really making you focus on every aspect of each shot you take.

I’ve finally got round to putting up the next few of my images from that day.


The first one here is obviously of Tulips. Araluen is known for these, and I can’t imagine how many million photos have been taken of them!! When you think of Tulips, the standard shot comes to mind. Side on with a bit of back lighting. Or looking up through the Tulip bed from a lower POV. I really wanted something different, and spent nearly the whole 2 hours looking for my shot. Finally I saw something I was after. And then after many small adjustments of zoom, and positioning so as to not appear to “cram the shot” I ended up with this.


The second topic here was the unique chairs they have in the middle of the garden beds. I went for the symmetry shot, wish i’d seen at the time that the chair wasn’t in the middle 😛 otherwise I would have moved it a bit haha.


And the last one i’ll show was a bridge. I’ve made it no secret that I like winding subjects in photos. So the old style bridge and the winding creek caught my eye. I didn’t quite get what I was after but wasn’t entirely unhappy. I wish I was a bit more comfortable in asking people if they could move for a minute while I take a shot…. That part doesn’t fit in with this image.

I’ve finally got a link up to the club site (in my blogroll). So if you have a few minutes check them out and see some of the fantastic work from the club. All scanned images from the place getters in each of the competitions throughout the year. Some unfortunately don’t quite do the photo justice (losing some quality in the scanning process), but next year going digital will be a big improvement. Still a great collection from such a small club.

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Ellis Brook

Well i’m going to take a risk here of having Flem black list me, and do a post on waterfalls.

Ellis Brook is one of my favourite locations close to Perth. It’s only about 15min away from me and I have spent many days walking the tracks leading from the top of the falls. Despite walking Lesmurdie, Kitty’s Gorge and John Forest walk tracks often as well, Ellis Brook is the only location i’ve managed to shoot properly. I do have to head out to those locations again as they are just as fantastic. This last year I didn’t get out in the bush as I would have liked, something I really want to change for next year.

Ellis Brook is one of the Darling Ranges secrets, which many people do not even know is there. Despite being not even 5 min off Tonkin Hwy, you can even see the falls when they’re flowing from the hwy!! So why i’m posting this i’m not sure 😛

Situated at the end of the valley is the stunning 60ft falls. Positioned on a seasonal creek, they take a few decent rains to start flowing each year. But when they are in full flight they are quite spectacular. The reserve is also well known for wildflowers, and during Spring is so beautiful with a huge range of wildflowers, ranging from wattle, grevillia, hakea and many different types of orchids. There usually is a number of wildflower study groups up there on weekends.


The above shot is from the base of the falls. A nice detour through the bush off the main track is rewarded with this scene. I wish I had Grad ND’s at this stage to control the sky, but I will have to return to this location to better this. I still think it’s quite effective considering.


This image here is taken at one of the cascades along the creek at the base of the valley. I think this is my favourite from Ellis Brook, at this stage anyway. I love the rocks at the top of the image. When I was shooting the falls by themselves, they really were missing something. I thought i’d try this spikey bush as some foreground and really liked the look.


This image is one of my first long exposures. I was wanting to head up to Karijini, so thought i’d probably better try some long exposures before I went! So this was a trial. Just a simple little scene with about  30sec exposure.

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Araluen Botanical Park visit with Gem Camera Club

Well it’s been a while since my last post, all my spare time the last couple of weeks has been in training for today’s City to Surf. I went into the day quite worried (it’s been about 10 years since my last long distance run) with how under prepared I was, not knowing what was ahead of me as it was my first time. All said and done when i got to the end my only disappointment was that I still had energy left, and should/could have pushed myself alot harder. Now a tense wait to see if I cracked the 1hr time for the 12 kms. Not a great time but as I had only been able to train a few times a week at distances of 6km I will be happy if that time was reached. With proper training next year, starting closer to the front of the group (to avoid being held up by the 1000’s of people who should have been in the slower groups) and knowledge of the course I hope to smash the time I did today.

Now to the camera stuff. I’m part of a camera club and have been for about 2 years now. It is a great tool to improve, learn and push yourself further with your photography. I’m a member of the Gem Camera Club which is based in Kalamunda. It is quite a small club with 20 or so members, but is full of great photographers. It really is priceless for a youngster like me to be around the members who have been shooting photos for much longer then I have been around.

We occasionally have a fun day out as a club, and one of these days is a Photo Rally. We go to the set location, and are given a list of subjects. We then have a 1 shot limit for each subject. This really makes you stop and really think about everything going on. You need to check composition thouroughly, make sure the right parts of the image is in focus, most importantly watch your exposure-which is often changing constantly throughout the set up. I shoot using manual setting, and fell victim to this changing light. I had the exposure right, then a young child ran right through the shot. I waited for him to exit the frame, then took the shot. During that time a cloud had came over and left me with a underexposed image 😦 silly silly me.

For this rally we went to Araluen which is located in Roleystone. It is spectacular most of the year but in Spring it really comes alive. Countless wildflowers are found through the native bushland but it is the stunning Tulips that Araluen is known for. With many varieties of Tulips and a few small streams it really is a beautiful location.

These are 2 compositions of a small waterfall found while walking up the gully. After the rally I returned here as I quite liked what was on offer. With the vertical composition I really liked the water sparkling and leading up to the falls. I took another shot with a longer exposure but I liked the composition with sharper water.

With the 2nd image I wanted to capture more of the log. I loved the water
running underneath it, and even though it was in shade it still managed to show some texture and detail. Ferns and greenery always get me going with water shots so I wanted to get a bit more of that too. In looking back I wish I had pinned down the clump of grasses in the foreground though! Especially the big fat thing….

Anyway I hope you enjoy. I do have a Tulip shot coming but I couldn’t be bothered retaking any after the rally was done. Bad I know but we’d had a big night the night before, I was happy to just be there haha. So that’s why there isn’t a Tulip shot in this post. I have to wait for this image to come back.

Thanks 🙂 p.s, sorry for so much writing…guess i’m making up for not having a post for a while 🙂

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