Tag Archives: clouds

Newman landscapes

Hello to you all in blog world, if anyone checks in here anymore anyway. It’s been far too long between posts unfortunately, and quite funny to think that a year ago I was hoping to post an image a day…. I didn’t even manage one a week i’m afraid.

newman, sunset, pilbara

Newman Isolation

After a crazy year to say the least, i’ve returned to Perth from Newman where I called home for about 14 months. I’ll return for sure when the time is right, but just for now I need to be in Perth. I was privileged to see some amazing locations, and experienceΒ  some absolutely once in a lifetime experiences.

This image is from just out of town, I loved so much how I could finish work and 10min later be in a place such as this, a place seemingly untouched by anyone. It’s a perfect spot to unwind and leave the worries of the day far behind. On this particular day after the sun had just gone below the horizon the clouds lit up in beautiful fashion.

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Here’s a new image from The Pilbara

This is one of my favorite images from the Pilbara, and quite different to others of this vast landscape. It’s got the white gums I love, mixed with some amazing twilight light after sunset. I took it a couple of months ago now but was waiting until the results from the Landscape 500 came back before I posted it.

white gum, pilbara, western australia landscapes

Bronze in the Landscape 500- Score 79

The sunset on this particular day wasn’t anything too special, but I hung it out as I really love the twilight light, and it really has an amazing effect on the Pilbara Landscapes. This day did not disappoint, and my patience was rewarded. There was some wind which gives the tree it’s surreal look. Mixing moving leaves with the stationary trunk. A trunk which has shone beautifully in the soft light, and the rocks which still have incredible luminescence taking into consideration there is no direct light on any of this scene.

Just missed out again on Silver, but still a result i’m happy with πŸ™‚

Click here to see my other competition results.

Pilbara Storms

One thing I really look forward to here in the Pilbara, is the storms. I’ve always had a fascination with weather, I guess it goes hand in hand with photography, and hiking- which are my 2 main passions. But it’s just something I love all round. I’m forever on the BOM site, and various other weather sites, always tune into the Foxtel weather channel in the morning, and usually throughout the day to. I’m a nerd haha. Well when it comes to weather anyway.

So many times i’ve heard about the Pilbara Storms, but yet to experience it for myself. In the last week however, she decided to give me a small taste. So out I went, eyes wide open, big smile on my face. There are quite limited routes to go, literally North, South and one other road that kinda goes North North East. So that doesn’t make it easy to get into good positions, but I could still experience it anyway.

pilbara storm, newman, cloud

Pilbara lift off

The first image is of the storm building. I was heading North, when I checked the side mirror and saw this beast looming behind me. So I pulled over, and sprinted up the first hill I could find, not really getting the view I was after I followed a bush track for a couple of minutes before once again sprinting up a hill. This time I could capture the storm.

pilbara, storm, lightning, cloud

Pilbara UFO

 

From here I continued to go North, there were actually 2 storms, another one about a km behind me when I took the 1st image. They were heading towards each other so I thought they were going to collide- and hopefully go extreme!! This never eventuated, but I came across this scene anyway. This cool little valley had lightning going crazy at the end of it. Unfortunately once again, this ceased as soon as I set up lol. But then this wicked little cloud formed, and in this particular shot- was rimmed entirely by some in cloud lightning. It’s given that definition to it, and separated it from the rest of the cloud.

pilbara storm, sunset, newman, clouds

Pilbara Blues

The last image here is from earlier this week. More storms fired up in the arvo- so out I went again. This time I headed South, before spotting a small hill just off the road. I found some tracks that headed towards it, and then actually went right up the side as well. So into 4wd I went, and up the hill I go. Saved me a run on this day which was good, running through spinifex with camera gear isn’t exactly my thought of fun haha.

There was a big cloud just out of frame of this image, and as a result the cloud behind was tinged with the most amazing blue. The images I took of it are going to be one’s I think i’ll forever be asked if it was the colours I saw, and if I did any adjustments in post processing. That I can confirm is a definite no- these clouds were freeking incredible! πŸ™‚

It’s been a weird week for me. It honestly feels like a holiday, despite working full time. So as most of my trips last 2-3 weeks, it felt all week like i’d be heading home soon, back to the people I care about, and back to my normal life. So it’s now hitting home that I am here for good- here for a while anyway. Ready to explore the depths of the Pilbara as I go. And I can’t wait! πŸ˜€

Make sure you open up the images to the large size as the wordpress compressions play around a bit with the smaller images.

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Fee Fi Fo Fum

In a land far, far away, there is a place of magic and mystery. A simple climb up the magic beanstalk, and you find yourself in a land of giants. Here everyday items appear miniature, and the inhabitants are so small and fragile. It’s a place high above the clouds, where a BBG (Big Beaming Giant) roams carefree. His silhouette can often be seen at sunrise, from the car park if you look up, you will see it, the BBG standing at the summit. Gazing across the land below.

Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum

Ok ok, enough of that. It’s obvious what’s going on here. The land is the magical Stirling Ranges, the everyday items are small because they’re 800m below you, the inhabitants small because they’re mainly insects and the odd mammal. The BBG however is not far fetched at all- of course that handsome fella is me! πŸ™‚ And most definitely you can see my frame at the summit at sunrise, gazing out at the world in amazement.

I have just stumbled across this image, taken when I visited the Stirlings back in October last year. I loved this image when I first took it, but then for some reason it fell out of favour with me….. until now anyway. The tree and moss really caught my eye, looking out over the cloud far below me. It really was a magical experience, and i’m most definitely beaming when I took it, and now when i’m reliving it….. even though by a bit of a played out story.

Of course don’t forget to check out my 2011 Landscape Calendar πŸ™‚

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Kalannie Special Ops

After a cool light show at sunset, I thought i’d try and get another image I had in mind for the weekend, that being a nice old tree stump with star or cloud trails. I spied this tree so set up, and waited for the light to get to the right level for this lovely mystical image to take place. I did a slight bit of light painting on the tree to help that out, and also on the surrounding bushes, but not to the level that some other photographers do. There are some amazing light painters out there and I wouldn’t even come close to that- so why kid myself haha.

End of Days

End of Days

I love the soft light that can be captured with long exposures long after the sun has gone down. It’s funny how some days it’s there, others it’s not. The only thing is that you don’t know until you try and capture it on a camera- it’s invisible to the naked eye.

A lot of photographers try and make night time images look just like day light by ultra long exposures. But I really try to capture the feeling of night- it is after all pitch black, so why remove that element totally. In this image I love the lighter cloud in the background behind the tree, “nestling” it within the image. Hopefully the detail shows up ok on everyone’s monitors, I know sometimes these on the edge images can get darker then they should be!

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The Holland Track- now for the details!

The other week I touched briefly on my trip along the Holland Track- which was mainly about the amazing storm we experienced on the first night. So here’s a bit more of an in depth post about the trip and what the Holland Track is.

The Track

The Track

Originally cut back in 1893 by John Holland- the track was made as a short cut for miners coming up from Albany who were heading out to Kalgoorlie in their rush for gold. It set off from Broomehille, heading North East through dense scrub land to Coolgardie, 530km’s away! Unbelievably this was cut in 2 months, led by John Holland who set out each day on horseback to locate the distinct rocks that trace the track. These were generally the only source of reliable water. What makes this feat even more remarkable- was that the section of track to the North East of Hyden regrew very soon after due to the Perth to Coolgardie train line being completed. It remained overgrown until in 1993 Adrian Malloy and Graeme Newbey retraced the route as close as they could with a tractor. I’m not entirely sure how long they took to cover the same ground to re-open it- but the first official trip occurred 5 months later.

2 months to cover that distance, in the dense scrubland and extreme climate conditions really is something to be admired. We went for a bit of a walk to try and locate some remnants of the original track at Thursday rock (which is no longer used for about 15km) and that was enough to realise partially what the original team experienced. It still wouldn’t even come close. The crossing was only made possible with the help of local indigenous people who knew where the rocks and their precious Gnamma holes were. Gnamma holes are water holes, kind of like wells that naturally occur in some of the large rocks found in the region.

The section from Hyden to Coolgardie is a popular 4wd track, with some tight, twisted and rutted sections to negotiate but all in all a pretty simple drive. We cruised along at a reasonable pace, taking in the sights. The Goldfields and their especially Mallee sections are stunning- when you see the magnificent Gimlet Tree’s you will be blown away. Growing in groves of hundreds of thin, wiry tree’s- the reds that can be found in their bark is unbelievable. Unfortunately this time I wasn’t able to get any pics of them, but next time I’ll be making sure i’m at a nice location late in the afternoon when the sun lights them up in spectacular fashion.

We didn’t stay at the intended campsite the first night as there was a large number of travelers staying at Sandlewood Rock- so we made do on a side track. Which of course provided the incredible view of the thunderstorms that were in the region. A night that I still think about daily. After packing up we set off to our campsite for the next 2 nights, which was a nice big campsite nestled at the base of Thursday Rock.

Here we were lucky to pretty have it to ourselves for the 2 days, and each morning and afternoon I headed up the rock to try and get some photos. Managed a couple but nothing that I was really happy with. The light just wasn’t co-operating and I managed to find myself in the wrong places. There’s always next time πŸ™‚

So here’s another couple of photos I got on the trip. The first is sunset on the first night. The clouds lit up quite uniquely, so I used the track we came along for the foreground. As you can see there was no foreground interest anywhere as the tree’s are still quite young after the fires that swept the region. This is quite a contrast to the scene that was unfolding to my left.

Electryifying Sunset

To the left was were the storm was building, sparking up and then going nuts! The ground lightning just wouldn’t spark out of the storm head for me, so I had to go a bit wider to get some. Unfortunatley resulting in a bit too much black for my liking in the top right, but the clouds were that thick there wasn’t much else I could do. A nice bit of cloud lightning in that area would have topped this off I think. I love how the rain has been iluminated by some lightning!

Golden Sunrise

The last image here is from Thursday rock. I waited for sunrise to light up the rock face. I think this image sums up the feel of the Goldfields. The precious water, a golden bit of light, and then the harshness of the region. I still didn’t quite get what I was after, and I wish I tried a few other things with this pool. But that will unforetunately have to wait untill next time.

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Leeuwin Lighthouse-Augusta

Well these are a from a while back, and I wasn’t going to post but recently having them printed I realised I liked them more then I originally thought. I was never quite happy with them, as I felt I didn’t quite capture them the way I wanted. However seeing them in print I saw they actually were closer to what I’d set out to achieve. If that makes any sense at all πŸ™‚ haha

Leeuwin Lighthouse

The first is a nice portrait I spose of the Leewin Lighthouse, with nice strong light ilumintaing the white bricks as they stretched upwards into an amazingly blue sky. The small patch of cloud and glint of sun in the window gave it just that little extra. Lets see Flem pick me up on the horizon though πŸ˜‰

Leeuwin Sunset

The next one here is a different vantage point to the normal. As you know by now I don’t take the trademark shots. I don’t have a Cottesloe photo, no Crawley boatshed, Sugarloaf rock images etc for me. So I wanted to get the lighthouse with some lovely light as the sun was setting, hitting the rocks and overlooking the water at the same time. I had to jump out over a few rocks to set up to be able to get to this vantage point. After being hit by a wave a couple of days earlier I was still a bit wary of the waves coming through though lol. This light lasted about a minute, so luckily I was set up waiting.

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More from an unforgetable morning on Bluff Knoll

Well here’s a couple more images showing the extent of the clouds that had formed on the South side of the peaks. It’s incredible that under this- the people were experiencing a drizzly, wet, miserable day. Meanwhile I was beaming from ear to ear! Despite knowing at the time I was still struggling to capture the scene in all it’s glory due to the enormous contrasts- I was still having a ball! πŸ™‚

A rock and a soft place

A rock and a soft place

I quite like this shot, looking nearly directly South, from just around the saddle between Coyanerup and Bluff Knoll. It was my first proper look at what was in that direction and it’s amazing the energy boost you get when you know you have something like this to work with! I was a fair bit later then i’d intended- with my trip to the carpark half an hour before I finally set off, then upon commencement- I realised i’d left my headlamp back at camp. So proceeded to go back to get it. Silly for not thinking that by the time I get to where i’d need it along the track, the light would be bright enough for me anyway. Sometimes the brain just does not work at it’s prime at half 4 in the morning lol.

Heading up, at what is a much slower and painful pace then i’m used to. I was really worrying that I was going to miss the clouds for a fair bit of the climb! And having to take a good dozen breaks- instead of the usual 3 didn’t help the cause! But after being injured and not playing sport/running for a good 6 weeks i’d lost a fair bit of my fitness. So resigned to the fact I was only going to be able to plug along….. Luckily the clouds hung around for a long time.

Updraughts

Up-draughts

The second image here is also looking South. The up-draughts were picking up the cloud in the foreground which I found pretty cool to see.

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Never Disappoints

Come to the Stirlings.. they say, walk with your head in the clouds… they say, ppffttt… I say. Why walk with your heads in the clouds- when you can walk with your feet on the clouds πŸ™‚

As i’ve covered in a few of my posts in the past- the Stirlings are a great mountain range rising high from the surrounding plains. As a result when the conditions are right- clouds will form before your very eyes. Giving you the head in the clouds experience- a very magical experience at that don’t get me wrong. But when conditions are spot on- well you get this. πŸ™‚ To this stage i’ve climbed Bluff Knoll a good 80+ times, not once have I come off that peak not satisfied!! This occasion was not to be the first that’s for sure.

Flying High

Flying High

After 2 weeks on the road with quite ordinary weather for the majority- I was stopping of at my baby’s- the Stirling Ranges on my way back to Perth. I knew I could rely on them to finish off the trip with a high, I knew they’d clear my mind and make me forget my stupidity of plunging the camera into the pristine Esperance waters, I knew they’d dry me off after 2 weeks in which nearly every day was wet, and I knew they’d get me excited for my next trip away. As I said they never let me down.

Heading up first thing in the morning is my usual thing here. I probably should appologize to the many people i’ve camped to- and woken up at the very early hours of the morning many times. But this is the reason I do it! The Stirlings are at their best in the morning I feel, and guess what- I had this to myself, for 5 hours!! Well I shared it with a Wedge Tail Eagle actually- but who’s complaining there πŸ™‚

Now if you happen to be up in the early mornings- and there is a thick fog around… get your butt up the hill ok! Basically if there is cloud at ground level- you’ll be above it on the hill. Get up there quick before it burns away. I was lucky on this occasion the cloud on the South side stayed untill about 10am. The North side burned off by about 8am. I’ve been lucky to experience cloud like this 3 times (out of 80!!), first time I had no idea how to capture this type of scene, very difficult shooting conditions due to the harsh contrasts between sky/cloud/land, the second time, I managed to climb the hill with 2 flat battery’s… blew it! This time I was determined to get it!

I still don’t think i’ve quite got what i’m after, but I am even better prepared for next time I experience it- maybe another 30 odd climbs I will. But at least this time I think i’ve come away with a few shots at least. This is the first of them, and i’ll go through the rest soon to pick out what one’s are postable. This is looking East, over the spectacular Eastern Ridge. Which has to be one of the best walks you can do by the way- looks like i’ve missed doing it again this year but it is somewhere I want to get out along very soon. There were occasions out along there were even I was thinking this is just stupid haha. It is quite exhausting carrying 25 odd kilo’s worth of gear up and over the peaks- but so rewarding at the same time πŸ™‚

Gota go- but will put some more up soon.

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The highs of photography

Well after the doom and gloom lately I thought i’d best post something a bit brighter. πŸ™‚ Who would have thought that 24hrs later- my emotions would be completely the opposite as when I stood here on this beautiful beach in Albany. I headed out for a new location to shoot- and went into the Torndirrup National Park. Better known for the Gap and Natural Bridge. Instead of heading all the way out to that end of the headland I went out to the Vancouver Peninsula. As usual racing against the light, which was looking very very promising- I dismissed the first beach I went to, and then came across this stunner!

Whalers Cove

Whalers Cove

Whalers Cove, really just lends itself to photography. The sky to the West was fantastic! But I took preference to the East facing beach in the hope that the clouds would light up also. Facing West I think would have been a waste anyway as there was no real way for me to capture the beauty that was unfolding. Needless to say my punt paid off- and in an amazing 10 min light show I strolled along firing at will. Wow, this photography stuff is easy isn’t it πŸ™‚

Probably got 3 keepers from the session- and another couple that weren’t too shabby either.

I hope you enjoy this also

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