Before the Storm...

... I captured this at St Georges Lake Falls in Creswick - just enough water still flowing to give me some nice options.
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The Big Storm

On Friday evening I was out playing around at St Georges Lake Creswick at the remants of the waterfall that spills out the end of the lake into Creswick Creek. Water levels are well down but still a few nice pockets to work with. About 30 minutes before sunset I started to hear a few rumbles of thunder so jumped in the car and headed north out of Creswick and planted myself in the path of a huge upcoming storefront. I got a couple of lightning strikes to show for my efforts, but its this surreal coloured front that really caught my eye. In the front at right is the mullock heap of one of the old gold mines from the late 1800's, Berry Consols No. 2. Nice to have our first decent thunderstorm for the season, actually on the last day of spring.
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A Late Burst of Colour

I was fortunate enough to take a couple of fellow photographers from Melbourne out to Lake Burrumbeet on Thrusday evening and whilst initially it was grey, but with great skies, there was a very late burst of intense colour that broke through on the horizon. Like I've said many times in the past, Lake Burrumbeet never lets me down!
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Golden Moorabool Falls

This time of the year allows the sun to shine onto the Moorabool Falls very late in the day, and the resulting golden glow is something very special. After taking this image, I then raced around to the top of the falls to see if the sunset was going to give me some nice reflections...it did, that will be next!
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Stacky's Bight, Flinders Island

This was the end point of the hike I did around Killiecrankie Bay on Flinders Island on Sunday afternoon. I had no idea about the arch here, so when I came across it I was thrilled and spend a lot of time exploring it. There is actually 2 main arches, and the smaller side arch shown here with the great roof above it.

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A Moorabool Glimpse

On Wednesday evening I headed down south to check out how the Moorabool Falls are going. Its been quite dry but we did have a nice dumping of rain a day or so ago so I had hopes it was still worth a visit. This is the first image I took, almost an after thought as I made my way down to the viewing deck....and I did get some nice falls images I'll post later.
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What more can I say?


Last Morning on Flinders Island

I had 3 mornings on Flinders Island, each time I was down on the beach by 5am, and on each visit I got something totally different. This is from the 3rd morning, last Monday, and after a couple of spectacular, colourful morns over the weekend (to come!), the 3rd one was a lot more subdued that had me thinking more about possible approaches to get something worthwhile.  This was very early when everything has that soft, blue glow to it.
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Searching for Pyrethrum

Off on the hunt again on Tuesday evening, this time out to Dean, about 20km east of Ballarat. With a full moon on Thursday I was planning on getting the rising moon into these as well - the big bonus was this great gum tree, and its shadow, on the side of the paddock.

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Flinders Island in 3D

Firstly, make sure you click on this to get the larger view, it will work a lot better that way. As you can imagine I took many, many images on my visit, and a couple of times I remembered to try a 3D image pair. This one works really well, another scenic spot on Killiecrankie Bay on a 5 hour hike I did around the bay on Sunday. And those orange rocks are amazing, the colours are very true to life - trust me!
If you're looking at this sort of Free View 3D for the first time, you can visit this website to get a few hints on how to get it to work....when you do, you'll be amazed!
http://www.neilcreek.com/2008/02/28/how-to-see-3d-photos/
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Under and Over

Down on Flinders Island I got the chance to play around with my small underwater camera as there were numerous rock pools. This is one that came together pretty well....hard to get this right as you can't really see what you're doing!
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A Welcome Home to Remember

Lake Wendouree put on a quite a show on Monday night to welcome me back home after my visit to Flinders Island. The Lake does this to me on a regular basis just to make sure I realise whats at home and don't leave permanently!

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Flinders Island, Tasmania

I'm back home in Ballarat after 4 fantastic days on Flinders Island halfway to Tasmania in Bass Strait. Fantastic scenery to work with...this is just a taste from my first afternoon at Killekrankie Bay on the north of the island, but trust me, I have  plenty more to work through.
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The End of the Day

At Warrenheip on Thursday evening.......getting some fantastic images here on Flinders Island!
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The Sprinkler

I'm having a great time down here on Flinders Island, this is form the night before I left out at Mt Warrenheip.
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I'm Leaving......

...for 3 days, all expenses paid trip down to Flinders Island to take photos! May not be able to get internet down there, so heres a bonus from Wednesday, and I'm setting up a couple of extras to post on an automatic schedule.....back soon!
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Abundance

The wheat fields are looking just about right out at Warrenheip on Thursday night. This old water tower often catches my eye and though obviously no longer in use its nice to see it still sitting there amongst this years harvest on a golden evening.
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The Wild Water

Very, very windy out at Lake Burrumbeet on Wednesday evening, this gave me chance to focus in on some close up crashing water action and the suns late colour really added to the atmosphere.
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Nimmons Bridge at the wrong time (?)

I was down at Scarsdale on Tuesday morning and thought I'd take the opportunity to pop in to Nimmons Bridge down at Newtown. Late morning is not really the ideal time for photography but I reckoned that with some nice clouds overhead it was a great chance to get something in black and white.
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Perfect Pyrethrum Paddock 2

Monday night I was given permission to wander around the pyrethrum paddock out at Warrenheip, and it was a great evening to take it all in. The old shearing shed made a great focus as well and I'm really looking forward to some return visits as it gets closer to peak.
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Moon, Jetty, Lake

Sunday evening up at Lake Wendouree. The jetty on the east side always gives you something to work with, and the moon just adds that extra element.
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Moorabool Falls

Moorabool Falls are still flowing really well, there seems to be a lot more water on the Moorabool River than there is on nearby Lal Lal Creek. Here's one from Saturday morning that worked well in sepia tones.
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Perfect Pyrethrum Paddock?

....well, almost. I've been following the progress of this paddock out near Mt Warrenheip for the last 3 weeks or so, and I reckon its not too far off till it reaches peak. Its going to be an amazing sight and I'm sure I'll be making quite a few visits, but this view on Saturday, after a visit down to Moorabool Falls, really caught my eye as a small break in the clouds allowed some fleeting light to break through and light up the field.
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The Lake - early!

Now we're almost into Summer you need to be up pretty early to catch the sunrise, I left home about 5.40am on Friday morning for a visit up to Lake Wendouree. Initially looking a bit grey, some nice pastel colours started to come through off to the left of the suns actual position and by slowing the shutter speed right down I was able to catch some nice, almost surreal effects across the lake surface, and the clouds added just the right amount of blur. 
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Peerewur Falls on Lal Lal Creek

On Thursday my weekly waterfall fix had me visiting a friend out near Bungaree that allows me access to this hidden gem. Water flow on Lal Lal Creek continues to drop week by week (lets hope for some big downpours soon!) but the yellow bush here more than made up for it. This image also looked great in black and white. Click on them for a bigger look - its worth it!

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Flume Gorge Autumn

Its taken a while to get back to the recent trip......The Flume Gorge is a natural gorge extending 800 feet (240 m) horizontally at the base of Mount Liberty in Franconia Notch State Park, New Hampshire, United States. Cut by the Flume Brook, the gorge features walls of Conway granite that rise to a height of 70 to 90 feet (21 to 27 m) and are 12 to 20 feet (3.7 to 6.1 m) apart. Discovered in 1808 by 93-year-old "Aunt" Jess Guernsey, the Flume is now a paid attraction (not for all!) that allows visitors to walk through the gorge.
This is just a taste as you walk into the Gorge, I've some really spectacular images to get to......! 
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Always Look Up....!

On Wednesday I didn't have to travel too far to get todays image.....the backyard! Called a Sun Halo this is quite a sight when you get a good one, and the challenge is always to try and include another element of interest.
And for the technically minded.....22° halo is a halo, one type of optical phenomenon, forming a circle 22° around the sun, or occasionally the moon. It forms as sunlight is refracted in hexagonal ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere. As the light beam passes through two sides of the prismforming a 60° angle, the angle of minimum deviation is almost 22° (namely, 21.84° on average; 21.54° for red and 22.37° for blue). This wavelength-dependent variation in refraction causes the inner edge of the circle to be reddish while the outer edge is bluish.
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Up Close

Out at Lake Learmonth on Tuesday evening....had to get down very low for this angle, its a small inlet amongst the rocky shore. 
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Over the Edge

Another image from last night...the lower water flow over the falls at St Georges Lake means you can get in up close without getting drenched.
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Four Days and counting.......

Another great sunset on Monday night, this time out at St Georges Lake at Creswick. I spent time at the waterfall off the end of the lake which is still flowing quite well, got some nice images there, and then when I could see the sky starting to look interesting I drove around the back road behind the lake to get this lovely image. Aren't you amazed by the abundance of photographic opportunities in the Ballarat district?
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Before the Sunset

Another from Sunday night at Lake Burrumbeet. There are some fantastic old gum trees and these 2 really stand out. It was about this time that I was starting to get excited about a great sunset......!
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Spectacular Sunday Sunset

They don't come much better than this...Lake Burrumbeet last night. I could tell it was going to be a good one, the clouds were all lined up and I was in a spot at the Lake that I haven't visited too often and I had found these great rocks on the shoreline. Got many great images leading up to this but when the colour fired up the other images all took a back seat.
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Garden #8 - Ballarat Botanical Gardens

The last in my Historic Gardens series - right here in Ballarat.
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Some Late Spring Colour

I was up at Lake Wendouree here in Ballarat on Saturday evening for what I thought would be a nice sunset. Some great colours developed with terrific clouds and then one of the fishing boats decided to speed through the scene, and a few minutes later the wash came ashore and created these great swells. The other fishing boat, stationary through all this, added that extra element. Just another great example of being there when something interesting happens. And also an extra image from the night before on the way home from the Moorabool Gorge....like I said, some late Spring colour!

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The Moorabool Falls

After spending a lot of time at Granite Falls and upstream at a smaller 5 foot falls I discovered (to be called Upper Granite Falls - how original!) as I was heading back to the car there was some great late evening light developing so I detoured to have a look at Moorabool Falls, and it was looking pretty good! Its hard to tell in this, but the falls are 52feet high and a shower earlier had given everything that great, saturated look.
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The Gorge again

I couldn't resist another visit to the Moorabool Gorge again on Friday....here's another view looking further down into the gorge. This really is a special location, though its pretty tough going in places.
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Looking Down the Gorge

Another from Thursday evening...high up on Granite Falls and looking down the Moorabool Gorge.
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Garden #7 - Trawalla

The AGHS Conference starts today in Ballarat, and Trawalla is another of the gardens they will all be visiting. This was the first of the gardens I was fortunate enough to visit and it still amazes me that we have such grandeur in the district. The Conference is on until Sunday so if you get the chance you can pop into the main foyer area of the Mercure Conference Centre in Main Rd here in Ballarat and have a look at the display of garden images from my Gardens Project.

Trawalla was settled by the Kirkland family in 1839 with a run of 42,000 acres. The property changed hands several times before it was purchased by Admiral Walter Bridges and his wife in the late 1870s.  They extended the old homestead where they lived until the current homestead was completed in 1891 and the garden mostly dates from that time. 
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Some Local Gold

On Thursday evening I headed down to the Moorabool River to get my weekly waterfall fix. I ended up standing atop Granite Falls as the water level has dropped back considerably, and some great bright sunlight hitting the wall of the gorge was reflected into the water of the falls. Who says there's no gold left around here?!!
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Garden #6 - Narmbool


Narmbool is located south of Ballarat at Elaine, a few kilometres off the Midland Hwy. The entrance gates to the Narmbool garden are surrounded by mature English elms, which extend for an impressive 2.4 kilometre along the driveway.  The Narmbool run was first taken up in 1839 and a small bluestone cottage (adjacent to what is now the function centre) was built in the 1840s. The vegetable garden adjoins it.  The timber section of the homestead predates, by about twenty years, the more substantial bluestone front section added in the 1880s.  The lawn in front of the house is shaded by English elms, Claret Ash and Birch trees planted in the 1950s.  
Narmbool was purchased by Andrew and Robin Ferry in 1980.  They expanded the upper section of the garden and retained the tennis court but re-landscaped the gracious descent to it with roses and sweet-smelling borders.  In 2000, Andrew and Robin Ferry gave the property to The Sovereign Hill Museums Association.
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Always something new.....

...at Lake Wendouree. Wednesday evening I went up to the Lake here in Ballarat and this image is an example of why its always worthwhile to keep returning to often visited locations.....you just never know what you're going to get! And it was the second last image I took after some pretty nice skies beforehand.
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The Amazing Pictured Rocks

Todays post from the recent trip is from Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in upper Michigan. Scale is a bit deceptive here, but those cliffs would be 50-60 feet in height, and the late evening sun really fires up the colour. One of the many highlights from the trip, dare I say THE Highlight?!
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Garden #5 - Mt Mitchell

Located out past Waubra, Mt Mitchell is a stunning location. The property was settled in the late 1830s by the Robertson family. The existing homestead and various outbuildings, including a gas house, were built in 1861. Judging from the remnant planting and the original fence lines, it can be seen that a large garden was established at that time. Mount Mitchell was sold out of the Robertson family in the 1930s and the garden stood still, and soon reverted to a wilderness and the sheep took over. The present owner purchased the property in 1981, the sheep were returned to the paddocks and he set about re-instating the garden to its original configuration.
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A Local Lake

Lake Learmonth is only 20kms from Ballarat and is one of the local lakes I don't visit all that much as the surrounds are not as photogenic as Lake Burrumbeet. However, there is one section that works well for sunset with some low lying rocks and reeds and so on Tuesday I went out there hoping for a nice end to the day. The hoped-for big sunset faded away but not before a brief burst of sunshine shone through to light up the lake.
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Crash! Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse

On our first full day at Acadia National Park in Maine, David from Bangor, who was showing us the sights, took us down to see the Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse. Probably one of the most photographed places in the Park, and though it was way past the golden hour, some interesting skies and crashing waves made for some nice images that convert well to black and white.
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Another Lake Wendouree Morning To Remember

Fortunately the sunrise and morning at Lake Wendouree was pretty nice...as the rest of the day was pretty miserable. It always amazes what I...