Ferntree Falls, Mt Buangor State Park

This is a follow on from the previous post. After leaving Moyston it was pouring by the time I made it into the Ferntree Falls at Mt Buangor State Park, and the wind was ferocious. I had to wait in the car for half an hour before it started to ease up, so I quickly donned the gumboots and made the short hike to the falls. I have only been here once before and it was still as pretty as I remember, and I was pleased there was a decent amount of water flowing. I clambered right up the top for the first image before starting on the most well known view of the falls. By this time the rain was really starting to come down again so I was happy to grab a few different compositions before heading back to the car.



.

Canoling Along

On Tuesday I travelled out west to Moyston, which is about 15km past Ararat to photograph some paddocks. It gave me the opportunity to shoot some nice canola fields (not the paddocks I was out there for) in 3 different locations. All quite different, not just in look, but in conditions. By the time I was leaving around 2pm there was a big front moving in and things were getting very dark. The rain really set in for a while....my plans were to drop in to Mt Buangor State Park to visit Ferntree Gully Falls....thats the next post.


.

I Didn't Forget.......

I was sitting in the backyard on Monday and I noticed that we have a forget-me-not bush blooming nicely at the moment. This triggered a realisation that the carpets of forget-me-nots that we get on the side of Mt Warrenheip may be blooming as well, so that determined Mondays excursion. Plenty to work with there, though I just managed to get there in time to catch some nice light before the sun dips below the ridge. Certainly worth a trip if you are local, its quite a sight.


6

The Grand Finale

That's "Finale", not "Final". I have plenty of great weekend images to work through from the weekend with the Diamond Valley crew, though the end to the weekend was pretty special up at Lake Wendouree. I was content to pass on what looked like a cloudy end to the day after some really big winds throughout the afternoon, however I noticed just a slip of colour starting to appear when I looked out the kitchen window, so I flew up to the lake and caught a very colourful sunset. Also discovered where the missing swans from the MCG the day before had ended up....! Please, no comments about the Grand Final!

4

Catching Up

Just got back from a great weekend with the Diamond Valley Camera Group which went really week, everyone had a great time and they were a really friendly bunch. So I've got a lot of images to work through, starting with this very brief burst of light up near Ullina West when I was on my way out there on Friday afternoon to meet the group at Clunes. As you can see if you click on this for a bigger look, not much wind being caught by this windmill!
.

Zions Amazing Narrows

This weekend I've got a group from Melbourne's Diamond Valley Camera Club spending the weekend based out at Clunes. So I'm posting this recent image from Zion in Utah as a filler until I get back to post some great pics from the weekend. If you've got a big screen you can click on this for a bigger look - it's well worth it!
.

Once a Year....

......the Fritillaria meleagris blooms in the garden. This unique plant was in our front garden for a number of years always appearing seemingly out of nowhere, and fortunately Debbie decided it was worth moving with the rest of our things a year ago. Its in a pot at the moment until we get a bit more settled and always makes a nice subject.
.

APSCON 2014

As I've mentioned in a couple of recent posts I've been presenting at the Australian Photography Society 2014 Conference, and on Wednesday I took a busload out to one of my favourite locations. The forecast was for rain just after lunch, fortunately it held off until we were boarding the bus for the trip back to Ballarat. Luckily we were presented with some great clouds to go along with this location....the Berry No. 1 Mine north of Ballarat just west of Smeaton at Lawrence. It seems everyone really enjoyed their time...I didn't spend too much time on my own photography, preferring to talk to others about their own photography, though I did grab a couple that I knew would make great back and white images with the awesome skies we had. I've also included a couple of other images here to share my APSCON experience...one of me presenting on Sunday morning, and a shot of the bus group.
PS thanks to Mark Bevelander for the presentation image, and to Rick the bus driver for the group shot!


.

Birch Creek Colours

On Tuesday I made a trip north out to Smeaton, initially to check that the location for Wednesdays APSCON photo tour was accessible, which it is, and also to see what's happening around the district so that everyone on the bus gets a good viewing of the local district. Canola fields are reaching their peak, in fact some of the biggest plantings I have seen. After all the lovely clear blue skies we have had the last few days, finally the clouds had moved in, so my best chance for a few images was a quick visit to Birch's Creek at Smeaton Mill. Water is always a good subject in overcast conditions and this is a spot I've been to many times, always coming home with something I like.

.

Matanuska Glacier Textures

Matanuska Glacier, about 100 east of Anchorage, was a stopping point between national parks. We spent a night nearby that enabled us to spend the afternoon on this amazing landscape. Apart from the stunning large grand vistas, the more intimate close ups enabled some incredible images. And once again the conditions were perfect for such a dramatic landscape. This is another place I came home with many, many images so this is just a first set to share.
The Matanuska Glacier is the largest glacier in Alaska that can be reached by vehicle.  It is approximately 26 miles long and 4 miles wide at its terminus. It is classified as a valley glacier; a body of solid ice that flows like a river under its own weight through an existing valley. About 10,000 years ago it began its retreat to its present day location, and it has not seen any significant change in mass for almost two decades.


.

Blues and Greens on the Yarrowee

Another clear blue sky day in Ballarat on Monday.  I was returning from a meeting around 5.45pm and took the opportunity to stop off at a point on the Yarrowee River south of the city. Not too much flow, and it was a challenge to find a spot that had any real interest, so I was pleased to come home with a couple of almost abstract images, highlighted by some nice greens on some of the rocks. This is my favourite from the bunch.
.

Latourel Falls Columbia River Gorge

We spent day 21 on our recent trip in the Columbia River Gorge, which is the border between Washington and Oregon. Plenty of waterfalls to keep me occupied this day, this is Latourel Falls. Now, I must get back to the Alaskan pics......
.

Sunny Sunday Sunset

A lovely Spring day in Ballarat on Sunday and though there were no clouds around to end the day, I still found a couple of nice images at Lake Wendouree as the sun set across the water.....certainly helped by this small sailing boat that was doing its best to get back to dock in the almost non-existent winds.

.

A Little Bit Different

I made a visit to the west side of Lake Wendouree on Saturday afternoon and spent some time watching all the birds in one of the small islands there. It was an on-going display of fly-bys and coming and goings and is obviously a busy time for the birds. I caught this pair at the top of this frame that were a bit different from all the others....I'm no expert on my birds so if anyone can identify them, please let me know!
.

Westerlies

Not a real lot happening on Friday on my trip out west of Ballarat, so I grabbed the big lens to pull in a few distant views of some late light setting across the hills west of Weatherboard and then looking out to the wind farm at Waubra across Lake Learmonth (thats the strip in the lower part of the 2nd and 3rd image).
I've got a big weekend coming up...the APSCON 2014 is in Ballarat for the next week. That's the Australian Photography Society Conference and I'm a guest speaker on Sunday morning. I've put together a great set of images to follow my theme "Eureka! Landscapes of the Ballarat District" .... and I'm taking a group out on Wednesday on a photo excursion.... should be a lot of fun!


.

Gakona Tipi Time

We spent our 5th night on the trip at a very small place called Gakona...in fact we stayed for the first time in a Tipi that night which was surprisingly warm and comfortable thanks to the fire we had going. The next morning I spotted  some nice colour in the sky and was off....less than a kilometre away was a great overlook of the Copper River and the ranges in Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and this image is the last one I took of an awesome sunrise - really worth clicking on this for a larger look. I'll get to the colourful ones next!

.

Sailors Creek Cascading

I was out at Daylesford on Thursday afternoon so I took the opportunity to visit the Blowhole area on Sailors Creek at Hepburn Springs. I was here a few weeks ago and spent my time on that visit at the Blowhole...this time I decided to concentrate on the creek in the area before it flows through the tunnel that exits as the Blowhole. Conditions varied between sunny and overcast, and that really evident in the colour tonings in this set. The last one here gives you an overall idea of where I was, knee deep with the gunboats on!



.

The New Brood 2014

I was walking at Lake Wendouree around 2pm on Wednesday afternoon (in the cold and rain!) and I came across the first new brood of cygnets for this year. So later on in the day around 5pm I walked up to the lake with camera in hand to grab a few frames....and they were no where to be seen! The closest I got was this fly-by overhead. Not to be dissuaded I jumped in the car and found them on the other side of the lake. I had to get the car to travel this far so I'm amazed, and very impressed, how the managed to do it so quickly. It was quite windy as well so they had quite a trip across the windswept lake, so they fully deserved a chance to fuel up again on some nice, vibrant grass. This should be the first of what looks like being a bumper season around the lake for the birdlife.

.

Rooting Around on Top of the Ice

This series is from our full day glacier hike on the Root Glacier in Wrangell - St. Elias National Park. I've got so many amazing images from this day, a totally new experience for me, that I don't know where to start, so this set seemed like as good a place as any. It seemed like every few minutes I was calling out for a "photo opportunity" stop....luckily those with me were very patient!


.

Canoling

Still out on Tuesday looking for that perfect field of canola. These 2 are from out south of Windermere...not quite at its peak yet, however there is so much around that you see off in the distance whilst driving around, I'm sure the peak is still to come. Its always a great sight when you drive to the top of a hill and the yellow fields are spread out across the landscape....make sure you get out for a drive around the district in the next couple of weeks.

.

Water Play

Monday was my first chance to play around with some running water since our return one week ago today. Though the rainfall has been well done in the last month or so, Bo Peep Creek continues to run quite strongly and is always a great place to play around with some water textures. The first couple here are just near the small weir that sets ups a nice set of cascades, and then as I was leaving the sun was firing up a bit on this bend in the creek about a kilometre from the previous spot.


.

A Close Call For All of Us!

On our first full day at Wrangell - St. Elias National Park we were on our way along the trail to the glacier for the all day hike we had planned. On the way you pass a few creeks and Jumbo Creek was a nice place to stop and replenish our water bottles for the big day ahead. Crystal clear water was icy cold and refreshing, and we weren't the only ones who thought so. Whilst there, a black bear appeared and was surprisingly close to us...in fact our guide said it was the closest she had ever come to a bear. He (she?) spent some time trying to figure out the best way to get to the water, though the sight of all of us was a bit confronting so he headed off, but not before giving me this great view as he determined his next steps.

.

The First Canola for 2014

On Sunday I made a trip up north of Ballarat where there are some nice canola crops underway, and came across this nice view at Lawrence, which is about 6kms west of Smeaton. I got here just in time, only managed to get 7 images as the sun was fading really fast. In fact this is the first of those seven as  the others had already lost that nice bright sun on them. That's Mt Moorookyle in the background...this is a spot that's worth a re-visit, and soon!
.

Reeds

On Saturday I had plans of heading north out of Ballarat to do a bit more canola scouting, however I quickly realised the lack of clouds that way would leave me with little sky to work with, so instead I headed west out to Lake Learmonth. Grabbed a few images there as the clouds continued to fade away, so a last minute dash a bit further south to Lake Burrumbeet at least gave me some colour and clouds and reeds to play around with.


.

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...