A Great Start

After a couple of ays here in California I've finally got myself organised to post a couple of images. Whilst I was expecting warm temperatures, its actually been extremely hot. First day we arrived and were on the road by 9am heading out of Los Angeles to a place called Olancha. Spent the first night in a tee pee here, and got up early for the sunrise at the local Olancha Dunes that I only discovered when we got here. Whilst I have some great images to work through, this selfie with my new tripod, was a nice way to start the day!
We spent the 2nd day exploring the Alabama Hills before making our way up to Mammoth Lake late in the day for my fist book event...a talk and then book signing at the Mammoth Lakes Welcome Centre Theatrette. It was a huge thrill to arrive and see the attached poster set up outside....as well as a table full of books ready for me to sign! The good crowd of around 30 people thoroughly enjoyed my talk, and I got to sign quite a few books afterwards....really surreal and very exciting experience!
Today we head up to the Mono Lake Visitor Centre to do it all again!

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Fantastic Foggy Friday Fotos

On Friday morning there was pretty good fog in Ballarat so I made my way to Lake Wendouree for a couple of stops. At the Yacht Club the light had a distinct blue hue to it...by the time I had made my way around to the west side of the lake the sun was doing its best to break through and the calm conditions created some lovely views across the islands full of ibis's. 




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Seduced By Colour

On Thursday afternoon I went out specifically to capture an image of Andersons Mill at Smeaton that I wanted to work with in black and white. With a roaring Birchs Creek always making a nice foreground element I was pretty happy with the result. However, on the way back home with the colour building in the sky, I made a number of stops as the views out to the west just got better and better...and more colourful!
I'll almost be sorry to leave all this behind in a couple of days when we head off to he USA on the Book Signing Tour!





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Workshop Wonders

On Wednesday I had a half day workshop with a fellow Ballarat photographer and we covered a great range of locations, and were treated to some terrific conditions. Starting with a foggy start at Lake Burrumbeet, we then headed north into the wind farm around Addington where the persistent fog added some great atmospherics to the scene. Eventually the sun made an appearance treating us to a fantastic fogbow and glimpses of Eastern Peake through the lingering mist. Heading over to Lawrence, near Smeaton, the well known Berry No.1 Mine pump house building always make a striking subject...first time there's been enough water in the dam infonrt to add an refection to the whole scene. Another stop at the Lawrence Weir on a booming Birchs Creek, before heading back to Ballarat for a visit to the soon to be closed metal workshop I've been documenting...still finding amazing things here after quite a few visits.
So if anyone is interested in one of my workshop tours, you can see here the fantastic range of locations we can visit in such a short time.








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A Wander Along the Yarrowee

On Tuesday afternoon I decided to see if Spring had really sprung yet. The Yarrowee Trail north of the freeway in Brown Hill has the perfect location to check this......there is this amazing block of land that bursts with daffodils around this time each year. I haven't been here for about 3 years and with a lot of recent housing developments in the area I wasn't even sure it would still be intact. Luckily it is, and as you can see here its looking pretty spectacular! I caught it at just the right time before the sun went down behind the trees that shield the block. The walk alongside the Yarrowee River also gave me few nice images of this small cascade. The first one was soon after I arrived, the latter 2 are about 40 minutes later when some reflected sunlight off the banks added a golden glow to the water. Just shows what we have so close to town!





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Morning Afternoon

A couple of visits to Lake Wendouree in very different conditions kept me busy on Monday. Whilst the sunrise had no spectacular colour, the calm conditions enabled me to capture to some nice aerials on the west side of the lake around the Palm Pond area near the Lake Pavilion. Later in the day just before sunset some wet weather created some nice conditions with great clouds and then a fleeting sun....hard to capture as the rain was belting into my face!
I think my favourite is the palm tree......






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Common Sense Prevails!

Chasing the water around the Ballarat district took me to Corinella Falls at Eganstown. It's over 2 years since I was last here, and the volume of water is well up on my last visit. Its quite an awkward one to photograph as the surrounds are quite messy and everything was very slippery - I felt a black and white version was the best way to go. The find of the day was the other waterfall that is running just 20 or 30 metres around the edge of the gully. Normally I would consider this to be just a tributary of the main falls that are running from Corinella Creek. However, this smaller falls is being fed by a totally different creek that is coming down off the hill behind here and deserves its own name - Egan Falls, after John Egan who settled here in 1848. This creek would only run in very wet seasons so I'm pretty happy to catch it....though it was quite a challenge and I had to settle for this longer view. I could see a way to get a bit closer that was probably a bit too risky considering we are off to the USA again next Sunday....I'll save it for another day!

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Two Moons

On Saturday morning when I had a look out the window before dawn, there was not a lot happening out to the east, however out to the west the still almost full moon was sitting serenely in the sky, so I ducked up to Lake Wendouree to catch a couple of images. First one here is looking towards the Yacht Club precinct and then a few minutes later around the north side of the lake a view of the school boat sheds....in this one you can also see a lone kayaker out on a very chilly, windy morn. He deserves a place in the next Olympics team for his commitment!

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Lal Lal Fals at Its Best!

With some great rain over the previous day or so, on Friday I thought I'd visit Lal Lal Creek. Not specifically to see the falls....I wanted to explore further downstream of the falls where there are some great granite cascades. I spent quite some time there getting very wet in the process as a huge downpour came through and captured some great images showing the full force of the flow in the creek. As I was heading back around towards the falls themselves I could feel a some nice light starting to build up, and realising I might be on for something special, I really had to move quick for what turned into one of the most amazing experiences at this iconic location. A spectacular sunset built up and with the colour filling the sky above me, there was this amazing glow throughout the scene above the falls themselves, and also reflected in the creek and all along the canyon walls. Certainly one to remember....you can probably understand from this image why I keep coming back!
PS...I'll get to the other images later on!
PPS...make sure you click on this for a bigger than usual look!
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Cows and Moons

Late Thursday afternoon the full moon was timed to arrive a few minutes before sunset. I had a spot out on the west side of Lake Burrumbeet that I felt would offer some nice opportunities, however on the way out I realised that a low level bank of clouds on the horizon would delay the moonrise. Fortunately looking out to the west was clear and I found a well placed herd of cows right on sunset to keep me busy whilst I waited out the clouds. Once the moon did make it clear of the clouds, this well known tree offered a great subject to work with. I've also added in an image from the night before taken just up the road, showing the almost full moon above the slowly filling lake.



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Swans Song

A few weeks ago with one of my photo workshop groups out to Lake Burrumbeet, I made note of the large numbers of swans out there, so on Wednesday afternoon I headed out a bit earlier than usual to catch the great light. When I got there I noticed the swans seemed to be on the move from the shallows out into deeper water, just puddling along and creating some great patterns from up high. Whilst we have all seen some great shadows of animals from up high, most noticeably the camels in the Sahara, this is the first time I've seen swans casting such interesting shadows. I've left these a bit larger than normal, so make sure you click on them!
Not a bad end to the day later on with an almost full moon...I'll get to them soon!


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Moorabool Falls Up Close

I made a return visit to Morrabool Falls on Tuesday afternoon, this time to get in a bit closer to the falls, and also a look at upstream of the main falls. There are plenty of nice sections along this part of the Moorabool River and the flow is still very good. The main falls seemed well suited to black and white. And yes, I did get a bit wet!
Forecast is for some good rain in the next week or so, making a return visit well on the cards!
And a nice burst of colour as I was making my way back to the car.



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Monday Morning Magic

Monday morning once again offered some nice low lying misty conditions. The first image here shows a few tendrils floating around Saddle Bac...