Badlands Ballarat

On a grey Wednesday evening I headed down south again, not far from the night before, searching out some Balla-Relics. Behind the old city tip is a fantastic site with huge potential. Some great old boilers, and a landscape reminiscent of the Badlands of South Dakota, and just a bit of colour across the field for sunset - can't wait to get back in some nicer conditions!

The Relic Project

A new project I mentioned last week had its first real session last night as I headed down to Sebastopol to see what I could find at the Woah Hawp No. 1 mine site halfway up the hill on the way to Mt Clear. I've run passed this site many, many times, but its not until you get around to the other side that you can see that great brick archway. My original plans with this project, that will involve recording as many old mining relics within the City of Ballarat's boundaries, was to look on this as a black and white project, but after last nights show I'm not so sure!

The Downpour

After Sundays atmospherics, it was grey but still humid on Monday, and about 4pm the rain started to come down and around 6pm it absolutely poured, and with over 58.6mm we got well over Februarys average rainfall in the one day. Heres a couple from Lake Wendouree, including the new "fountain"! And just for good measure an image from our trip back in October 2010 from the top of Mt Erie, looking south, in Washington state near Anacortes.

4 Hours of Atmospherics

Sunday was fantastic! After a number of very warm, clear days it was great to see the forecast storms and thunderstorms roll into Ballarat during the afternoon. So I headed off up to lake Wendouree for my first stop, caught this brave kayaker  (at 4.54pm) heading into the storm, but looking off in the distance I realised the action was going to be north of Ballarat, out past Creswick. So off I went out to Creswick, on to Newlyn and then across to Smeaton where the sun broke through after a huge downpour for this magnificent rainbow over Birches Hill and the Lord Harry mine on the side of the hill. A couple more stops before heading home, and then just after 8pm I thought I'd see what was happening back up at Lake Wendouree. Then the fun really started with a fantastic thunderstorm rolling across the lake, and finally I got an image I have been after for a long time - lightning above Lake Wendouree! And that was taken at 8.53pm, so all in all, a very productive day!

1. Lake Wendouree 4.54pm - the start!
2. & 3. On top of the hill on the way into Creswick
4. Looking south from Kingston Rd / Midland Hwy corner, north of Creswick
5. & 6. Forest Hill
7. Newlyn Bluestone
8. McKenzie Rd, Smeaton rainbow
9. Rainbow envelops Birches Hill with the Lord Harry mine half way up the side of the hill
10. Madame Berry No. Mine....the largest single gold producing mine on the Creswick goldfield sits under a well positioned rainbow!
11. & 12. Madame Berry No. 3 Mine and sheep
13. Birches Hill and the Loughlin West mine sit under the passing storm.
14. The Grand Finale - Lake Wendouree8.53pm

Dance of the Planets 2

Saturday night, this time at Lake Wendouree. Clear skies again made for some great conditions to work with the Moon and Venus and Jupiter again. Click on that first one a for big view!

Friday Night 8.55pm - Dance of the Planets

This is the view of the visit of the crescent Moon to Venus and Jupiter as seen from Lake Burrumbeet. Thanks to Ian Musgrave at Astroblog for always keeping me up to date on what to look for in the sky - it always pays off! Prior to this was a stunning sunset - I got the zoom out for the last one here to bring that moon right in close. Make sure you click on these for a bigger view - I've left them larger than normal its such a nice series when viewed large.

After Dark

Out to Lake Burrumbeet again on Thursday night. I thought the the clear skies would give me a chance to try out some star images and I'm happy with the last image here. The first image here is  the "Cormorant Tree". Its always full of birds when I arrive and you have to sneak up on it before they all fly off. The second image features Venus and Jupiter. Ideally I need to stay later to let it get darker, but I was in a spot that I didn't want to have to walk out of in the dark, and the 2 small torches I had were not the greatest......but look for some star and milky way images in the near future.

A Colourful Corner at Lake Burrumbeet

Spent Wednesday evening at this new spot and the sky put on a great show. Stayed well after sunset to capture Venus sitting above the western horizon.

Finding the Unexpected

I spent Tuesday evening on a drive around Ballarat looking at old mining remnants. I'm looking at doing a project on some of the, mostly, unknown remnants of Ballarat's gold mining past, and a very knowledgable friend was kind enough to take me on an initial tour. But thats for later.......the first one here was a nice find as we ventured into a very overgrown, former mine site from the 1870's just off Main Rd, not what I was expecting to find on this trip, and then an image from the backyard, and a couple more from the great sunset on Monday night out at Cockpit Lagoon Road.

Lake Burrumbeet Birds

Almost stumbled upon this tree full of birds on Monday night at Lake Burrumbeet as I was walking around the shore path, and came up over a rise. Had to act quick to get in a few shots before they scattered - not sure, but I think they may be cormorants. Also an earlier view looking across to Weatherboard Hill.

The Grand Canyon

Pulled this out of the files from our first trip to the USA in December 2007. Still keen on working more with black and white.

Windermere Silos

On Sunday evening I went out with the main aim of shooting a particular group of silos I have passed on many occasions out at Windermere. They are still very new as the tarnish has not set in and I've often thought they'd work well in some late evening light. I actually know the guy who owns the seed cleaning business they are a part of and he said it would be fine to come in and walk around. So I headed off, and earlier on found another couple of silo locations in the area, and by the time I got over to the main target the sun had set and the dusk light had really fired up nicely. So for a first visit I decided to shoot them from a distance across the paddock to take full advantage of the great skies. But I'll certainly be going back and getting up closer. I also had a fantastic sunset last night between silos, I'll post a couple of them later.

Lake Wendouree Ballarat Panoramas

On last nights visit to the Lake I took a series of images over the half an hour or so I was there, and thought they made a nice collection showing the changing light, from just before sunset til about 15 minutes after as the blue light of dusk sets in. And make sure you click on these for a bigger look!

Snow Time

It's been a while since my last post. We had a fantastic snow event last Saturday here around Mt Roland and Sheffield and of course I wa...