Return to Birch's Creek

After the great visit to Birch's Creek on Thursday, I couldn't resist a return trip on Friday in almost identical conditions. I've got so many great images from these visits I don't know where to start....here's a set of Mill reflections, the first 2 from Friday, followed by a couple from the night before. The last one here gives you a great idea of whats giving me these amazing reflections - Anderson's Mill.



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The First Dunking

On Wednesday evening I gave a presentation to the Ullina Landcare Group, which is out near Smeaton, about 30 minutes north of Ballarat. Once again a great evening enjoyed by all, especially as all the images I showed were from the immediate area. Anyway, the point of all this ramble is that the locals informed me that Birch's Creek is actually running quite well at the moment. As its regulated from Newlyn Reservoir it can have good flow even when everywhere else is looking parched and dry. So on Thursday, what better way to spend a late summer evening that in the creek near the Smeaton Mill. And the first chance to actually put my new underwater camera below the surface. Gotta say this series is a very pleasing result - when you're not afraid to get the camera wet you can get viewpoints you normally wouldn't go near!
Whilst these are great, the images I've got to post a bit later on, taken with the "serious" camera, are something very special........



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A Grey Morn

On Wednesday I got up early for the sunrise at Lake Wendouree, and had my plans stymied by a grey, drizzly morning. As I was giving a talk at Ullina Landcare group in the evening, I knew I wouldn't be able to shoot late in the day.....this is the best I could find....at least it wasn't that cold!

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The ATP Book Project

I have so many images on file that I've decided to put together a range of small, 24 page soft cover books. Measuring 20 x 20cm, these full colour books highlight specific themes from my travels, both local and abroad. Priced at $20 each, they make great unique gifts or keepsakes. Totally customisable, I'm even open to suggestions as to what collections you'd like to see! The first 2 have just been listed so make a visit to this link to check them out....

http://issuu.com/andrewthomas9


You can also spend some time viewing the USA National Parks book that is nearing completion, with our upcoming trip to American Samoa in less than 2 weeks being the next candidate for inclusion.
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The Old Fence

On Tuesday night at Lake Burrumbeet, I made this old fence post my main target. Previously I haven't been able to get out this close to it, but the falling water levels enabled me to put on the gumboots and wade my way out to it. And the sky put on a good show to add some sparkle. Now, if we can just get some good rain to fill the lake up again...........

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The Light at St Georges Lake, Creswick

Some lovely evening light out at St Georges Lake, Creswick on Monday evening. Parked myself on the east side to catch the setting sun, and a number of different opportunities presented themselves. And all this from one small area, not more than 20-30 metres wide.



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White Swan Wonder

Another cloudless day here in Ballarat had me contemplating the best location for an evening shoot, and White Swan Reservoir seemed like a good choice....and indeed it did as this series shows. On my previous visit here I thought there was a shot or two worth planning for looking down the small creek and cascades as it flows into the reservoir. The golden glow of the setting sun played its part for some lovely reflected light on the water. This is the only place I can find running water at the moment thats close to home....I'll be back!



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Werribee Gorge State Park Dawn

On Saturday morning on the way down to Melbourne, (early!), I made a stop off at the Werribee Gorge State Park, which is about half way on the trip down to Melbourne. It was grey and very drizzly all the way down so I wasn't expecting too much. When I arrived I was pleased to hear the sound of running water on the Werribee River as I had been expecting it to be dry, but the recent rain from a couple of days ago must have been much heavier here than in Ballarat (in fact, down at Geelong they had over 2 inches in half an hour!). So I set up on a nice little cascade I found, and after shooting that for a while I noticed the sky lightening up, and it started to break up to give me some pretty nice light looking down the river. Just goes to show, doesn't it?!


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Getting in Amongst It

Friday evening I made a visit out to this pine plantation at Bullarook that I haven't been to for probably 3 years or more. Its always a great place for the low setting sun as you get great long shadows to play around with, and some terrific textures.


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Pelican Island, Lake Burrumbeet

I like to call this small rocky outcrop Pelican Island, and on Thursday evening I caught it from 2 different vantage points. First one from up high, and then down from at water level. Once again, Lake Burrumbeet delivers with some nice images, and I gotta say, it was cold!!

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What Are The Chances?

Finally, on Wednesday afternoon, we had some stormy weather come through, so I quickly headed out to where I thought the action would be at its best. Coming home from a walk at Lake Wendouree I could see the front heading east towards the Dean/Mollongghip area, so thats where I went. It looked like great conditions for rainbows, and who would have thought I would come home with 2 images like this.....a rainbow sitting atop 2 different churches! First one here is the Scrub Hill bluestone  that sits on the highway between Dean and Newlyn. Then, following the clouds and light, I headed a bit further east out to Mollongghip and caught this fine view over the small wooden church that sits in a friends back paddock! Even though it was pretty cold, and wet and windy, it was great to be out again in the almost winter like conditions!

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Cracked Part 3!

Another visit to Lake Learmonth on Tuesday, and this time I got the image I was looking for the previous night (before the sun disappeared behind the clouds). I've had word from a local Learmonthite that the white crust is, indeed, salt (thanks Fon!). I'm making the most of this area at the moment before the next downpour washes it all away. Going on present conditions that may be quite some time away!
A couple of other interesting images here...one getting down very low, and then moving out even further towards the new shoreline that continues to move closer and closer to the middle of the lake!



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Getting Cracked Again

I couldn't resist a return visit to Lake Learmonth on Monday evening, to spend some more time amongst the great cracked shoreline. Just got there in time before the sun disappeared behind a huge bank of clouds, and under-exposing a bit gave this one a dark, dramatic feel. A close-up of the surface in the 2nd image here shows the great textures - one big downpour and this could all be gone!

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A Visit to Dean

On Sunday I had an urge to visit Dean...no, not a friend of mine, the district about 20km from Ballarat, and more specifically the reservoir. I've never captured a particularly good sunset image here as the reservoir is down low, hidden behind the westerly hills. Fortunately there were some fast moving high clouds that I thought might catch some high colour, which is exactly what happened. Just before I got there I stopped at this freshly cropped field to catch some great golden light. I gotta say, this was the first time for ages its felt cold for a sunset shoot ...... Lets hope Summer still has a way to go!




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Cracking Up

Though it was good fun trying out the new camera in the previous post, on Saturday evening I was back to the serious stuff, and a trip to Lake Learmonth gave me something quite different and unique. The continual dry, warm weather is having a big impact on the water level and in a few spots its created these great cracked areas. To make it even more interesting, there are sections where the top of the surface is coated in a white layer. I don't think its salt (though I didn't taste it!) but it certainly made them stand out against the darker, deeper cracks. And a nice warm glow in the sky, as the sun set behind Weatherboard Hill, really added to the overall effect. Certainly worth a return visit to see how this all develops over the coming weeks.
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Nice New Nikon

With our upcoming trip to American Samoa fast approaching, I wanted to try out my just arrived new underwater camera. The reefs and coral in Am Sam are amazing so my new Nikon 1 AW1 will be a vast improvement on the small camera I've had for the last couple of years. I didn't get it underwater on this first try-out on a walk up at Lake Wendouree, it was more of a first run to see what the overall quality is like, and I gotta say it's past with flying colours!

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Last Light on the Horizon

I said in yesterdays post that it was grey and flat on Thursday....well, on Friday it was greyer and flatter, so I once again headed out to Lake Burrumbeet where the water always gives you a chance no matter what the conditions are like, to come home with something useful. After spending time shooting the rocks as I've done many times, I looked up to notice the sun just making a very late appearance on the horizon. Quickly changed to the big zoom lens and managed to capture a few frames that made the trip all the more worthwhile. Still quite a lot of smoke haze around which really intensifies the deep orange/red colours.

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Creative Titles

Thursday was grey and flat, always a good reason to head out to Lake Burrumbeet where the receding water levels are giving me many new opportunities. Very calm and still on a warm, balmy night - here's a couple with my wildly creative titles. And then just before I got home, the Fly Fishers Club at Lake Wendouree had the lights ablazing so I couldn't resist pulling over for this one.


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Purple!

Wednesday was forecast to be hazy again so I thought I'd get up for the sunrise at Lake Wendouree to see what might develop, and there is only one word to describe it - purple! A fantastic colour show before the actual sunrise, and in the last one here you can see the sun finally breaking through the haze. Certainly worth the effort to get up early, especially as it was nice and balmy and still. I ended the day with a presentation to the Eastern Suburbs Photographic Club in Blackburn, Melbourne and it was great chance to share my work.



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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...