In The Middle of Nowhere

I haven't been putting up too many extra posts lately...so I thought this image from our last trip might get the ball rolling again with images from that amazing trip. This is long after we had left Alaska...driving across Nevada east from Reno you come across Sand Mountain Recreation Area...I thought the name of this place was very creative! It's well worth clicking on this for a ledger look.
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Chasing the Clouds

By the time I headed out on Saturday evening the clouds had moved in and I found myself in a race to get out to Lake Learmonth before they totally took over the sky. At the moment here is a nice moon building to a full moon in a few days and I only just made it to the lake to grab one image before the clouds moved in and covered it up, and I felt it worked best in black and white. My main reason for heading to Lake Learmonth is to see if the salt flats are worth photographing, and again the spot I chose left me a long way from the action. Looks like I'll need to get the walking boots on and head right out into the middle of the lake. I did hang around for a while and there was one very brief break in the clouds that let in a patch of sunlight which quickly moved from south to north across the lake bed....and then it was all over!


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Fridays Finale

Friday evening saw me heading out to Lake Burrumbeet on what looked like to be a clear, sunny evening. Luckliy there was a big band of clouds that looked like it would help out with the images. The skeleton tree in the first 2 images is a regular spot I stop at, though I think this angle from above is something new. I had to wait for a while until the sun dropped below the clouds to really light up the scene. Then I positioned myself right behind the tree and moved in for some close ups on the great, bare branches. By this time I noticed my battery was getting a bit low, and seeing that the sunset might be nice down on the waters edge, I made a quick dash back to the car to grab a battery before scrambling down on to the ever changing shoreline of the lake for the last image. 
Though you occasionally see fishermen at Lake Burrumbeet, most of the time I'm on my own out here - something very special when you realise its only about 20 minutes from Ballarat. And you can find quite a number of spots on the lakes edge that do seem quite remote.


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A Strange Environment

I made a return visit to Lake Learmonth on Thursday evening. At the moment its such a unique environment I want to make the most of it. I visited a couple of different spots, the first one here on the south east corner (nice to see the moon back into the action!), then around to a spot on the northern side. From the shore you can see out in the distance some very dense areas of salt lining the surface, I'm hoping to get out a lot further to see what thats like up close, I just have to figure out the best way to get out there! And I need to get there before we get any rain that will wash it all away.


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Out On The Prairie

After reading an article in the local paper on Wednesday (thanks Fon!) about Lake Learmonth and the fact that it was now dry, I decided to head out that way in the evening. As much as I love water in all forms, I must admit that what I found out there was very interesting and gives you a whole new range of subject matter. The lack of clouds and powerful, orange setting sun really added to the atmosphere, and the first one here is incredibly reminiscent of scenes from the USA south west. I'm often amazed how I come across local scenes that are so similar to what I've experienced on my travels in the USA. Maybe there's an exhibition in that at some stage.....?
I've been informed of some other areas worth exploring here so expect to see some more from here in the near future.


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Wow!

Catching up with another image from last Saturdays special sunrise at Lake Burrumbeet....wow! Its really worth clicking on this for a larger view.......
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Calm and Serene?!

Tuesday here in Ballarat was very windy so I had to put on my thinking cap to decide where to go. Knowing Lake Burrumbeet so well I figured a spot that would be shielded from the almost gale force south easterlies would be the best place to go....and though it was looking very grey and flat, just at the right time there was a touch of colour in the sky to really add the highlights to this pair. And by adding my neutral density filter to the lens I was able to slow the shutter speed right down to give the impression of calm....its fun experimenting with camera techniques just to see what sort of effect you can create in the original file.

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Australia Day 2015

Australia Day rolled around again on a cold Monday evening, which of course means the fireworks here in Ballarat at Lake Wendouree. I've been shooting the fireworks for a few years now, so I'm always looking at new ways to capture them. With a bit of location scouting earlier in the day, I decided to set up in a location that allowed me to include the environment as much as the fireworks themselves. From this spot between two of the boat sheds on the east side of the lake I was able to line up the Australian flag on View Point and it was great to find a couple of the many images I took had the flag lit well enough to see in the darker sky. You may need to click on these to see the larger version to find that flag!



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The Boatsheds - Morning and Night

After all the excitement of the last couple of mornings (still have some more to post!), Sunday settled down a bit. The sunrise at Lake Wendouree looked likely to be a dud until just after sunrise the sun managed to break free of the clouds to cast some very nice light over the boat sheds on the north side of the lake. And a return visit later in the day caught quite a nice sunset lighting up the front of the Ballarat Grammar sheds.


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Extraordinary. Exciting. Emotive.

As I hinted in yesterday's post I had a feeling that Saturday morning was going to be something quite special. I have witnessed many spectacular sights in my photographic journey from my daily local wanderings to my visits to 56 USA National Parks....and I reckon this morning was just about at the peak. 
After discovering  a new location at Lake Burrumbeet the day before I was keen to return as soon as possible, little realising what I was about to experience. I will become a regular visitor to this spot in the future though it is going to take something amazing to better this first sunrise visit. Before I even made it to this spot, I made a brief stop in the top north west corner of the lake where you get a broad overview of the lake looking back towards Ballarat and Lake Warrenheip, a common spot for me, but never with a view like this! The low lying fogs I had been excited about on the way out from Ballarat, only 20 minutes away, were producing something quite extraordinary out on the lake, certainly something I have never seen before. And then onto my main goal, where the conditions were really firing up with some fantastic pre-sunrise colour, then peaking with some serene views across the lake as the sun tried to burn its way through the low lying mists. 
This set is just a small part of an incredible morning, I have many more to go through ...... hopefully you will experience just a small part of this amazing morning. I know I say this quite often - these are really worth clicking on for a larger view!


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Summer Mirror

On Friday morning I found myself on the west side of Lake Burrumbeet for a magical, golden sunrise. There were some great clouds around to really make the best of the mirror-like surface and by using the big zoom lens I was able to get in close to that golden surface, dotted with pelicans and other birds. On the way out the clouds were not looking all that promising, so I was very grateful when they developed in front of me. As much as I love these mornings on my own, it would be nice for others to be there to experience such special conditions....hopefully by sharing my images, others can enjoy the morning as well. 
Afterwards I did a bit of exploring near this location, and found some really nice spots.......maybe Saturday morning will be something very special!
It's well worth clicking on these for a bigger look.

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Well Before Dawn

On Thursday morning I was heading north of Ballarat well before sunrise. Just north of the freeway there were some serene low lying mist around, and I stopped at Mt Rowan to catch this view looking back to Mt Warrenheip. We are in the middle of a really nice patch of warm, calm summer days, and the early mornings is the best way to experience it, well before all the usual hubbub starts up - there's more to come, so make sure you make the most of it!

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Serene Summer Solitude

The quickly changing shoreline of Lake Burrumbeet once again offered me some new compositions to work with on Wednesday evening. This little visited spot on the east side has changed dramatically since last winter, in fact I'm about 50 metres further out into the lake as the shoreline gets smaller and smaller. Some terrific low lying sand bars are now being revealed, and the masses of reeds along the edge really offer a lot as well. It's great to be out here on a warm summer evening, my only company was the birds scuttering along the waters edge, though I must admit the one trail bike that passed by created quite a disturbance, but he was quickly gone to allow me to enjoy the solitude.


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Sensational Summer Sunrise Show

On Tuesday morning, well before sunrise, I noticed a touch of colour in the sky through the bedroom window. I always leave the curtains open so I can keep an eye on anything of interest that might develop in the sky and this time I'm glad I did. I quickly grabbed my gear and jumped in the car as the colour started to increase, and made it around to the north western corner of Lake Wendouree, where I found a spot that offered some great foreground interest to go with the continually increasing colour show. The first image here was taken at 6.03am, the last at 6.12 am - well before the actual sunrise and when the colour was at its most intense and they show how quickly the colour can change from the deep reds and purples into the more golden yellow and oranges. And very nice of those 2 swans to come floating by just at the right time!
Undoubtedly one of the best sunrise shows I've witnessed for quite a while...this is the reason I keep heading out with the camera everyday...sometimes the rewards are spectacular!
It's well worth clicking on these for a larger look, but make sure you have your sunglasses on!


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High, Warm and Cool

A couple of very different subjects on Monday....
I was sitting outside at lunchtime and I noticed we had a very nice sun halo forming right above me, so I quickly grabbed a few images...always an impressive sight when you get the complete circle. One thing I found interesting when I looked at the images was the fact that the sun is not exactly centred in the ring...anyone now the science behind this?
And later in the day I popped out to the Bo Peep Creek near Lake Burrumbeet to see if the flow from last weeks rain was still up, and there was a nice flow that let me capture a couple of nice warm and cool images, mainly due to the difference in light as the sun was setting and the ambient glow was quickly changing.


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Sunday Sunset

When I left the house on Sunday evening I had plans to head west, however the lack of clouds in that direction swayed me to head in the opposite direction where there were some great banks of clouds waiting for the sunset. I managed to get out to around Mt Warrenheip and after carefully watching the clouds I chose a spot that I felt would make the most of the fast moving clouds. This old shed is a regular subject and you can see why...it makes a great point of interest when the clouds are building up behind it.


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Contrasts

Two very contrasting locations from Saturdays photo shoots. I was down in Melbourne and I caught this view looking up the Yarra River from the Spencer Street bridge around 5pm. I find the images of cityscapes always work well in black and white, as was the case here. Then later in the evening I popped out to Lake Burrumbeet for the sunset, most notable for this trio of spoonbills that flew past.


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Westerlies

I knew when I headed west on Friday evening that the clouds were going to kill any great sunset chances, though I still managed to capture some nice sun rays breaking through the clouds out at Windermere. And then a bit further on this tree at Bo Peep caught my eye (again!).....if you look closely you can see multitude of birds perched amongst the branches. And then I came home.........!

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Lake Learmonth Levels

After the surprise at finding such low flow at Moorabool Falls on Wednesday evening, I was further surprised to see the vast improvement to the water level at Lake Learmonth on Thursday. Last time I passed here there was hardly any water left, so it was great to see what a couple of days good rain can do so quickly. Quite a range of things to play around with here in a short space of time...."Cracked" is a follow up from one of last years favourite images taken here...it always pays to look in all directions!



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Summer Falls

After the great rain we've had this week, and the big improvement in flow at Birchs' Creek on Tuesday night, I was itching to visit Moorabool Falls to make the most of the conditions. However, it wasn't quite what I expected. In fact it was flowing better last time I was here a a few weeks ago on December 12th. From the look of things I'd say it had completely stopped flowing, and the recent rain was just enough to get things flowing again. As you can see it was still worth the visit as concentrating on the base of the falls gave me some great images to work with and the lesser flow allowed me to get in a lot closer than normal. Looks like we will be needing  a few more days of high rainfall to really get it going again.


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Magic

The forecast for Sunday morning was calm and freezing cold and that's exactly how it turned out (minus 3.4, in fact!). I had a fantastic...