Knee Deep in Yellowstone.

Well, I've finally got some wifi access after 4 fantastic days in Yellowstone National Park. This is just a taste, as you may recall I mentioned how I expected to be knee deep photographing the bison, well I got the bison knee deep in this amazing walk-by we witnessed in the equally amazing Lamar Valley, a fantastic winter wonderland. I should be a bit more settled in the next days to get some more images posted, but I guarantee you will be amazed at what I have to post! And the morning I took this the temperature was minus 20 celsius!!
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A Fitting Farewell

A very nice sunrise at Lake Wendouree on Sunday was a fitting farewell before we head off to the USA early Monday morning.......my next post will be something totally different...and a lot colder!


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Saturday Evening at the Lake

I wandered up to Lake Wendouree on Saturday for what turned out to be a very nice sunset. After some threatening weather for most of the afternoon the clouds had built up nicely and just as I got there I caught some great light bursting through, helped along by a couple of ducks drifting by. After that some even better mammatus clouds built up and passed over head. We were teased with a couple of bolts of lightning, though nothing further developed. It was great just sitting there watching it all pass by on a very mild, calm evening.
Hard to believe in a day or 2 we will be standing knee deep in snow shooting (!) bison in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. Monday morning we are heading off again, so keep an eye on the blog for some awesome images...


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On The Beach

I made another early morning trip out to west Lake Burrumbeet on Saturday morning. I've been looking for some low lying fogs the last couple of days as we are in a warm spell and quite often the high humidity creates these conditions. This morning it was clear and calm, though still plenty to work with on this side of the lake. These are taken a bit further north of yesterdays location.


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Summers Waning Sunrises

An early start on Friday morning and well before dawn I was waiting on the west side of Lake Burrumbeet for the sunrise. This new location I've been visiting continues to offer plenty, and even with no clouds in sight, the vibrant dawn colours were a fantastic sight. Whilst walking back up the embankment to the car I found this single line spider web that had caught a number of dandelion spores....with the sun behind them it almost looks like a clothes line!  A nice example of being aware of the smaller things around you.


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Mollongghip Meanders

Things were a bit calmer on Thursday evening after the fireworks of the night before. I was out at Mollongghip and found some nice views across the hills, also a cow that felt no embarrassment, and then a dark moody image shooting directly into the sun. Its a very pretty area, and only 25 minutes from Ballarat - well worth a drive around, especially in winter when its a vibrant green.


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And I Thought Tuesday Night Was Good....!

Tuesday evening out at Dean Reservoir was pretty amazing. Incredibly Wednesday evening out at Lake Burrumbeet was even more so. If you read yesterdays post I mentioned how I had changed plans and headed out to Dean as I didn't feel Lake Burrumbeet was the place to go. That all changed on Wednesday when the clouds tempted me out to a common spot on the lake that has changed dramatically with the the falling water levels and the great sand bars that keep appearing. Patiently waiting for the sun to set I knew the conditions were right for something very special and indeed they were. I was tempted to de-saturate these a bit as I didn't think anyone would believe them. Trust me, you had to be there to see it. It's always a bonus with sunsets when you are shooting with water as you get double the effect with the reflections, none more-so than with this set. And there is something about that last one that keeps taking me back for another look.....once again a parting image as I'm on my way back to the car. Wow!


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Dean Drama

On Tuesday evening I was running bit late so I thought I'd make a quick dash out to Lake Burrumbeet for the sunset. As soon as I went outside and looked around my plans changed - out to the west was clear skies, little chance of producing much drama, and above me and reaching back east were some clouds that I felt had some great potential if I could get myself somewhere to make the most benefit of them. So I headed out east and quickly felt that the Dean Reservoir, around 20km from Ballarat, might be a good choice. This is a regular stopping point out this side of Ballarat, however I have never managed to get a great sunset here as the reservoir is down in quite a valley and the hills off to the west cover most of the setting sun. This time, however, I realised the high clouds had a good chance of lighting up in some spectacular colour, and after a short, windy wait on the shore, things really started to take off and the sky went crazy. I tried a number of different shutter speeds and came home with a great range of images. Even the last image here was almost an after thought as I was almost back at the car.
This evening was a great example of the knowledge I have built up of the local district and being able to judge what conditions are likely to develop and planning accordingly....and its still really exciting when it all comes together!



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Some Exciting News from Alaska

On our recent trip to Alaska last August, one of the places we visited was Lake Clark National Park and Preserve. The only way into this park is by small plane, so it was a very exciting adventure for us, and combined with a couple of days flying around in seaplanes whilst there, it was one of the highlights of the trip.
Anyway, the Park recently had a competition and invited people that have visited the park to submit images for the competition that would be posted on their Facebook page so that people could vote. There were four awards, 3 of them based on how many Facebook likes you could get, and the 4th one was to be judged by the park staff. 
I was thrilled to get the news that I had won the Staff pick...this is the email I received....

Dear Andrew, I want to congratulate you on winning the Staff Pick Award in Lake Clark’s Share Your Story Photo Contest. All of your photos are stunning, but this one really spoke to us. ​ ​It will be printed on stretched canvas at 10 x 24 inches and displayed in the park visitor center May - September. Afterwards, we will mail it to you. The other photos you entered will be displayed on a rotating photo frame with the other entries in the park visitor center May through September.

I was especially happy to win this award....not having too many Facebook friends (!) I knew I wasn't going to win that section, in fact I forgot to even vote for myself! 

You can visit Lake Clark's FB page here, just scroll down a few posts and you will see the winning entries....


 And in case you haven't seen the image, here it is.....click on it for a bigger look

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Playing With Water

After the great rain we had a couple of days ago, on Monday I went looking for some run-off. And the Bo Peep Creek (that flows into Lake Burrumbeet) was flowing really well and seemed like a great place to spend some time playing around with different shutter speeds to see the effect it has on water textures. It was quite dark in this spot which enabled me to get the shutter down to a very long 25 seconds to start with, then I gradually worked my way up to 1/30th of a second in the last one here  that shows the nice little weir that fords the creek. 
It was nice to put the gumboots on and get in the water - so far the rainfall totals for the year are well up and with continued rainfall we should have the waterfalls back in action sooner rather than later!



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A Late Sunday Finish

Sunday finished with a fantastic sunset at Lake Wendouree. Initially it looked like the clouds would stop any chance of much happening, however around 10 minutes before sunset I noticed some nice light forming in the clouds, so I raced up to the lake to capture one of the special sunsets we can get there. It always amazes me how the colours can change so much over such a short period of time. You know it's a good sunset when people from everywhere are lining up (usually with their phones) to grab a few images.



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An Early Sunday Start

I was up early on Sunday morning, and not quite sure of where to go I headed west. Made it just in time to the north west corner of Lake Burrumbeet just in time for the sunrise across the lake, and this image really shows just how prominent the mountains, Warrenheip and Buninyong, are on the distant horizon.
On the way back to Ballarat I noticed some interesting mist hanging over one of the hills a bit further north and after a lot of criss crossing through the backroads I finally made my way alongside what turned out to be Mt Coghill. This is the first time I have ever labelled an image taken at Mt Coghill, though I'm pretty sure I was here a few years ago without realising the name of the hill. A pretty nice start to the day, though the sunset later on was something very special.........thats to come!


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Visiting the Devil

On Saturday evening I made a trip out to the Devil's Kitchen at Piggoreet. This is a fantastic geological anomaly in the landscape that has some excellent rocky cliff formations. The late evening sun really coloured up the cliffs and you could almost convince people you had just been to the Kimberleys. Even though we had some fantastic rain the day before I wasn't expecting too much in the way of water to work with, so I was pleased to still find a nice reflection!
And just as I was driving up out of the gorge this lone bunch of flowers caught my eye, obviously the leftover remnants of an old house location. As I was looking at the image up close I noticed something about the sun that caught my eye. Now it was Valentines Day so maybe that had me seeing things that weren't there, but isn't that a heart shaped glow right in the middle there?!



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Black and White Power

Here's an extra from yesterdays storm. The black and white really accentuates the boat sheds nicely.....and that sky is pretty awesome!
I've left this larger than normal so make sure you click on it.....!
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From Sunrise to StormSet

A big day on Friday kept me very busy. To start with there was a very nice sunrise at Lake Wendouree and I found myself in just the right position to catch the sun rising above Mt Warrenheip as the High School rowing teams were getting ready for another morning training session. And just as I was getting ready to leave I noticed this nice view of the bright early morning sun really lighting up this section of the lake...looking like an early taste of autumn.
The fun really started just after lunch when a big storm front moved into town. Checking on the radar it looked like the action would be south of Ballarat so I headed off down to Napoleons and Enfield. I was right in the middle of it at one stage and had to be content with the experience inside the car the rain was so heavy. Making my way back to Ballarat I grabbed  a few images of the boat sheds on the north of the lake which were briefly bathed in bright sunshine with the dark, threatening skies behind. 
Things really started to fire up around 5pm and I planted myself on the north shore of Lake Wendouree to watch the passing storm front to the south. There was plenty of lightning around - very difficult to capture when its still daylight (and without a lighting trigger) and at times the skies were incredibly dark. I did catch one double bolt, though it was the massive front moving across the lake that really caught my eye. A bit difficult to see in this small version but it was a great sight....and then the wind changed to the south and the rain really set in. In fact we have had the month's average rainfall in just the one day. I spent quite a lot of time just watching the storm as conditions were too tough to attempt much in....its an amazing force when a storm like this hits, and very exciting too!
Make sure you click on these for a bigger look!




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Eureka! has arrived!

I'm pleased to announce that I've just received the first few copies of my new book - Eureka! Golden Landscapes of the Ballarat District. This A4 landscape size, hard cover book is a compilation of some of my many favourites over the last few years, all within 42kms of home here in Ballarat. Printed on high gloss paper the quality is superb. At this stage I only have a few copies for sale priced at $60 each. You are welcome to contact me to drop in for a look ..... its great to see some of these images in print.
The book is divided into relevant sections - The Goldfields, Lakes, Water Falling, Atmospherics, Structures. On The Farm, Animals and each of the 64 pages is something special from my hundreds of trips out and about locally in the district.
Here's a sample of what's inside........and don't hesitate to contact me for more information.






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A Smorgasbord - Take Your Pick!

A big day of photography on Thursday with multiple locations captured.  Started with a nice start to the day at Lake Wendouree in between s...