Fog On Fire

On Thursday evening I was due to give a presentation at the Rosanna Photo Club in Melbourne, so I knew my best opportunities for the days images would be early morning. And with a forecast of clear skies with low lying fogs I was keen to head out around the Dunnstown/Yendon area before sunrise. When you have a whole landscape of low lying fog in front of you its sometimes a bit daunting to decide where to go. I had enough time to scout a few spots and ended up down a dirt road off the Yendon-Mt Egerton Rd that I had never been down before that dead ended in a great spot with some terrific trees to work with the fog and slowly rising sun. This is just a first set as the sun made an impressive start to the day....there were many more great opportunities as the sun got higher and higher that I'll post later.


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From Piggoreet to Burrumbeet

On Wednesday afternoon I was down south west of Ballarat checking out some locations around the Devils Kitchen at Piggoreet. There is a lot to be explored in this area and I found this nice view along one of the country lanes. You can see in the background there are some enticing valleys though I'm not sure how to get to them just yet. 
With a nice sunset building I raced up to the south shore of Lake Burrumbeet for what turned out to be a very nice sunset.


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The Moon on the Lake

As I continue to go through the archives looking for images for my USA National Park book, I'm always coming across images that have never seen the light of day. This is from September 2012 from the north western shore of Lake Superior. Our first full day on this trip before we headed over to Isle Royale National Park the next day. We had a lovely evening on the shores of the Lake in a town called Grand Marais.....I highly recommend re-visiting your old trip photographs, it brings back many great memories!
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Last Chance

On the way out to Lake Burrumbeet on Tuesday evening it looked like the low bank of clouds on the horizon would put an end to any major sunset action. Intitially, at least there were some nice breaks in the clouds up high and then, just as I was thinking about leaving, the sun made one last effort to break free on the horizon with a dazzling burst of golden light....moments later the window closed and the grey returned.


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A Sea of Red

As I was running around Lake Wendouree on Monday arvo, I noticed a splash of red on the wall of the Ex-Prisoner of Wars Memorial and quickly realised they were poppies attached to the names of those that had passed during there time in captivity. The World War One end of the wall was a sea of red and was well worth the return trip a bit later in the day to capture some idea of this once a year sight. Well worth a visit if you're in the vicinity, I imagine those poppies will hang around for a while.
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Getting in Close

The grey, dreary weather continued here in Ballarat on Sunday so I made trip out to one of my "grey, dreary weather" locations that always gives me a chance to shoot something of interest. This small cascade on the Bullarook Creek just past Kingston had some really strong green highlights with the grasses growing around, and in, the water flow. A touch of autumn colours also added nicely to the scene. It wasn't til I got home and viewed the images on screen that I saw some great textures buried within the water flow that look like someone has gone wild with a white laser pointer....these all came about in the couple of minutes sunshine that managed to break free of the heavy clouds and fall across the scene.



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Saturday Sailing

On Saturday afternoon as I was returning from my run there was a flotilla of sailing boats on Lake Wendouree and with a bit of light trying to break through it was a pretty nice sight. So I made a dash for home and quickly grabbed the camera with the big zoom lens to grab a few frames. There was one boat that really stood out from all the others because of its purple sail - I know this effect has been done many times before though it seemed the perfect choice for this image. A couple of other views caught me eye just as the rain started to fall and set in for the rest of the day.


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Creswick - Smeaton RSL Anzac Eve Ceremony

On Friday evening I made a trip out to Creswick to their ANZAC eve ceremony. Not something I usually get involved in, though this year I've had quite a connection with the ANZAC Centenary. First off I worked on an exhibition at the Gold Museum at Sovereign Hill that was opened a few weeks ago. Back in October last year I was contacted by the Creswick-Smeaton RSL about the possibility of doing the calligraphy on a potential 1000 plus small memorial crosses to be unveiled at the 100th ANZAC Ceremony. So in the last 6 months when I haven't had the camera in hand its because I've had a calligraphy pen in hand doing these crosses. 
ANZAC Eve was a big ceremony out at Creswick with a Torchlight Parade up the main street to the Cenotaph where the crosses were all laid out. Just as we left home in Ballarat the rain started and by the time we got out to Creswick it was pouring, though everyone in the big crowd seemed to be quite accepting of the conditions, perhaps mindful of what happened 100 years ago. I must admit I was quite thrilled to see my work on display and felt quite moved by the evening in general. In fact I have been watching, or reading, about a lot of the Gallipoli campaign in the last few months and didn't realise before the impact and scale, and disaster, of the whole campaign. I managed to get a few images in the pouring rain, the first one here shows around a quarter of the crosses as the local Fire Brigade members gathered around the display for the formalities of the ceremony. 
And for those interested I had to shoot these at 10,000 ISO!



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Looking Up

On Friday morning I was out around 9am as there looked to be some nice low lying fog around. Once I got out east of Ballarat I realised it was more of a haze and showed no real potential. Similar to yesterday, Mt Buninyong looked to have some low clouds over the peak, so I headed off there where it was pretty nice wandering around the gums amongst the bush right at the top of the mountain. I've been here many times in similar conditions, and one of my favourite views is looking up to see the trees disappearing into the mist.

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Just Two

On Thursday I think I set a new record......with the weather looking very grey and overcast I noticed on my run around Lake Wendoure just after lunch, that there was a bit of low lying cloud above Mt Warrenheip. So just after 4pm I went out that way to have a scout around. The record I've just set is that I only took 2 pics...certainly the least of any photo trip I've been out on. What mist there was seemed to be dissipating as I walked around so I packed up and headed home. Funnily enough, both those images are quite nice!

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Golden

On Wednesday afternoon the fast moving clouds held a lot to promise for some great photographic conditions, however that quickly changed as they were moving too fast and by the time I hit the road the sky was mostly cloud. There was a glimmer of home out west with some light still breaking through so I headed  out that way and found myself north of the freeway out at Burrumbeet. As the sun broke through I found myself with some of my favourite conditions. Now I like sunsets as much as most people, but my favourite light is when you have late, golden sunshine illuminating the foreground with masses of dark clouds above it, and thats exactly what I got along this country lane. It's sometimes hard to get yourself out of the shot when you are casting such long shadows with the sun directly behind you, so when that happens I decide to include myself in the image, and I felt that worked pretty well here. Just a few minutes of this light and it was all over, so I turned around and headed for home.


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The Colours of the Creek

On Tuesday I ventured out to Birch's Creek at Smeaton. It's always a good place to visit in the autumn for a bit of colour on the creek in front of the old Anderson's Mill. And by looking for reflections in the water you can turn something average into something a little more special. Flow in the creek is not huge at the moment (we could do with some of NSW's rain, without the storm!) though its still enough to keep things moving and some nice pools upstream were catching a lot of the fallen leaves. And just as I was driving up the road that takes you out of this spot off the highway, the sun was just setting through the arch of the lovely old bluestone Smeaton Bridge.



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Night Time at Niagara

Once again whilst going through previous trip files I came across the day and night we were at Niagara Falls about 3 years ago. We were very fortunate to catch the last light show of the season, and though in a lot of ways its very tacky and overdone, its still an amazing sight!
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Mirror Rocks Line

Nothing too exciting on Monday evening though there is always something to work with at Lake Burrumbeet as this series shows. A big sunset was killed off by the bank of clouds on the horizon, though some high clouds still managed to put on a reasonable show. I gotta say it was pretty cold out here, just a taste of what's to come...must remember to pack the gloves and scarf next time!


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The End of the Weekend

I was down in Melbourne on Sunday and as I was driving back late in the afternoon it was a race to see if I could get back to Ballarat before the sun set. Just managed a quick view from the Black Hill lookout and a couple of frames at Lake Wendouree before it all faded away......certainly a bit more colourful than the night before!

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The Front Moves Through

After a generally nice day on Saturday, the forecast heavy rain for around 6pm looked likely to be spot on. Some dark and threatening clouds started to build around 4.30 and by 5.15 they were looking very ominous as this series looking south/southeast across Lake Wendouree shows. Unfortunately there was not too much rain to follow. In the last image here I really like the touch of blue around Mt Warrenheip before it gets enveloped by that massive bulk of cloud.


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Fire and Water

On Friday there was a forecast of rain moving in just after lunch, so I decided to head out early to see what I could find. It was grey and overcast, and out west there as a lot of hazy smoke around as a lot of farms are doing paddock burns at the moment. I could see a huge plume of smoke further north from where I was heading and ended up on the Windermere-Learmonth Rd where this burn-off caught my eye. 
After that it was down to the Bo Peep Creek to see if there was any flow, and surprisingly there was, enabling me to put on the gumboots and have some fun in this often visited small cascades. Some underlying coloured rocks really helped lift this...a great example of how the circular polariser filter can cut through the surface glare.

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Five Miles of Colour

On Thursday afternoon I went for a run up to Lake Wendouree, and I took a camera with me to catch some more of the great autumn colour we have at the moment, though it won't be round for too much longer. I made numerous stops and came home with quite a range of images...funnily enough the most colourful was this butterfly I spotted on the path on the way home!




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An Early (Very!) Start

Nature called at 4.36am on Wednesday morning and I quickly realised the flashes outside were not next doors security alarm, but a lightning show that showed a lot of promise with the numerous flashes going on outside. So I was quickly packed and into the car, and realising it was mostly centred down to the south east I headed out to Mt Warrenheip and found a nice spot on the south east banks that gave me a fantastic high view to watch the storm. I spent well over an hour shooting away, and even had a friendly dog from the nearby farm come over to keep me company for a while. The 2nd one here, though not the most dynamic lightning bolt, was a nice catch.....the first train of the day from Ballarat on its way to Melbourne. And an interesting feature of this storm from my viewpoint was the lack of thunder and noise, not a rumble to be heard though I reckon I saw hundreds of bolts.
And then a nice end to the day, around 12 hours later, at Lake Wendouree.
Make sure you click on these for a bigger look!






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Nine Minutes

On Monday morning I was out east of Ballarat before sunrise and once I got myself to a high vantage point I could see the only spot with a b...