It has been quite a while since my last update (my apologies); things have just been very hectic at the office with the usual pre-Christmas insanity. I really do not understand what it is about the pre-Christmas period that makes people act as if the world is coming to an end. The desire to get everything finished before Christmas for no other reason than getting it finished before Christmas makes little to no sense to me. Anyway, despite the madness I did manage to sneak away the weekend before last to the Grampians for a couple of days for some photography. The Grampians was actually ‘Plan B’ – ‘Plan A’ was Mungo and the Walls of China; which if you have been following my blog at all will know I am destined not to visit due to the God of Thunders uncanny ability to pour rain for days prior and during any potential visit – such is life. I will keep trying though.
Exiting stage left at around 11am and leaving the kids with my somewhat understanding wife I made a beeline for Halls Gap and the Grampians Saturday morning. The Grampians are around three and half hours drive from my house; which gave me plenty of time to make a sunset shoot. Even though I did not as yet know where I would be shooting and the Grampians is an awfully big place. Arriving in Halls Gap early afternoon after some fairly atrocious traffic through the city outskirts I had a good chat with one of the Rangers about the current state of the waterfalls and weather conditions. On his advice I made for an area of the Grampians near Dunkeld called Sentinel Peak.
Sentinel Peak is a steep three and a half hour trek virtually straight up from the main road from Halls Gap to Dunkeld to the Summit which looks North East across the main peak. The views from the top are spectacular (some of the best in the Grampians) although its a tough hike up very uneven rocky ground that saw me nothing short of shattered on reaching the summit. I contribute a good portion of my weakened condition on reaching the top to the twenty plus kilograms of camera equipment I hauled to the top. Not having photographed or even walked to the top before I did not want to be caught short of the wrong lens. In the end I used my trusty 50mm F1.2L and could have left most of the rest of the kit in the car.
This photograph was shot from the summit proper looking North East as distant rain showers and sunbeams streaked through the patchy cloud. There is a lovely play of light at work here that really works for me. You cant see it in the small jpeg on screen but there are two rainbows in the distance on the right hand side of frame. The light is warm late afternoon light that is often encountered this time of year in Australia and makes for wonderful landscape photography.
The Australian bush is very difficult to photograph at the best of times. Making order out of the chaos can be extremely challenging. If you have never visited Australia or attempted to photograph the Australian bush you may have a hard time comprehending what it is I am driving at with this statement. Those of you who have will understand what I mean when I say the Grampians (although exceedingly beautiful) is very challenging photographically. In this case, I am very pleased with the result.
I ended up getting back to the car around 10:30pm after the hike back down (nearly treading on a Tiger snake in the process) and decided that after dinner and a few hours sleep I would get up at 3am and hike back up for sunrise (must have been a brain fade moment). I did trek back up for sunrise but needn’t have bothered as the best light was most definitely the prior evening with the distant rain showers.