What's New in August 2014
LARGE Format - Suitable for enormous prints metres wide
Having been granted a short few days for one snow trip this year, and the dates set well in advance I was determined to make it work come what may. As it turned out the weather was reasonable and the snow cover solid, if a little less fresh than I would have liked.
Driving through the late evening I stopped in Myrtleford to see about a day pass for the following day at Falls Creek only to be told that "we can't issue a day pass in advance" and that I would have to wait for the office to open in the morning whilst on the mountain. I tried to explain I wanted a pre-dawn start to my hike, but apparently bureaucracy has no sense of adventure. Shelling out the cash for an overnight pass that I didn't need I headed off towards Mount Beauty to find a place to camp for a few hours.
On the way fate decided to bestow recompense in the form of a gorgeous stormy sunset over Happy Valley the likes of which I haven't seen for some time. I pulled over at a scenic lookout and quickly tried to find some compelling foreground, but with the clock ticking I decided to let the clouds tell the story on their own. A little stream or an old track leading in would have been nice, but the light was only there for moments. I recalled a conversation I'd had with another photographer up in the mountains some years ago who put it more plainly. "The problem with landscape photographers is that they're never bloody satisfied".
Trying to find a park at Falls Creek is a fascinating endeavour at the best of times. However well after mid-night, in what can only be described as "foggy soup" it takes on a life of its own. All the overnight bays were occupied and the daytime only ones were worded such that one should expect a firing squad or at the very least life imprisonment for even looking at them. After an eternity of circling I found a spot, not officially marked but at least within the overnight area and geared up for the trek.
Slog, slog, through the murk, the wind whipping past my ensconced ears and ice particles stinging my eyes. Slog, slog. Suddenly I realise I don't need my head torch to see anymore and had better get a move on to make the dawn. Wallace Hut, when I arrive is beautifully dipped in cream with sprinkles on top. Nice. Of course on the walk back I meet plenty of "laddies/men-in-tights" zipping along on their skating skis and wondering why I'm carrying fifteen tonnes of gear and wearing as many layers just for a day walk. A wave of the tripod tends to explain myself to most, though by the end of it I was thinking "less is more" for next time. Bedraggled, I never-the-less made it back to the car in good time. There's always something wonderful about that all over muscle aching pain when you know its stopped and the likes of milkshake and hot pie tastes like duck-a la-orange.
With that pilgrimage accomplished I headed to Gippsland for a look at the Toorongo River. This little beauty had escaped my notice despite not being all that far away. Arriving in the dark I found I had the place to myself and set about a little torch-lit reconnaissance. When the light arrived I started shooting and was still at it well into the afternoon so enthralled was I in the lush ferny, moss covered goodness that is only found along such a perennial stream.
On the way back I explored a secrete little spot I know with a couple of rusty old cars and came away with a nice shot, though I'm tempted to try again in summer with the grass a backlit yellow and some nice clouds. Maybe a rainbow and a unicorn will appear too. Yeah, I know my problem.