What's New in November 2016
LARGE Format - Suitable for enormous prints metres wide
STANDARD Format - Suitable for prints up to 40 inches
Like many before it this trip began with grand plans and high expectations. Mother Nature, however, had other ideas, delivering gale force winds and flooding to much of Victoria and New South Wales. With my schedule locked in well in advance I had no choice but to forge ahead.
I've no idea how many times I checked the weather report for the various locations I had in mind. I became obsessed with it, heading off in one direction only to abort when the forecast proved less than promised. In the end I drove about 35 hours over the course of a few days trying to outwit the climate or find something to photograph that was protected from it.
Revisiting Hanging Rock in the Blue Mountains had been on my wish list for a while and the good thing about rocks is that the wind can't move them. On the other hand, perching myself and my camera on the very lip of a huge drop off, in the pre-dawn murk, whilst a storm raged overhead didn't exactly inspire. As luck would have it I spent a day and a night sitting in the car with zero visibility and the trees waging war around me, only to arise to a pocket of clear skies and calm. I hiked in with haste and got the shot I wanted between the cliffs, straight into the rising sun. Magic.
I then foolishly headed north into worse conditions and wasted a day, only to return and focus on waterfalls, always a great fall back for the landscape photographer marooned by inclement weather. Typically sheltered in deep valleys waterfalls make a great choice, with the added advantage that everything looks lusher when it's wet.
Finally, with time running out, the app reported near zero wind off the far east coast of Victoria. A lot more driving later I found myself heading through the night with no fixed plan and tiredness creeping over me. I got as far as Croajingolong National Park, when I remembered a spot I been to many years ago that deserved some photographic attention.
I crawled down the off-road track into Wingan Inlet with a couple of hours to spare before dawn, memories resurfacing about a previous visit and compositional possibilities. Grabbing my gear I walked out onto the long, empty beach, the wind perfectly calm, but storm clouds all around. My footprints were the only ones to mar the otherwise perfect sand.
Alone in the dark, the wilderness behind me and the vast ocean before me, the sense of remoteness and peace was astounding. The surf was low, rolling in gently and the moonlight was sufficient to see by, so I turned off my torch. Embracing this feeling of connection to the natural world, I walked on, finding the spot I remembered and set up with a few minutes to spare before dawn.
The morning light was wonderful, painting a beautiful glow over the rocks whilst the stormy clouds brooded darkly overhead. By the time I got back to the car I was too wired to sleep despite having gone without for far too long. Sometimes a place and an experience permeates into your very bones.
Eventually I made it home safe, after downed powerlines and water over the road, and a several hour power-nap. All the best good people and thanks for reading.