Inland from Australia’s Great Ocean Road, tucked hidden behind the pretty coastal towns, winding road and imposing cliff faces, is the immeasurable beauty of the Great Otways National Park. A wonderland of undulating hills and valleys covered by soft greenery and veined by gentle flowing rivers. At the ends of these rivers are some of the most beautiful and serene waterfalls in all of Australia.
One of the most well known of these, Hopetoun Falls, is a short but steep decent from the carpark on a winding path that at first shelters the sound of falling water and builds anticipation as you slowly round corners and hear the sound increase in volume. Ducking under tree branches and pushing through fern leaves, often wet with raindrops, you can hear birds overhead as they nest in canopies above. Cockatoos, Kookaburras and Bowerbirds are all common.
As the path ends, Hopetoun Falls is revealed. The distant undercurrent is now an unmistakable crash as the water flow hits the Aire River after its 45 metre drop. Scrambling over the soft ground and smooth rock close to the waterfall, a refreshing mist can be felt from the water’s spray.
Further downstream it is much quieter. The Aire River trickles peacefully around soft bends, over and around rocks and moss and carries with it small twigs and fallen leaves. It feels disconnected from the rushing water a short distance away. The crystal clear water is gentle enough to see the bottom of the river bed, filled with pebbles.
Buried deep in the forest, Hopetoun Falls feels so far away from everywhere. It is easy to feel like an explorer in a place such as this. Like you are the first person to come across this natural wonder, so untouched is it by human presence. Making the return journey in the cool shade provided by ancient trees and emerging back into the carpark feels somewhat like a return to civilisation.
Sunrise at 12 Apostles in Port Campbell Coastal Park
Remains of an old jetty at Clifton Springs, Victoria, Australia
Dawn at Point Lonsdale Pier, Victoria, Australia
Lighthouse at Point Lonsdale, Bellarine Pensinsula, Victoria.
Gibsons Beach on the Great Ocean Road with clear blue sky
I’ve always enjoyed looking at images in panoramic format and the epic sense of scale they give to a photo. But in terms of creating them, I’ve always put them in the “too hard” basket. I suppose I’ve always been more in love with the shooting part of photography than the post processing and put off trying this because of the sheer time involved.
Recently I decided to take advantage of some downtime to give panoramic photography a go, and am reasonably pleased with the results. I also have a new appreciation for Photoshop’s Adaptive Wide Angle filter.
Click on any of the above images to view them larger.
I’ve made some recent additions to the Portfolios section of the website. Included are a new gallery of images from my recent visit to Vietnam as well as some more recent landscapes from Far North Queensland and Victoria’s Phillip Island to the Wild section.
Please check out the updated galleries by clicking HERE.
At long last, I’m finished an overdue portfolio update. New additions include a gallery of images from Japan, as well as new work from the Great Ocean Road, Bellarine and Mornington Peninsulas as well as Melbourne.
A portfolio update is always a good chance to take stock of how your work is progressing as a photographer, not only in terms of technical ability, but subject choice as well. I find that my interests tend to move in cycles. from travel and human subjects to landscapes and round again.
Looking through these portfolio images, it was good to see that my work is evolving, something that isn’t necessarily obvious during the daily “doing” of capturing and editing.
Even if you’re not a professional photographer and have no use for a portfolio, its a useful idea to keep a collection of favourites to add to and subtract from. It will give you a good idea of how your photography is evolving, and highlight areas to work on to be able to meet your own personal vision.
Head on over to the Portfolio section of the website to view the new galleries.
This is the first of what will be a regular series of desktop wallpapers to download and use. Kind of a “thanks for coming” to readers. I thought I’d start with an image of one of my favourite locations, Swan Bay, which I have blogged about before and will get around to doing a location review of sometime soon.
Swan Bay is a fantastic location if you like to shoot seascapes. It is protected by a long coastline from the ocean so stays relatively calm. The old jetty has plenty of character and there are always a few boats idling on the water.
To download the wallpaper, just click your resolution size and save to background (or whatever you Mac people do). Hope you enjoy.
This is the first in an ongoing series where I will shamelessly promote my own work under the pretense of sharing stories about how they came to be. Seriously though, the reason I got into travel photography is because first and foremost I love the experience of travelling and the stories behind images are just as important to me as the images themselves. So at the risk of being a show off I thought I’d share some of these from time to time.
This man makes is living selling glasses of orange juice at Djemma el Fna in Marrakech. From memory I think he sells them for about 5 Dirham a glass, which works out to be roughly $.60AUD (which is about the same USD these days, or £0.37). He stands at his cart from sun up to sun down or longer.
He stands out in my mind as he was only too happy to chat with my wife and I while business was slow and pose for a few photos. This took me by surprise as it set him apart from many others at Djemma el Fna, who see a traveller with a camera as a business opportunity and not only expect payment for their image, but will follow you around asking if you want to take their photo for a negotiable fee. And to a certain extent I can understand that, when people are simply trying to earn a living. But that’s a discussion for another day.
We did buy a glass of OJ from him (which we desperately needed in the hot Moroccan sun), and he did give us a second one on the house (I think he was quite taken by my charming wife). But his generosity and good humour stood out at a place where it is easy to feel hassled and frustrated by people trying to earn a living from you at every turn.