Category Archives: Landscape Category

New Release – Derwent Rise

Derwent Rise

This scene was captured adjacent to the banks of the Derwent River in Tasmania’s Central Highlands.

After a day of visiting Mt Field National Park on a “take things as they come” relaxed family holiday, we (Kelvin & partner Meg) perused the map in search of our next destination. Far from organised we arrived after dark at Derwent Bridge a few hours later. With little knowledge of our surroundings we enjoyed an amazing dinner then crashed into bed.

Upon waking I eagerly looked out of the window in an attempt to get a sense of our new surroundings. As a landscape photographer, It’s amazing how quick fog get’s you out of bed. I had no idea where I was or what I was looking for but before I knew it, yesterday’s jeans were soaked up to the knees from brushing through the wet native grasses. I walked along the river banks hoping to find a scene over the water but nothing was grabbing me. As I turned away from the river, attempting to navigate around some tall bushes that were leading me away from the water, this beautiful tree grabbed my attention. I instantly forgot about the river and set about capturing the beautiful scene.

As unorganised as it seems, I honestly believe that when planning a trip, the plan should sometimes be, “let’s just take things as they come”, and this image is a good representation of this thinking. We don’t always need to see through the fog; just embrace the unknowns, enjoy the journey, and most of all, enjoy what’s right in front of you in the moment without the burden of knowing what’s going to be in front of you next. From this approach have come some of my most rewarding and exciting experiences in life, and because I wasn’t expecting them, they’re truly the memories that stand out the most.

 

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New Release – Monument Valley

Monument Valley

The Rock formations of Monument Valley would have to be one of the most recognizable natural landscapes on Earth. Featured in countless films, Monument Valley is considered the quintessential American West. The enormous sandstone masterpieces we see today were revealed over 50 million years by the erosive forces of wind and water. Driving through the desert landscape is an incredible yet somehow “eerie” experience. You just don’t feel like you’re on planet Earth!

Monument Valley was “made” for panoramic photography! No other format does justice to the vast grandeur of the landscape.  It’s always been a dream of mine (Shaun) to experience and photograph this magical place, and while my visit was fleeting, I was lucky enough to capture this breathtaking sunset.

 

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New Release – Peace and Power

McKenzie Falls

Resting by the beautiful McKenzie Falls one feels at peace with nature. Yet as if by contradiction you get a real sense of awe for the almighty force and power of nature. Such is the dichotomy of the natural world we live in; peace, beauty and life; menacing power and decay. It’s natures reminder that we can’t have bliss without the existence of adversity. William Blake put it perfectly in his famous poem:

Man was made for joy and woe,
And when this we rightly know,
Through the world we safely go.
Joy and woe are woven fine,
A clothing for the soul divine.

 

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New Release – Tranquillity

Tranquillity

The Sapphire Coast of N.S.W. is a nature lovers paradise and as landscape photographers, we were in heaven here. Multiple National Parks, pristine white beaches, dramatic coastlines and peaceful coastal lagoons. So impressed with what the region had to offer, upon return we immediately booked a return trip!

 

Having spent the majority of our time in the region’s National Parks, we decided to spend some downtime wandering the Merimbula Lake foreshore, and to our surprise discovered a real gem! The character and peacefulness of this scene really grabbed us. Wanting to evoke feelings of calm and tranquillity, the decision was made to return at dawn. The following morning, not a breath of wind could be felt, and while Merimbula slept, mother nature put on a beautiful light show. As the sunrise progressed, the colour of the reflections intensified until the majority of the lake was painted with intense purples, pinks and oranges. How could one not feel at peace at such a beautiful moment?

New Release – Sacred Passage

Sacred Passage

The incredible beauty of Antelope Canyon blows you away the moment you enter its sacred passageways. Over thousands of years the erosive forces of water during flash floods have sculpted the Navajo sandstone into the most exquisite forms and shapes. As the soft, reflected light filters down through the canyon’s narrow walls, the forms, textures, contrast and colours become a photographers paradise. Carefully calculating the exposure, the light is allowed to slowly bleed onto the film for over two minutes, saturating the colours and producing the most divine palette of yellows and oranges through to deep reds and purples. This majestic canyon is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful of all natural formations on Earth…

 

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New Release – Dixon’s Kingdom

Dixon's Kingdom

The remote Walls of Jerusalem National Park is located within Tasmania’s Central Plateau and forms part of Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area. It’s an absolutely spectacular landscape and like nothing we’ve ever seen before! The plateau is covered with thousands of lakes and tarns, gorged out by melting ice during recent glaciation. Hiking through the U-shaped glacial valleys, huge dolerite peaks and “walls” dominate the landscape. Within the valleys lie stands of ancient pencil pine forest, unique alpine vegetation and crystal clear bubbling creeks.

After hiking the good part of a day we arrived at Dixon’s Kingdom, an early 1900’s cattleman’s hut. We camped the night and upon waking couldn’t believe our luck; An ethereal veil of fog lie in the valley. Framed between two ancient pencil pines, the hut draped in fog, we clicked the camera’s shutter and just stood in awe of this magical wilderness…

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New Release – Purity

Purity

What appears at first glace to be just another beautiful mountain stream is in fact the humble beginnings of Australia’s longest river, the Murray. In the pristine Australian Alps and only 40km from Australia’s  highest mountain, Mount Kosciuszko, three small springs mark the source of this grand river. It’s here the Murray begins its massive 2508km journey to the ocean at Lake Alexandrina in South Australia.

Waking to the soft sound of rain hitting our tent we weren’t overly keen to drag ourselves out of bed, but we donned the wet weather gear and went out for a look anyway. The effort was totally worth it as the river was breathtakingly beautiful under the early morning diffused light. The nights soaking rain had really saturated the colours in the foliage and rocks. Under an umbrella, we set the gear up and patiently waited for a break in the rain. But it seems Mother Nature had other ideas! All morning the rain only just gave reprieve long enough for us to capture one single shot; but that’s all we needed. What a tranquil, pure and calming place…

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New Release – El Cap

El Cap

 

Towering over Yosemite Valley, El Capitan (or more affectionately amongst rock climbers, “El Cap”) rises more than 900 meters (3,000 feet) from the valley floor. Over the eons, this massive lump of pure granite has been carved by glacial action, forming the sheer rock face it has become so famous for. Now considered the standard for big-wall climbing, many routes have been established up El Cap’s Southwest and Southeast wall’s. On January 14, 2015, Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson famously completed the first free climb (yes, no ropes!) of the Dawn Wall, considered one of the hardest climbs in the world, Crazy!
Standing in the Merced River as the setting sun casts a warm red glow on El Cap’s Southwest wall, I’m (Shaun) totally blown away with the beauty of the place! I feel so privileged to have experienced the incredible national parks of America’s Southwest, without a doubt one of the most fascinating, beautiful and photogenic regions on Earth. I’ll be back!

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The Thought Process of a Landscape Photographer (Part 3)

Become the Opportunist!

During Parts 1 and 2 of this series we discussed the advantages of thorough research, scouting and pre-visualization. There’s no doubt incorporating these skills into your workflow will lead to more opportunities and better landscape images. However one additional skill will see you plucking bonus images from nowhere and with little effort! It’s called ‘being the opportunist’ – simply being in the right place at the right time and capturing an unplanned scene in the perfect moment. But it’s often harder then you think.

Through the MalleeRight place, right time: On Route to a fishing destination, we stumbled upon this scene just as a storm was approaching. Luckily, we had packed our photography kit. You just never know when Mother Nature will hand you a gift.

There are two types of unplanned opportunities. Those opportunities you come across on a photography outing and those stumbled upon in everyday life. Problems often arise when you find a fantastic scene while on route to another location. Do you stop and attempt the shot or carry on with original plans? This can sometimes be a very difficult decision to make, particularly if on a tight schedule, and only you can make that decision. However, if on a photography outing, it often pays to abandon original plans.  There’s no guarantee of perfect light and weather at the original location and it’s often best to stop and capture a sure thing.

Never go scouting without your kit. We’ve had to learn this the hard way! Many times during unfavorable conditions we’ve left our kit at the car to go scouting only to regret later not having it when we find a scene ‘in the perfect moment’. This is especially true during changeable weather. It takes effort sometimes, especially if you have a heavy kit, but sooner or later you’ll be thankful you did. In addition, have your kit with you whenever on a road trip, not just a photography trip. You just never know when you might stumble upon a perfect scene.

Speed is often very important. Sometimes you don’t “see” a potential scene until the light or conditions are just perfect. These moments are often fleeting. This is when it’s a major advantage to know your gear backwards, having the ability to set up at a moment’s notice. On other occasions you may witness an unprecedented weather event such as a storm or rainbow but have no subject to photograph. When this occurs you’ll find yourself frantically searching about, desperate to find a subject. It’s incredible how one can scout all day for little success only to find the perfect scene in minute’s when under pressure from Mother Nature.

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So keep in mind that sometimes chance favors the prepared mind. Don’t let your destination distract you from your current surroundings and always be on the lookout for that next shot. If something unexpected catches your eye, be ready and willing to diverge from the plan at a moment’s notice. Always have your kit organized, within reach and able to set up fast. Often, every second counts!

Cheers, Shaun and Kelvin.

 

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New Release – Heart Reef

Heart Reef

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system, and often considered one of the seven natural wonders. While diving or snorkeling on the reef is an amazing and unforgettable experience, a helicopter tour over the reef offers panoramic views that have to be seen to be believed. The reef is simply breathtaking from the air, a seascape unmatched in beauty to any other on Earth, and an absolute paradise for nature lovers.

Allowing ourselves a week for the best chance of good weather, we grew increasingly anxious as each gloomy day was followed by another. On our final day, and only hours before we were due to fly home, the skies cleared nearing low tide, finally presenting us with ideal photography conditions; And wow did the reef take our breath away! Brilliant patterns of contrasting deep blues and bright greens, and as if by divine creation, sitting in its own little lagoon, the beautiful Heart Reef. Leaning out of the helicopter with its doors removed, camera in hand, our own hearts were pounding with the thrill of the whole experience. Incredible moments and images we’ll never forget.

 

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