Images of a Big Island

Archive for October, 2010

Early Morning at Langford Spit

I’ve been thinking for a while that considering I live in the Whitsundays on Queensland’s tropical coast, I haven’t been posting many images of the area! While I haven’t been out around the islands for a fair while due to health reasons, I did manage to capture a few images from the area before I was grounded.

This was taken early one morning looking from Langford Spit toward Hook Is.
Here the overnight high tide has washed away all the footprints left by the many visitors the spit gets each day and left it’s own footprint of current induced sand waves. A much nicer design I think!


Old Timer

While I am on the subject of Cradle Mt, I would like you all to meet one of my father’s closest mates. Mort Ellis, 94yrs young!

Mort and his brothers Ossie and Alec were the builders and owners of Pencil Pine Lodge which is now known as the world famous Cradle Mt. Lodge. Pencil Pine Lodge was the first “commercial” accommodation built in the area back in the early 70’s and I remember spending some great times there over the years! And a few that I am a bit hazy about as well.
Ossie was a bit of a legend in bushwalking circles before his untimely death. He built all the tracks and bridges around Cradle Mt Lodge that enable guests to go for walks in the different environments surrounding the lodge. A total opposite to my father in political persuasion,they were the best of mates and shared many adventures in some of the wildest areas of the Tasmanian wilderness. To listen to them having a passionate political debate over a few beers was highly entertaining and sometimes alarming as they always used to to stir each other up for the fun of it!
While Mort was not into bushwalking so much, most of his working life was spent in the bush on the rugged west coast of Tasmania. An area that is not known for it’s metro-sexuals and new-age men!!
There are not many people like Mort left nowadays and with each passing year, a wealth of knowledge slowly dwindles away. To listen to people like Mort, Ossie and my father with their knowledge of their environment and the old-fashioned bushcraft they used was fascinating!
On another note, this image was processed mostly in Lightroom using a technique that involves ramping up the Fill, Blacks and Clarity sliders to max, back off on the Blacks to suit your taste, desaturate to taste and put a vignette around it.

Not a great technique for aspiring model but for someone with a lived in face like Mort it works a treat!

Cradle Mt.

Andrew Brown & Jamie Patterson have been posting some great images of the Tasmanian Icon that is Cradle Mt, so I thought I would add my paltry efforts!
These have been lurking in my archive for ages and frankly they’re rather boring images compared to others that are out there.

These two images above were shot in my early days of digital photography, so please excuse the quality. A rare beautiful day up in these parts!

These last two illustrate the extremes of weather up in the Alpine regions. It can go from a beautiful warm sunny day to freezing cold and nasty in very short time! Many people have been caught out over the years, some with fatal consequences.
My father who lived at Cradle Mt for many years and knew the area intimately treated the area with great respect even if he was going for a short daywalk.
Many times i have driven up to the lake hoping for that moody, broken cloud pierced by the setting sun type of weather. So far it has eluded me but I will get lucky one day!

The Web

Sitting out on the patio this morning having my wake-up coffee when I noticed a small spider had built a web close by. Upon closer inspection I was shaking my head in admiration of what this tiny animal engineer had achieved!
The web was about 2m from the ground and was in between a tree and a post with a distance of at least 2m between the anchor points. How it moved between these anchor points at the same time as spinning a gossamer thread with a tensile strength comparable to steel is a marvel of engineering!
All in the hope of trapping an unwary flying insect for dinner.

To get this image was a challenge in itself, constantly changing light and a breeze moving the web in and out of focus. Added to that was the fact that shooting angle and distance were were restricted.
Finishing my coffee and having a think about it, I came up with the solution of spraying the web with a fine water mist to help it stand out from the background and holding an off-camera flash as high as i could reach and slightly behind from the RH side to try and simulate sunlight.
After a few attempts to get the flash exposure right and waiting for a lull in the breeze, I managed to get one that was mostly in focus. The icing on the cake would have been to have a Golden Orb or John’s Cross spider, so I’ll have to work on my spider wrangling skills!
In the meantime, I hope I have done this little engineering feat justice. And we think we are the smartest species in the universe!?

Morning Mist II

After a couple of suggestions from Mark Stothard and Andrew Brown here is the revised version of “Morning Mist”.

I think this one works a little better, thanks Fellas!

Morning Mist

This image is another one to inspire Jamie Patterson on his next trip to Tasmania!

This is what Christian Fletcher would call a ‘drive-by shooting’. Scenes like this one are very common early in the morning in Tasmania, problem is that finding a place to pull over on the side of the road so you can set your gear up is not that easy!
When I saw this scene I was on a main road with long grass verges which may or may not hide a large ditch. Pull off the road as far as you dare, hope your car doesn’t (A) Get sideswiped by a log truck or (B) Capsize into the ditch!
Mist was dissipating quickly, so quickly put on a telephoto lens, run across the road and squeeeze a couple of exposures at a shutter speed that really is too slow for for hand-held shots. Thankfully there was a fence post that was reasonably clear of blackberries to brace myself against.
I am actually amazed that they came up as good as they did!

A Place of Mystery.

There is something about waterfalls that calls out to your soul. From the awesome power of places like Victoria Falls also known as “Smoke that Thunders” to a hidden little cascade that burbles merrily through the forest, I reckon they are places of mystery & hidden power that can stir your imagination like few other places!
I was out at Cedar Ck Falls the other day taking some close-up images of the falls as well as some timelapse images. While processing this image I tried a selenium tone preset. As soon as it came up on screen, images from “Lord of the Rings” started flashing through my head as well as many other fantasy novels that I am quite partial to!

Not your normal green lush waterfall image I know, but I can nearly see Orcs, Elves or Wizards in a setting like this!