Images of a Big Island

Far North Queensland

Go Fly a Kite II

A couple more images of the kiteboarders for your viewing pleasure!

Lift Off

High Flyer


Go Fly a Kite!

G’day All,

Sorry for the absence over the last month, I have been away from home for medical treatment. Not as bad as it sounds, treatment only took about an hour out of my day and then I had lots of time to explore!

Townsville is a large city in Far North Queensland which I had visited briefly or passed through many times over the years. This time I had lots of time to find out a bit more about the city & surrounding beaches.

Along the way I got to meet some people who make the most of the winds that most others take for granted or rarely notice at all. This mob attach themselves to rather large kites, step onto small boards, tear across the water at blistering speeds and if they are skilled enough will launch themselves into the air at regular intervals,usually turning themselves inside out in the process. Kiteboarders!

Visually, it is a spectacular sport,photographing it is a another thing entirely. In a past life, I shot a lot of surfing & sailboarding where the action & colour is contained and reasonably predictable, kiteboarding is much faster, less predictable, and the colourful bits (kite) are a long way from the action (surfer) making it difficult to get them both in the same frame!

These are a couple of shots I managed to get and maybe will give you an idea why these guys love the sport!

Slash!

On The Edge

The Need for Speed!

If someone tells you to go fly a kite, this is a pretty good option!

If you are into kiteboarding, and find yourself in Townsville, call in & see Marvin at In The Loop Kiteboarding, Gregory St, North Ward (near The Strand)


Coastal Storm

Having a little look through my archives today and found this image from a sailing trip to Port Douglas a couple of years ago. We were anchored at Fitzroy Is near Cairns ,when a large rainsquall came in off the sea and settled over Cape Grafton for a little while. I pulled out the camera in the hope of getting some interesting light which didn’t eventuate (as usual!)

I took a couple of images when the cloud texture looked interesting and they have been sitting on my hard drive ever since. Decided to have  a little play in Lightroom & Photoshop to see if I could make this one look halfway decent and this is what came out the other end. Considering how flat and uninteresting it looked when I started, I am quite happy with the result!

Cape Grafton

 


Here Comes The Sun!

Went for a wander through the rainforest yesterday, also got a reminder about why it is called rainforest….. about as far away from the car as it was possible to be!

Love going on that particular walk because it is never the same, there is always something new to see. It also challenges me photographically. There are some magnificent Strangler Figs that I want to photograph, I walk around them,marvelling at their forms and complex shapes. But I walk on without taking a picture because any photo I take won’t capture their essence. One day, the pieces will fall into place and I will get an image that distills them within a rectangular frame.

One thing that always strikes me about rainforest is that it is a battleground and one of the biggest prizes is sunlight. Every plant needs sunlight for survival and growth.This image is my interpretation of the importance on sunlight to the rainforest, hope you like it!


Crystal Creek

On my way home from Lucinda, I had a little bit of time up my sleeve so I headed into the mountains to see if I could find some waterfalls of which there are many in this area. About halfway up the Paluma Range, I came across this beautiful rainforest stream by the name of Crystal Creek.

Spent a rather enjoyable couple of hours here before the busloads arrived and this was the last image taken before the rain settled in with a vengeance! By the time I made it back to the car, I was sopping wet but my camera gear survived. Good onya Lowepro! Made it back home just before the rain covered Nth Queensland for the next week and flooded most of the roads.


Lucinda

Lucinda is the mainland town closest to Orpheus Is. Only a small place, it has 3 of the largest sheds I think I have ever seen which are used for sugar storage. The sugar is then conveyed along arguably Australia’s longest jetty (6km) to ships offshore. Due to damage incurred during Cyclone Yasi the jetty and sheds are lying empty at the moment.

This image is of another jetty which used to take reasonably large vessels but due to shoaling is now only used as a fishing platform.

In the background you can see Hinchinbrook Island which has some huge peaks that are nearly always covered in cloud, in fact there are still missing aircraft from WW II  that haven’t been found to this day! I was hoping to get some images of the island and the sugar jetty next morning but once again, the rain beat me!


Blush

This is an image from one of the rare times that the mainland wasn’t obscured by low cloud and rain!

The mainland around Far North Qld is where the Great Dividing Range comes back close to the coast and is home to some lofty peaks, thick tropical rainforest, and some magnificent waterfalls. Australia’s wettest place, Tully is just in there somewhere!


Aside

In Praise of Mangroves.

As mentioned in my last post, I didn’t have too many opportunites to pull out the camera gear while I was on Orpheus Is.

But there was a corner of the bay that I visited whenever I could. The mangrove plants there had an amazing root structure that I have seen nowhere else in my travels.

Mangroves are an amazing plant that rely on salt water for their very existence. Once established, they send roots down to ground level unlike most plants and these root systems can spread for many metres from the parent tree. It was the root systems on theses fledgling mangrove trees that attracted my attention

Image

These root systems will support the plant through anything nature can throw at it as well as shelter all sorts of marine creatures during their juvenile years. They also shelter the coast line from severe wave action during cyclones.

Yet most people consider these very important plants as worthless mosquito-ridden swamps that are best removed for reclaiming land for canal estates etc!

No mangroves = no seafood + severe coastal erosion.

Pretty simple equation really isn’t it!


Storm Warning!

Recently, I spent 3 weeks working at the Orpheus Island Research Centre situated just off the Nth. Queensland coast. It is a University Research Centre,that hosts marine  researchers from all over the world, studying all sorts of things from the effects of climate change on the Great Barrrier Reef to the amount of fishing gear left behind by fishermen amateur and professsional.

Incidentally, this is also where Les Walkling conducts a yearly photographic workshop and I got the chance to see some of the images produced by Les, very nice indeed! Unfortunately, due to work hours and inclement weather,(I think I saw 4 days of sun in all the time I was there!) photographic opportunities were scarce.

This is a storm that came roaring across from the mainland on my first night!

Amazingly, it veered and went around us!

The processing of this image was done in LR3 and Nik Colour Effex 4 which has a neat little process called Detail Extracter, does amazing things with cloudy skies!


Mossman Canefields

I found this neat little scene on my way back fro Mossman to Cairns. Took off up a side road and drove for miles to find a spot where the sugarcane wasn’t obliterating the mountains in the background!
This is a scene that is so typical of FNQ and the fact that the Great Dividing Range is so close to the coast makes it a great area for photographers.

On another note, this will probably be my last post for a while. I am just about to head to Gladstone for 5 weeks as the Master of a 40m barge with a huge backhoe on it, basically a non-propelled dredge which is part of the push to build new infrastructure for the Port of Gladstone in Central Qld. It will probably be fairly dull but the pay is well worth it, which means a long overdue camera upgrade is definately on the cards! 🙂