Last night I received the sad news that an old friend had passed away. I have previously posted about the Ellis Brothers here. Alec Ellis passed away earlier this year and Mort suddenly died a couple of days ago at the ripe old age of 98!
Like their brother Ossie, they were still active at the time of their passing so thankfully they all died ‘with their boots on’, Mort had been down to the nearest town, Sheffield, to get some groceries earlier in the week and looked fine according to a friend.
Thankfully, I had called in to see him back in August when I was last in Tasmania and he was still in fine form, living simply in his shack at Cradle Mountain, expounding passionately on the evils of man’s greed and it’s effect on the natural world, still tinkering with his perpetual motion machine.
Axeman, trapper, cheesemaker, fisherman, miner, sawmiller, ferry-captain, these were just some of the occupations that Mort found himself in during a knock-about life that had it’s fair share of hard times. Tough men during tough times, but for all that, Mort,Alec & Ossie were incredibly generous, with a twinkle in their eye and a humour that was uniquely Tasmanian.
When I last saw him, Mort was a little bemused to find himself on the cover of a book, “Through Their Eyes- Glimpses of a Changing Australia” by Lucy Taylor, Published by Brigalow Press in which the author had travelled Australia recording the stories of people such as Mort. Well worth reading to hear the perspective of a generation that has seen more change than any other!
This time I didn’t make any photographs of Mort, in the past he has been very patient & generous with me and I was able to capture some nice shots of him and I have some great memories of a good friend to me & my late father.
Although he was not particularly sentimental and he always maintained that there was no ‘afterlife’ as many people would like to believe, I hope that if there is, he catches up with my father and his two brothers over a cold Boag’s or two and have some of those spirited debates that they were all so fond of having!
A nice peaceful image from one of my favourite short walks in the Cradle Mt area. The Dove Canyon track starts from near Cradle Mt Lodge and follows Pencil Pine Ck through beautiful Myrle Forest for the first kilometre or so before heading along the top of the Dove Canyon.
The full walk is quite a hike in places but takes you through some magnificent highland country but everytime I am in the area I always go for a short walk along this track because it is such a peaceful place and I am hoping to one day catch a glimpse of a faerie because I am sure they inhabit the area, or maybe a troll!
This will be my last post for a little while as I am off to visit Europe and hopefully Scotland for a month and hopefully return with some good images!
See you all soon!
If you have had a look through my blog you may have noticed that I have a fondness for mountains with clouds around them. When I notice stormy clouds settling around high ground I start looking for some sort of interesting foreground and hopefully some sunlight filtering through the advancing (or retreating) clouds, not always as easy as it sounds!
While driving around the Western Creek area in Tasmania I noticed clouds advancing across the Great Western Tiers, so after heading down a couple of side roads with no success I finally found this scene. It was just a matter of waiting for sunlight to hopefully illuminate the foreground to contrast with the threatening cloud over the mountains.
I was reading an article by Ken Duncan the other day and he was extolling the virtues of “wildlight” or “chíaroscuro”as it was termed by Renaissance landscape painters. “Wildlight” refers to the conditions where sunlight is broken up by passing cloud and is often associated with the back end of stormy weather. Great to find but it can be difficult light to work with!
Waiting for the light to fall just where you want it can be an exercise in patience and frustration interspersed with mild panic as a rain shower descends upon you! If you have the time to wait you can be rewarded with some great images.
This image was taken at Lake Mackintosh near Tullah in Western Tasmania, an area of rugged mountains covered in thick temperate rainforest and is subject to wild & highly changeable weather conditions. This really was an exercise in patience as I waited for the sun to illuminate the foreground & the cliff face simultaneously and get stormy cloud in the background! After attempting to tone down the bright foreground in the colour version with little success, monochrome was the answer!
Canon 5D II, 24 TS-E lens,1/60@f11, Iso 100
First of all, it appears this blog has picked up a small following, which kind of surprises me as I don’t consider my images to be anything really special. There are far better images out there than mine! But to those people who follow my blog and those who stumble across it and leave a ‘Like’ thanks very much! I will endeavour to keep it as interesting as I possibly can. Please feel free to leave a comment about the images I post,good, bad or whatever!
It occurred to me that most images of Cradle Mt. are shot with wide-angle lenses which show a lot of foreground which is hopefully interesting but also push the mountain into the background. Luckily, with that distinctive shape, it will still get the attention it deserves. As I was driving up to Lake Dove one day I noticed that at one spot the mountain seems to loom over the surrounding buttongrass plains with little else to compete with it. On the way back I decided to investigate that view a little more closely and this is the result.
It is a slightly different perspective of the mountain helped by the use of a 105mm focal length.
‘Confession’- I have replaced a rather dull, featureless blue sky with something a little more interesting! Canon 5DII, 105mm, 1/5s @f16, iso 100, polariser
On my last night in Cradle Mt, I thought I would have a little go at lightpainting. This is Alec Ellis’s hut and as a bonus a visiting pademelon stayed long enough to be included in the shot!
This is a combination of 4 different images stacked as layers in Photoshop and all blended with with the Lighten blend mode. Exposure for each image was 30s @ f8, iso200.
Today is Australia Day! One thing that Australia is known for is our beaches. We just happen to be blessed with miles & miles of some of the best beaches in the world, many of which,see very little human activity apart from fishermen, surfers and the odd beachcomber.
The East coast of Tasmania has some stunningly beautiful beaches that for the most part are deserted. This is one I found near Swansea and I spent a good two hours here without seeing another person, heaven!
This rocky outcrop was an obvious subject, combined with the colours of sea & sky, a couple of nice images was the result. I think you’ll agree!