Images of a Big Island

Posts tagged “farming

Golden Glow

G’day Everybody,

This is one from Tasmania again, and I am sure you have seen quite a few images from this place posted by me previously!  I nearly always drive up to this place each sunset when I am in the area because it offers a magnificent view of Mt Roland and the old barn is great foreground.

This time I decided to let the barn and the mountain become the background and focus on a different element in the scene. The light cooperated nicely as well!

 


Primary Colours

Due to other commitments, it seems like ages since I have picked up my camera gear & headed out the door! In fact my trusty Canon is sitting on the table  looking at me with what could be called disgust blazing out of that single eye!

Today, I have the time and the urge to go but looking out the window and the light is about as flat,dull & uninspiring  as it gets. Maybe tomorrow! So I have had a bit of a look through the archive looking for an image to brighten up the day.

I shot this in Tasmania ages ago while investigating the delightful old stone fence in the scene which is not something you see very often these days. Primary colours, gotta love ém!


Poppy Fields

If you have been following this blog for a while, you would know that I spend a lot of time driving aimlessly along back roads in Northern Tasmania. Well, not aimlessly so much, but just looking around and hoping that I will be in a good location when the constantly changing light offers up little gems like this!

I have driven past this scene many times and the light has been blah to say the least! This particular day, the Gods smiled & it all came together for about 15 mins.
Poppies are a lucrative crop for some Tasmanian farmers, they are grown for pharmaceutical companies and are very tightly controlled. If you get caught on the wrong side of the fence here you are in big trouble! One fence I didn’t want to jump, cropping some ugly foreground was the only solution on this one!


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! 🙂


Old Hayshed

This is one from the last time I was in Tasmania. As I mentioned in a previous post, I drive past this hayshed regularly and it has always caught my eye. Conditions were pretty good this day so I stopped and took a few shots.
I like the recycled corrugated iron which gives it some character and the horse was a bonus. He even looks slightly guilty in this image!


Hay Fever.

Tony Middleton has been posting a couple of nice images of hay bales in the late afternoon sun, so I thought I would add to the bucolic splendour with one I shot during my last visit to Tasmania!


My, how times have changed!

I was on my way to Townsville yesterday when i thought I would dive down a side road to perhaps get an image of the clouds hanging around the ranges to the south of Townsville.
I found a sugarcane property with a great collection of old farming implements at the entrance to his driveway. Some of these implements were probably horse drawn so I thought a couple of shots were in order! Light was not the best but you cant always choose ideal conditions can you? These will be worth a stop in future whenever I have time as i have been looking for these type of things for a while and they are not laying all over the place!


Driving home later that afternoon I saw a helicopter flying low circles over the cane paddocks so I thought I would investigate further. I pulled up near a couple of trucks and got talking to the owner of the farm as it turned out. He told me that because of all the rain it was impossible to get trucks into the fields to spread fertiliser. Consequently they were using a helicopter to do it for the first time and to his knowledge it was the first time it had been used on sugar cane in N. Queensland.
Once again the light was not ideal but with a bit of processing in Lightroom 3 they didn’t come out too badly. Even though I was shooting at shutter speeds as low as 1/60th sec and the downdraft from the rotors was pretty strong, most of them were pretty sharp. Something to remember for next time though!


In one day,totally by chance I had images of two widely separated eras of the sugar-cane industry which more than made up for the very long day I had endured. Hope you agree!


Monsoon Skies

We have certainly had some rain over here in Queensland this year! At the moment large parts of Southern and Western Queensland are under water with flood records broken left,right & centre.
Here in the Whitsundays it feels like the sun has deserted us although as I speak the sun is is making a rare but brief appearance. The ground is saturated and soggy but the good news is that the local dam is flowing over the spillway for only the second time in it’s 30yr history.
For the last couple of months I have driven countless miles around the surrounding cane fields trying to capture some of the awesome looking skies that come with this sort of weather in juxtaposition with the landscape that consists of miles of flat canefields and a couple of low mountain ranges.
The best time to do this is at the end of the cane harvest when most of the cane is still short,for most of the year you can’t see anything because of the height of the cane obscuring the skyline.
Up until yesterday I had not shot anything that I was completely happy with, just couldn’t get all the variables to line up and I was beginning to despair of ever getting an image that portrayed the wide open landscape, the ranges and the skies that happen with the tropical wet season.
I think the couple of images below may be getting close though! (Click to view large)

What do you think?


The ‘Wetsundays’

This image pretty much sums up the weather during the past couple of months over here in Qld. Due to a Lá Nina system in the Pacific it has been the wettest spring over here in years! There have been only about 5 days with any sort of sunshine this month and rainfall records have been broken. God knows what it will be like when the monsoon trough starts coming south!
Welcome to the ‘Wetsundays’.
The sugar cane farmers have taken a hit as well with over 25% of the crop left in the ground until next year as the harvesters can’t get into the soaked paddocks.
Meanwhile the SW corner of WA is crying out for rain. Who’d be a farmer?


Any Old Iron.

This is another one from Tasmania. I had driven past this hayshed many times and taken a few images but never really been happy with them due to the time of day & quality of light. However whenever I am in this area, I always keep an eye on it as I can see potential in it.
Early one morning As I was driving past a momentary break in the clouds lit it up and I decided to stop and see what I could come away with.
True to form the sun sat behind clouds for the next 30-40 mins! Just as I was about was about to give it away for an appointment I had, a break in the cloud opened up long enough for me to squeeze off a few frames.

I like the contrast between the battered old roofing iron and the haybales so I decided to accentuate the texture and colour of the iron in relation to the form of the haybales.
Sometimes it pays to be patient and persistent, hope you like it!


T.C. Ului

Talk about great timing! I have arrived back in the Whitsundays after some time in Tasmania (where the weather was sunny and mild) to a cyclone threat!
As I write this, TC Ului is a Cat 2 system with winds of approx 170kmh near the centre, about 350km offshore and appears to be heading sraight for us. Up until this morning you wouldn’t have thought there was a cyclone heading our way but within the last few hours the weather has slowly detriorated. Winds are getting very gusty and no birds to be heard anywhere, rain hasn’t set in yet but no doubt it will come.
Ului is expected to cross the coast sometime early tomorrow morning so I guess it will be a pretty wild night. Glad I won’t be at sea!
In the meantime this is an image taken while I was in Tasmania. Taken from a very narrow bridge in an area called Paradise, hence the title.

5 image stitch, Processed in LR2 & PtGui.


House on the Hill


This is another image from the same day as my last post,a beautiful cattle farming area in the Whitsunday coast hinterland. About an hours drive from my home, I love coming down here as I see something new each time.
It also reminds me of Tasmania at this time of the year, green and lush!
The one thing that always bugs me though are the ugly barbwire fences which usually stop you from getting to the optimum position. So, you either have to try and shoot over or sometimes through them or include them in the image which is rarely a good look.
Anybody else have this problem?
5 image stitch, processed in LR2.


Green Valley


This is probably not an image that is normally associated with the Whitsundays but there are areas in the hinterland that are as beautiful as anything found on the islands.
We have had some steady wet season rain that has transfomed a landscape that 6 months ago was brown and as dry as I can remember.
This little area on the O’Çonnell River north of Mackay was a nice little find for me after following my nose down an obscure country road.
It even has some of the wierdest acting cattle I have ever come across! Probably eating the wrong mushrooms.

5 image stitch, Processed in Lightroom 2


Changes

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Haven’t posted anything for a while as I have been moving house. Amazing how much crap you accumulate! You promise yourself that you will be ruthless and chuck out all the stuff you haven’t seen for ages but somehow it manages to stay with you. (Now, which box is that obscure doodad in? I need it right now!)
Probably won’t post anything for a little while either as I am about to undergo a hip replacement, so things won’t be much fun for a litttle while!

Anyway, one of the reasons I love going down to Tasmania is that you run across a lot of things like this old holding yard. Bush carpentry at it’s very best.
There are still a few of the old blokes who used to build things like this still around but sadly their numbers are dwindling.
While building materials and methods have “improved” over the years, it will be a sad day when places like this no longer exist don’t you think?


Serendipity II

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Driving down a Tasmanian backroad just following my nose. Not much happening,sky is a flat dull grey. Come around a corner and find this little gem!
It was once quite a large house and just up the road was I guess it’s replacement, a large colonial type mansion which is probably Heritage listed.
In it’s heyday this would have been a large prosperous farm owned by wealthy people.
Had to stop and take some pics. Used a treatment in Lightroom called Detail Booster which suited it quite nicely I think. Hope you like it!


A land of extremes!

Wndmill stitch-2-Edit
It doesn’t seem so long ago that photographers such as Tony Middleton who lives in Victoria were posting images of a dry, blackened landscape after the horrific bushfires.
At the same time we here in Queensland had flooding rains and everything was green and juming out of it’s skin!
How the tables have turned. Tony is posting images of lush green meadows and we here in Qld are going through one of the driest winters for a long time!
i had spotted this windmill and water trough a while back and thought it could make an interesting shot. God only knows what the Brahman cattle on this property are drinking as there is no surface water anywhere that I can see!
Bring on the wet season!
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God’s own country.

I guess we all have our own version of ‘God’s own country’, but for me it’s a region in Northern Tasmania where I grew up and members of my family still live.
The area surrounds a town called Sheffield. A farming region with rolling green paddocks, an imposing mountain that dominates the local landscape and places with names like ‘Paradise’, Nowhere Else’ and ‘Lower Crackpot’!
If you are heading up to Cradle Mountain, chances are you will probably pass through this area on your way to the high country.
Just reading some of the pioneering history is a fascinating journey.
Whenever I go down to see my father who unfortunately is in a nursing home these days, suffering from virulent old age, I spend hours driving around the countryside looking for images that reflect the beauty of this area. Even if I come back with nothing,it is time well spent!
Hillstead
I know the framing is a bit basic but it is a work in progress!


Eye on the sky.

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With all the rain we have had here over the wet season,everything is green,lush and jumping out of it’s skin!

I was driving around the canefields recently and had stopped to take a couple of shots of an irrigator lying idle in a paddock. It was kind of a nice juxtaposition with a thunderstorm in the background, but this image is the best of the lot. The sky says it all.

Hopefullly there will still be some interesting skies in the Kimberley when I am over there during the next couple of months. Dark blue skies contrast well with the red/orange landscape but add a brooding sky to it and and you have something very different. 

Skies can really make an image ‘pop’ with just about anything outdoors. Quite a few years ago when I was doing a lot of photography of marine based subjects, ie- yachts,fishing boats, etc, I was looking through a book by ‘Beken of Cowes’ who has been shooting yachts around the  South coast of England for nearly 100 yrs.  Every shot was taken from the perfect angle and the lighting was always great ,but the extra ingredient that made his images so much better was often the background.

Canon 400D, EF-S 10-22mm @ 14mm, 125th/f8, polariser