Back in June of 2012 I took this photo from the car park at Brady's Lookout in the Tamar Valley. At the time there was a volcanic ash cloud circling the planet’s lower hemisphere, originating from Chile's Puyehue volcano. I remember flights to Tasmania were cancelled for several days.
The photo, taken at sunset, clearly shows the diffused light coming through the ash cloud.
Fast forward a year or so, I received a phone call one Saturday morning from a polite woman wanting to use my photo of Brady’s Lookout for a wine bottle label. She explained it was only a private label and would not be commercially available. Gladly I gave her permission for free use of my photo. As I’m not a professional photographer, I refused to accept any payment.
That was the last I heard of my photo supposedly being use for a wine label, until yesterday.
I’d told my sister in-law about it sometime ago, as she was doing a wine appreciation course on local wines. Yesterday she produced this empty bottle of wine with my photo on it. Well, what a surprised! There it was, and I must say I thought the photo did look rather elegant on the bottle.
I was curious as to how the Pinot Noir tasted. Well from the comments my brother gave, let’s assume it was a good thing the label stayed private!
Narawntapu National Park is rich in both Aboriginal and European history and has an abundance of bird and mammal life.
The 2 hour return walk to Archers Knob begins from a track which runs between the lagoon and Bakers Beach.Towards the eastern end of the beach the track climbs steadily through coastal trees to the top of Archers Knob (114 m). From the summit there are views sweeping over Bakers Beach to Badger Head and beyond.
Tasmania Zoo is located approximately 18km from Launceston.
Situated on 900 acres (360 ha) of old growth native bushland, it is home to the state's largest collection of native and exotic animals.
Exhibits include Tasmanian devils, wombats, quolls, emus, koalas, kangaroos, deer, reptiles and monkeys, along with a collection of 80 bird species. Conservation work carried out by the zoo includes a breeding program for Tasmanian devils. (via Wikipedia)
Pine Lake - Central Plateau Conservation Area, Tasmania
Pine Lake is easily accessible via a 400m boardwalk, located on the Highland Lakes Road (A5) about 33km south of Deloraine.
The Pine Lake walk offers a rare opportunity to get close to one of Tasmania’s rarest trees without having to go on an extended bushwalk. The pencil pine is an ancient species that evolved before flowering plants and only found in the Tasmanian highlands.
Many of the Tasmanian conifers are unique to Tasmania. The pencil pine (Athrotaxis cupressoides), is generally restricted to sub-alpine areas above 800m. Like its relative, the King Billy pine, it can reach ages greater than 1200 years. Pencil pines are often seen around the shores of highland lakes and tarns, creating the unique ambience of these beautiful areas of Tasmania.
The Central Plateau of Tasmania is the largest area of high ground in Tasmania. It is bound to the north east by the Great Western Tiers, a large number of hydro electric schemes emanating from rivers that flow to the south - and to the west by Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park.
Narawntapu National Park became the first Tasmanian park to revert to an Aboriginal name. Narawntapu is the Aboriginal name given to the Badger Head and West Head area within the park.
Rich in both Indigenous and European heritage, Narawntapu offers a wide diversity of habitats for both plants and animals.
The coastal heathlands are a feature of the park.
Below are a set of images taken recently to celebrate my first use of my National Parks Pass!
Good news everyone! I’m now a certified Tassie Specialist!
The last three months have been a tough mix of emotions. My father passed away two days after my 55th birthday back in August. At the same time I initiated a new direction for myself by volunteering in Tasmania’s exciting tourism industry.
I'm volunteering my time as an Information Officer at the Great Western Tiers Visitor Centre in Deloraine and at the Tamar Visitor Centre in Exeter.
A few weeks ago I completed an online training course through Tourism Tasmania.
A few weeks back a spent a chilly late afternoon out at Blackwood Creek near the mountain face to the Great Western Tiers here in Tasmania.. The constant changing light conditions and clouds blowing by made for a few nice photographs.
Below is a farmhouse in the Blackwood Creek area. Click on the picture to see more from the Blackwood Creek photo session.
This morning I received the much anticipated email from Greeka for members to judge 100 images submitted to the annual photo competition.
I love doing this each year. Here are my top 20 picks for the 2014 contest.
Although the weather didn’t play nice, I was excited to attend the 2014 Stan Siejka Cycling Classic in Launceston on December 7th. Took my D610 along with me and managed to get a few decent captures out of about 700 exposures. I guess that’s a reasonable ratio when the shutter is set in a continuous shooting mode. I had to re-exposure some images in Lightroom as I’d bumped a setting somewhere that made them 2 stops underexposed. Anyway, follow this link for some of the better shots.
Got some k’s on the car today. First stop, Devonport for the final stage of the Tour of Tasmania, a 30 lap criterium.
It’s my first time taking pictures of cyclists whizzing past the lens so they aren’t brilliant. Lightroom did a great job of polishing up a few shots with exposure and my ol’ favourite, the vignette.
See the full set on my Flickr
Later I drove to Beauty Point and met up with my family at the Port Dalrymple Yacht Club opening day. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the camera out of the car for this stop.
Seven years ago this week I experienced one of the most exhilarating walks of my life, trekking through Samaria Gorge in Greece. From the White Mountains, it's a 16km trek that descends 1250m to the Libyan Sea on the southern coast of Crete.
Not only a national park but also a World Biosphere Reserve, the beauty of this gorge is its ever changing scenery, evident in the image sets I've recently reprocessed.
The most famous part of the gorge is the stretch known as the Gates where the sides of the gorge close in to a width of only four metres and soar to a height of 300 metres. Samaria Gorge is a refuge for the rare kri-kri (Cretan goat) as well as many species of flowers, birds and some amazing geology.
136 images now on Flickr
Last Tuesday I decided to grab the cameras (iPhone, Nikon AW100 compact and Nikon D5000 DSLR) and find a location nearby that I hadn’t photographed before. Useually this mean being around the Tamar Valley. So I didn’t take long before I found myself clicking away at Gravelly Beach and a few locations in the Swan Point/ PaperBeach area.
Here are some of the better images from the DSLR...
Living at 41 degrees south, I've always wanted to know what the big deal is...
Why do maps always show the north as up? For those who don’t just take it for granted, the common answer is that Europeans made the maps and they wanted to be on top. But there’s really no good reason for the north to claim top-notch cartographic real estate over any other bearing, as an examination of old maps from different places and periods can confirm.
Wow. I loved watching the Tour Down Under this week. With eight Tasmanian riders in the peloton, there was plenty to see and look out for over the six stage tour in Adelaide and the surrounding hills. On nearly every stage there was a Tassie rider out the front in the break. The highlights for me were Richie Porte’s stage 5 win and seeing Will Clarke consistently in the break and winning three of the six Most Competitive Rider awards.
Here are the final placings for the Tasmanians, also known amongst the riders as the TASSIE CUP.
(First placings followed by Tasmanians)
1 Simon Gerrans (OGE) 19h57.35
4 Richie Porte (SKY) +10
20 Cameron Wurf (CAN +2.49
30 Bernard Sulzberger (DPC) +6.11
40 Nathan Earle (SKY) +9.13
63 Wesley Sulzberger (DPC) +21.25
122 Will Clarke (DPC) +50.53
125 Matt Goss (OGE) +53.06
128 Campbell Flakemore (UniSA) +1h04.29
1 Adam Hansen (LTB) 28pts
3 Richie Porte (SKY) 24pts
4 Will Clarke (DPC) 20pts
11 Campbell Flakemore (DPC) 12pts
17 Cameron Wurf (CAN) 6pts
1 Simon Gerrans (OGE) 75pts
9 Richie Porte (SKY) 25pts
12 Will Clarke (DPC) 19pts
31 Campbell Flakemore (UniSA) 5pts
19 Matt Goss (OGE) 13pts
40 Campbell Flakemore (UniSA) 5pts
1 Jack Haig (UniSA) 19h59.43
19 Campbell Flakemore (UniSA) +1h00.06
1 Orica-GreenEdge 59h56.16
3 Drapac +3.38
4 Team Sky +4.25
17 Cannondale +35.30
19 Uni-SA +43.41
Stage 1 Will Clarke (DPC)
Stage 2 Will Clarke (DPC)
Stage 4 Cameron Wurf (CAN)
Stage 6 Will Clarke (DPC)
WORLD TOUR RANKINGS (as of 26 January 2014)
1 Simon Gerrans 144
4 Richie Porte 66
For the record, Richie finish the 2013 World Tour Rankings in 10th position, the highest placed Australian.
Over the new year period I spent a few days at my brothers house in Beauty Point. Although the views there are outstanding and the atmosphere very relaxing, I started to get restless. Having all my camera gear handy I decided to go for a drive through Flowery Gully. Having driven past the turn off for decades, I have always wondered where the road leads to.
In recent years Flowery Gully became known as the home of Tasmania cycling royalty - it’s where Matt Goss and brothers Wes & Bernie Sulzberger hail from. So I was intrigued to know what this special place looked like.
I drove along the Flowery Gully Road, seeing fields of freshly cut hay, grazing cows, growing crops and lovely rolling hills with scattered light from passing clouds. I went as far as Winkleigh and turned back, stopping every few hundred metres to snap a series of photos.
The image below would be one of my favourites from the afternoons shoot. You can see more on my Flickr Photostream
I took this image a few months back. Processed it in Lightroom today with a 32bit HDR plugin. One thing I try to avoid when using this HDR technique is over-cooking the shot. I try to keep the image as natural as possible.
A few weeks back I posted my top twenty picks for Greeka.com’s annual photo competition where members can vote from the top 100 entries picked my Greeka staff.
The results are in and here are the top twenty most popular pictures based on votes received from Greeka members.
From the winners list, there are 7 photos that I chose (highlighted below). It’s fun to know just how good a photographic eye I have when it comes to judging.
For a closer look, view the Greeka winners page
Each year, as a member of Greeka, I get invited to vote in the Greeka photo contest.
It’s a real thrill to be a photographic judge. My father has been a judge for a local camera club for over 60 years, so its great I’m given an opportunity to do something similar.
So, from a final selection of 100, I’m free to choose my favourite 20. This year the selection was of a very high standard and most of the entries were outstanding, both in composition and colour. Ultimately, the winner out of all the members 20 choices, has to represent Greece and it’s wonderful attractions.
Here are the top 20 photos I’ve chosen. It will be interesting to see what other members have voted for.
Apologies for the thumb-nail pictures being rather small.