Snow & Forest Trips

Some people seem to think that taking a photograph is easy. Just point and click and voila!! You have a great photo.

They couldn’t be further from the truth.

Photography takes patience, persistence, the right timing and sometimes, pure luck. Oh, and some idea of how to use a camera and set up a photo helps too.

Sometimes I will go out with the camera with no real plan of what I am after, just wanting to find something that catches my eye.

Other times I will have an idea that has been forming for a few days or even weeks, a certain composition that I want at a certain time of day.

This last week has pretty much been spontaneous shots, with no real plan.

One of my brothers showed up last weekend, with some friends, with the intention to go skiing. I love the snow! Us kids were lucky enough to be brought up exploring the Alpine National Park, hiking, skiing, camping, with our dad, who was a National Park Ranger. I love the wonders of snow falling from the sky, the way it sits deeper on certain sides of the hills where the sun and wind doesn’t hit it, the way it feels and sounds under your boots, the feel of it in fingers when you’re making a snow ball and the feel of it melting in your mouth. Just don’t eat the yellow snow, that was the first thing our dad taught us as kids.

I haven’t been able to ski for years due to a bad knee and back but I still love just visiting. The mountains up here, unfortunately, hadn’t had a lot of snow at all in the previous weeks (it’s been a very dry winter). With that in mind we weren’t expecting much at all. But we didn’t have to drive too far up to find that there had been a good dumping the night before! Enough for a ski and enough for some good photos. While everyone else was off skiing I was having a great time experimenting with different angles and different settings. And I found the time laps function on the camera! I’ve had my Nikon D7100 camera for over 2 years now and I’m still learning what it can do. It’s not like some cameras that will put the time laps photos into a video straight from the camera. So I had to work out how to put a video together made up of photos, which I did!  Time lapses are something I will practice and experiment with a bit more I think.

Tuesday saw me heading to Macclesfield (in the Yarra Ranges area) for a meeting, which led to a job! The job is with a horse trainer, Mark Jones, taking photos at his clinics that he holds on the weekends all over the country side. I’m very excited about where this could take me.

I have been wanting to check out the Redwood Forest in East Warburton for a while now and decided that since I was in the area I would make a day of it. You can’t really plan a photo shoot if you’ve never been to the location before. The weather wasn’t exactly great. It was overcast and cold and had been raining over night. The road into Redwood Forest was a little rough and wet but it was still accessible. There was no signage to tell you where the Redwood Forest is or to tell you that you had arrived, which I thought was a little odd for a National Park. When I did eventually find it there were already a few cars there, which meant that I was going to have to be creative to avoid getting random people in my shots. But the pines! They are massive! And so straight. The rows of pines make for a lot fun. In amongst the rows of pines are these circles made up of the fallen pine branches. These were apparently started by a local artist and it has encouraged other visitors to try it too.

Redwood Forest Woven art

I wanted to try to keep avoiding the people so I decided to follow a little track through the pines and the forest, arriving at Cement Creek which flows into the Yarra River (you drive over the Yarra River on your way to Redwood Forest). I had no idea that the Yarra flowed that far. But if you think about the name, it makes sense. The Cement Creek was flowing rather fast which made for a great opportunity to get some slow shutter shots.

Cement Creek

I had a great time looking for different spots and away from the other visitors. After half an hour or so I thought I had best head back to the ute and start the two hour drive back home, to the dogs (they had to miss this adventure since I was going into a National Park). But I was so busy looking for other things to photograph that I missed the little track I had taken to get to the creek and ended up going around in a circle. Now, I normally have a very good sense of direction and I’m observant. But this day I found that everything in a forest looks alike, especially when you’re not actually looking for specific landmarks to make sure you can find your way back. I knew the general direction of where the ute was as to where I was but I didn’t want to just bash through the forest and hope for the best. Thankfully, I discovered that even though your phone doesn’t have reception Google maps is still able to pin point your location and where you’re facing! Within 2 minutes I had found the track I had come in on and I was right again. By the time I got back to the pines the sun was starting to break out through the cloud so I snuck a few extra shots of looking up through tops of the pines. Standing and looking up wasn’t really doing it for me so I decided to lie down on the wet ground, which gave a much better affect.

I must say though, there is something about getting lost in a place you’re not familiar with, all on your own. And I’m not usually the type of person who is happy to do things on my own, that’s why I have the dogs. I’d like to think they would protect me if someone or something threatened me. Or they at least look like they would. But I am learning that you can’t wait around for someone to come into your life to do things that you want to do, sometimes you have to get out there and do it on your own. And taking the camera with me and capturing these adventures make them even more enjoyable (even when I get lost).

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