CGP AIAM - April 2017

April Already! Lovely Autumn Days ... Here's what caught my eye in April.

Video >>> https://vimeo.com/217935933 <<<

March Birthday celebrations finally came to an end, time to get back to some photography!

Looking Down / Minnamurra Headland

I met up with my son Mitch for a pre-dawn session out at Minnamurra Headland - he's just purchased a drone, the DJI Mavic, and was keen to try it out. Actually, I think I as more keen for Mitch to try it out! I've seen some fantastic shots taken from drones as well as some amazing video.
I was also pretty curious to see how easy/difficult it was to fly and operate. I was surprised at how compact the Mavic is - Mitch is able to carry it around in his camera bag with all of his other gear. Operating it was easy - the controls are quire responsive. And the perspective, flying along the rugged coast was just stunning. Image quality, from the 12MP sensor, was good, and it shoots HD video. I have to say I'm just a tad envious  … will add a drone to my wish list and see what happens!

Second week of April started with a quick trip up to the Southern Highlands with a couple of mates from Camera club. We hoping to grab some of those magnificent autumn leave colours - not to be, we were probably 2 weeks early!

"Aquatogs!"

A couple of days later, the ocean swell and waves were roaring! Met up with Mitch at Kiama at a favorite headland to see if we could capture some of the action. On arrival, I noticed several other cars and vans there. These guys were some of the local Wave/Ocean Photographers … Aquatogs!   These guys are seriously crazy. One by one, with their wetsuits on, they scrambled over the headland and jumped into the ocean. They then battle the waves to get THAT close-up shot of the monster waves! Was impressive to watch them operate from the safeness of the rocky outcrop!

Next, a quick trip back up the mountain and we did manage to find a few of those autumn colours - not really satisfied, will have to try harder next year!

A late night trip into Bombo Quarry to practice some Astro photography, then a sunrise at the northern end of Gerroa Beach. It was low tide, lots of exposed rock, tide was coming in and the swell was quite large. This made for some interesting interplay between the rocks and the water. I was using my Samyang 14mm lens - it's fully manual, takes some getting used to, but can produce some stunning images!

View from Saddleback

I seem to be always drawn to the water with my photography, which I find a bit strange having been born and bred in the country. I seem to have to make a deliberate effort to shoot 'real' Landscapes … of Land! :) Luckily, just west of the here is some amazing rural country. I headed to Saddleback Mtn, which has some beautiful, winding country roads, gigantic Fig Trees, and provides a lovely view of the South Coast, looking north to Wollongong.

Mystery Bay is fast becoming one of my favorite camping locations. It's just south of Narooma, on the Far South Coast. The camp ground is beautiful, nestled in amongst tall spotted gums and banksia trees, and adjacent to both the main beach and Billy's Beach. It's bush camping, so limited facilities, but a great camping site! There's a lake nearby for some great 'reflection' shots, rock formations on the beach are great to shoot. I was there for 3 nights, and as a bonus, a massive thunder storm blustered it's way north one evening, just off the coast!

After a very, very wet March, we've finally been having some great Autumn days here. A slight chill in the air, but sun shine that feels great when it hits you! I spent one of these mornings in and around Kiama Lighthouse. It's lined with some great old pine trees and has many rocky outcrops and bays to explore.

Last outing was with a group of fellow photographers from work - we headed out to the Cascade Falls Walk at Macquarie Pass. This walk takes you through rainforest and tall eucalypt trees, along a creek, to a series of 3 waterfalls. Very accessible, with easy access down to the creek, filtered sunshine streaming down. I think we had planned to spend around an hour there … that turned into over 2 hrs for most of us - lots of opportunities to shoot!