Point Nepean is a coastal park containing buildings remaining from Fort Nepean’s use as a defence fort during World Wars 1 and 2, before people realised that Australia was so far away from anywhere, jet lag would stop invaders from bothering to attack.
My companion on this walk was generally fit and healthy, but had the tail end of the dreaded lurgy that had swept like the plague through Melbourne. That she could breathe and talk at the same time was a welcomed return to form. I’m distance challenged (ie: I have no idea how far 2kms really is) and I was getting over a dodgy foot ligament, so we thought it best to tackle a couple of little walks before deciding if the long walk to Fort Nepean was on the cards or not.
Now when I say ‘long’, I mean “this will take longer than half an hour but probably less than 4 hours”. Anything under half an hour is a short walk. Anything over 4 is not worth naming because I’m never going to do one.
Remember last month when I went to Goulburn Weir and took half a day to get there? Well, this week I had another crack at it by researching the directions thoroughly, making a special note to turn onto the M39 instead of staying on the M31, and ensuring I didn’t go via Yea. Look, I know what you’re thinking: “but if you’d stayed on the M31, you would’ve headed towards Sydney and Yea is south of Seymour even, so how in god’s name did you end up in Yea if you were headed north?!?!”
Well, that's not strictly true:
I had another great day/evening assisting Nic Granleese at the yearly Australian Institute of Architects Victorian Architecture Awards night. This year it was held in the Melbourne Room at the Convention Centre and we had our set rigged up in the foyer. Our job is to photograph the award winners, and any other unsuspecting victims we can coerce into hamming it up for the camera.
To see more, go to Nic's website: http://www.nicgranleese.com/projects/19-victorian-architecture-awards-dinner-2017
Had the Boys Next Door (actual children, not the band) for the weekend while their parents absconded interstate to have a good time. We took them to Scienceworks and tried not to lose them. I promise, there was no intention to sell them for scientific experiment. I thought we might get a couple of hours entertainment out of it before they got bored, but we ended up being there for almost 5 hours and the boys loved it.
This is a true story.
Yesterday I received an email from the administrators of the Black & White Spider Awards competition which said this:
"Your Certificate of Achievement from the 11th Annual Black & White Spider Awards has been packed, stamped and mailed off to you! I would like to offer you a free entry to this year's awards as thanks for your patience with the delay in printing and receiving your certificate."
I thought that was very nice of them, but as I didn't enter this competition, I figured I should let them know they've obviously got me confused with someone else. I was just about to send a reply, when something made me think "hmm...maybe I should check if I entered, before responding".
Good thing I did, because it turns out that I have the memory of a carrot. I had entered one photograph in one category and it won a nomination place. Who would have thought, eh?
A girls weekend away on the Bellarine Peninsula: food, wine, drives and walks, games, sleep… rinse and repeat. One of our jaunts found us at Point Lonsdale at the very tip of the Bellarine. It’s one of the heads that form the entrance to Port Phillip Bay, the other being Point Nepean.
We had a relaxing lunch at Bellarine Estate where we sat outside listening to some tunes, partaking of beverages and food and generally enjoying the ambience of the vineyard.
Did someone say "chocolate"?
Oh well...best get in the car and drive over an hour to the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery then. This building is situated long and low on the top of a hill with a view of orchards and vines and other hills and it's all just rather marvy. Their devonshire teas are really good (fantastic scones) and the chocolate is amazing. I'd show you pictures, but I didn't take any because I was too busy feeding my face.
I had the opportunity to go to Lake Fyans near the Grampians for a long weekend and it wasn't very busy which was pretty awesome. Each dawn jaunt was calm and quiet, except for the squawking of birds, the quacking of ducks, the buzzing of mosquitoes...
Did you know Halls Gap has a zoo? Well it does, and it's definitely worth a visit. Go now. Well, at least go when it's open. And you have a spare couple of hours. It's got about 150 different species and lots of them are free range (not the ones that will kill you..obviously) and you can hand feed some of them.
This year I plucked up the courage to enter 5 pictures in to the Color Awards, and I won 2 nomination places: one for Architecture and one for Still Life.
Maybe last year's nomination wasn't just a fluke!
I last visited Organ Pipes almost 20 years ago and was pretty keen to see if my knees could manage the trip back up what I recalled was a very steep road. Nah, just kidding. As if my knees dictate what walks I will go on. Pure laziness decides that. I just wanted to see if an escalator had been installed next to that steep road.
The weather forecast predicted another 37°C day. Because another hot day might have actually sent me bonkers and because I’ve never seen them, I decided to head to the Aire Valley redwoods forest in the Otway Ranges. Because a forest has surely got to be cool temperature wise and cool as in groovy, right?
Yet again, the start of the year has yielded some disgustingly hot days forcing one to stay indoors as much as possible because that’s where air conditioning lives. Sometimes dawn is an okay time to be outside, before the big burny bastard in the sky has had time to fully crank up.
As is my wont, I decided right after dinner to drive out to Batesford near Geelong, to photograph the sunset from Dog Rocks. Theoretically, the journey should take just over an hour. But you know how it is: traffic…roadworks…me faffing about…
85kms and one wrong turn later, I found what I was looking for: an outcropping of rocks apparently named after a bunch of wild dogs, a tree, and the sun getting ready for its final drop. With 20 minutes to spare, I parked the car, braved the paddock which may or may not have been full of snakes, found a spot, set up my gear and waited. Half an hour later, I braved the (now darkening) paddock again and headed back to the car, all the while wondering what nasties were pricking at my feet.
And for the next week, I picked barley grass seed out of my runners.
This is the place where I very nearly died. See that handrail towards the bottom of this picture, winding its way downwards? Well, it's there to aid people walking down all those steps. Now....imagine that many steps times about a million more steps and you're starting to get close to how many freakin' steps there actually are to get to the bottom of MacKenzie Falls.
My sister's dogs are neurotic. They bark at dust. Imagine how quiet I’d have to be to leave her house at 4am to shoot a sunrise without waking the entire household. I was resigned to an epic fail.
St Philip and St James Anglican Church sits on a hill in the township of Old Noarlunga, about 30kms south of Adelaide, and supposedly takes its name from two men who were instrumental in building it in 1850.
Once upon a time in a land far, far away there lived a little hill that was known as The Sugarloaf. Why? Did it look like sugar? A loaf? A loaf of sugar? What is a loaf of sugar anyway?
This is The Sugarloaf:
Lake Tyrrell in northern Victoria is one of those places that you have to make a plan to see. Whilst it’s off a main highway and easy enough to get to, the closest decent sized town is Swan Hill, a mere 75kms away.
The following morning I headed out to Point Danger for the sunrise. It was cloudy and chilly and a light mist was hanging about, so I wasn’t expecting there to be much to photograph. And there wasn’t, although it did clear up enough to get a couple of pictures once the sun had cleared the horizon. Shortly after, the clouds gathered again and it started to rain properly so I went off in search of breakfast.
I took myself on a road trip to South Australia via Cape Bridgewater, because I’d always wanted to have a look at the petrified forest there. But first, a visit to Erskine Falls just outside of Lorne.
Just so you know, I don't just swan around the countryside taking pictures of water falling over cliffs. Oh no, sometimes I actually have to do some work. Like this stuff I did for a company who wanted 30 images of their beautiful new showroom. When they saw the drafts, they decided they wanted all of them. Urgently. And there were nearly 100. So I had to glue myself to a chair to get them all done. Which took me all night, after spending the day assisting another photographer on a job. See? Actual work!
Because I'm clearly a few kangaroos short in the top paddock, I braved the cold for a jaunt out to Trentham Falls - the longest single drop waterfall in Victoria. It’s an easy walk from the car park to the viewing platforms, and getting to the base of the falls isn’t difficult. I was fairly certain I wasn’t going to pass out from the shock of actual exercise. Always a chance of hypothermia though.
Lake Eppalock is another place I’d never been to. I’d always imagined it was at least 300kms away. When I was a kid, other people always seemed to be "going camping at Eppalock". I assumed you camped in places that were very far away from where you lived.
I was quite surprised when I discovered that it was just over an hour's drive from my place.