Grose Valley Sunrise, Walls Lookout Australia
By John Lechner
Visit the Blue Mountains
I have just returned from a week in the Blue Mountains, just an hour or so west of Sydney. I had a great time and managed to surprise myself with some of the places I found.
Backing up a step, I had actually planned to go down south to Kiama and spend the week shooting the beautiful coastline. I had got my little pop up camper out, packed it and was trying to put it back down when it got stuck up! Yes up, not very helpful and less than 24 hours before I was planning to leave.
I ran around on Sunday morning trying to find a replacement part with no luck and decided I just needed to change my plans. I rang my in-laws who live in the Mountains and asked if I could crash for the week, went home pulled all the gear out of the caravan and into the car and then headed for the hills.
Because of the last minute change I actually hadn't researched any potential shoot locations at all. Thing is, I have been coming to the Blue Mountains for much of my life, particularly in the last 20 years but I really haven't explored the mountains.
Sisters Sunset, Echo Point Australia
So after the drive south and chatting to my in-laws Jim and Barb (Kim's parents) I started picking their brains and doing some Googling.
Over the course of the week I actually only shot two locations that I had been to before, found many more and now have a list ready for a return trip.
It's funny when I travel, I often get asked how was your holiday. I love my job immensely and feel privileged that I can chase my passion. But it is no holiday. No lazy afternoons by the pool drinking cocktails or sleep ins in the morning.
As a general rule a shooting day starts between 3:30 - 4:30am depending on how far I need to travel. Often a hike in the dark from the carpark to the vantage point I have chosen carrying 10-20kg of gear.
But then I get to enjoy watching the sky light up with the beautiful colours of the day, magic happens at dawn and I get to enjoy it all to myself. During my trip to the mountains I did a bunch of short hikes, stood on the edge of 100m sheer cliffs, explored rainforest and discovered breathtaking waterfalls.
Without doubt my favourite was at the Gordon Falls reserve. Apparently there is a lookout to see the waterfall plunge over 200m off a cliff. I didn't see that but grabbed my camera, no tripod or other gear at all and took a trail down to the Pool of Siloam.
The walk was interesting, not very long but quite steep. When I got to the pool I fell in love. So beautiful, green and OMG WOW!
So no tripod, literally my DLSR and my iPhone. How could I shoot it in a way that captured the entrancing waterfall and did it justice. Note: to get the beautiful smooth water of a waterfall you really need to have the camera on a tripod or at least not be holding it in your hands.
I tried balancing it on some rocks, it wasn't quite right so I changed my perspective. The trunk of a dead tree gave me the perfect position and platform to shoot from and I captured this.
There is so much more to share from this trip and over the coming weeks they will all be added to the website. If you see one you like and would love to have it in your home or office please let me know.
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