The Terricks …

The lovely Gayle and I are soon to embark on a road trip and I used the weekend to iron out any problems with the camper trailer which has recently undergone some modifications. Terrick Terrick National Park is a couple of hours drive from home. It’s 65km north of Bendigo, 225km north-west of Melbourne.

The park protects four quite heavily wooded blocks, the two eastern blocks include some impressive granite outcrops while the western blocks are home to a rapidly recovering forest of Callitris pines. The surrounding grasslands were lightly grazed sheep country in the past, the land management favoured the rare and endangered Plains Wanderer. Indeed it was their Victorian stronghold.  A patchwork of old farms has been added to the park for its protection. Despite this the odd one still turns up occasionally.

The campsite is at the foot of Mt Terrick Terrick which is probably the most visited feature of the park. In its great wisdom Parks Vic put it on a slope that enjoys a flash flood every time it rains, this in a park where 75% of the terrain is flat. They do provide a composting toilet which is very pleasant after cleaning which I think happens sometime in June. Do remember to take your own toilet paper.

The weather forecast was dire but it was fine when I arrived and I explored the granite boulders with camera in hand.

But before sunset the cloud rolled in rapidly and a rainy night followed. The following morning was misty and somewhat atmospheric …

Some good birds turn up in the Terricks but on this occasion I encountered nothing out of the ordinary. Still, Galahs and Hooded Robins are always good to see.

Then it was a case of packing a wet tent and heading for another spot – the Barmah National Park.

 

The Milky Way …

YouTube is a remarkable resource. As well as how to poach eggs in the microwave I have learnt from and been inspired by some excellent photographers. One of the things that I’ve noticed is that all the good English landscape photographers have north country accents. One of the best bits of advice in landscape photography is stand in front of a better landscape and the north of England is blessed in that regard. Once you’re hooked it’s not an insuperable effort to go further afield.

Richard Tatti is a local not a pom, he lives not far from me and he also plays to his strength. Not landscapes but nightscapes. He is well worth checking out <HERE> or find him on YouTube or Instagram.

In many places light pollution makes the stars hard to see. I live 15km from the nearest town which in any case is not very large. Just walking out my door at night is all it takes if the sky is clear. You can see the glow of Maryborough in the lower right corners of both today’s photos.

The Milky Way season is upon us. The galactic core is not visible in the middle of the Australian summer but we can now find it in the east in the early morning. As the season progresses it will move through the south becoming higher and visible for more of the night before shifting to the west and becoming an after sunset phenomenon.

So here’s my favourite tree again …

You can now check me out on instagram click <HERE>

The Fergie …

The tractor is a 1953 UK built Massey Ferguson TO30 and it’s parked just a few yards from my back door. It was a clear sky last night and there was a smallish window between the Milky Way making its appearance and moon rise. I set up the camera, worked out my lighting and went to bed with the alarm set for 2.45 am.

I think it was worth it …

The bright “star” tucked in the left side of the Milky Way is the planet Jupiter.

Ain’t Amazon Wonderful …

An L bracket fits on your camera and enables you to quickly fit it to a tripod in landscape or portrait orientation.  Without one switching between the two is a little tedious and in portrait mode the centre of gravity of the camera is not over the centre of the tripod. I decided to get one.

If you get one specific to your camera it doesn’t get in the way of changing the battery or attaching a cable release.  Let’s track one down. Got it and the link leads to Amazon.com …

$50 – that’s US of course and today that equals Au$70. Cool. Eligible for shipping to Australia it says. Done. But at the checkout some bad news. Only digital goods now ship to Oz. So let’s see what we can find on Amazon.com.au.

This one looks very similar …

… identical, in fact, except it costs more than three and a half times as much. Must be the GST.

The Rocks …

Isolated locations, slippery and uneven surfaces and the unpredictable nature of the ocean, makes rock fishing the most dangerous sport in Australia. In just eight years, between 1992 and 2000, 74 people drowned while rock fishing just in New South Wales and the numbers are consistently high right around the country.

Royal Life Saving Australia

Rock photography shares some of the same risks.

and, sadly, the very last photograph you will see from this particular camera …

The photographer escaped almost unscathed. I was fond of that camera.

With A Pencil …

… you can write flowery rubbish …

In an era of infinite screens, the humble pencil feels revolutionarily (sic) direct: It does exactly what it does, when it does it, right in front of you. Pencils eschew digital jujitsu. They are pure analog, absolute presence. They help to rescue us from oblivion. Think of how many of our finest motions disappear, untracked — how many eye blinks and toe twitches and secret glances vanish into nothing. And yet when you hold a pencil, your quietest little hand-dances are mapped exactly, from the loops and slashes to the final dot at the very end of a sentence.

and with a camera you can make the most amazing images. If you’ve ever used either do yourself a favour and have a look at the images of a pencil factory made by Christopher Payne (no doubt using digital jujitsu). The words are by John McPhee … they’re optional.

Just click <HERE>.

You can chew a pencil but can a pencil eschew anything at all? Is this the first recorded instance of anthropomorphism concerning pencils? What did the pencil think about that?

Buy the lens …?

Not long ago I managed to trim down the weight of my camera kit. The ever tightening stance of the airlines caused me concern. I even managed to get a lighter pair of binoculars. But …

Inevitably the weight has crept up again. I currently carry two cameras when I travel, one for landscape and time-lapse, a Lumix GH4, and a Cannon 7d mark ll with a telephoto for wildlife. At home I leave a full frame Sony with a nice macro lens. Of course none of them talk to each other, three different sensor sizes, incompatible lenses. Why? Because no one just buys a whole kit in one go and times change.

I’m thinking ahead to another big trip. Do I buy a bunch of lenses for just one of my much-loved cameras? What happens if it fails in the time I’m away? It is so hard but fortunately there is a flow chart …

It doesn’t solve the problem but it does amuse you while you ponder.