There is a whole new world up there, to fly like a bird and see the world with fresh, airbourne eyes is magical and constantly fills me with wonderment. I first started flying quadrocopters with cameras back in 2009 and long before that in the 1980s using radio controlled planes, where I used to precariously attach my film camera to the undercarriages! But in the last few years, with the advent of highly portable, stable and excellent quality drones, aerial photography has come of age. I use two drones for personal artistic and commercial projects, the excellent Dji Phantom 4 Pro with it’s 1″ sensor for stunning stills and 4k video and as a backup and on hikes, my Dji Mavic Pro which can capture wonderful stitched panoramas and very useful 4k video. Having flown over 750 flights and covered nearly 1000km in the air I am beyond basic flying and now am starting to find my ‘aerial’ voice. I hope you agree. A growing selection below of shots that look great printed.
I have an unhealthy fascination with night and astro photography and particularly in remote national parks in Australia where the lack of ambient light means very strong milky way against iconic land features are possible. This is a small collection of shots over the past two years in the Blue Mountains and Gardens of Stone but more from areas such as Mungo NP, Yosemite, Iceland and the Pinnacles in Western Australia will be added soon.
Blue Mountains. Although the Blue Mountains have no natural deciduous trees the temptation to photograph the ‘planted’ areas around the area is too great. The lanes and gardens explode with reds, oranges and yellows around April here and this is a selection of mostly this last season around Blackheath and Mount WIlson.
Blue Mountains. While my big vistas or golden sunrises and sets certainly have inspirational or impressive qualities it is often my smaller, or vignette type shots around the Blue Mountains that have a little more ‘feel’ to them. Defining feel I suppose is a sense of a one off moment, or a slice of emotion, or sometimes just a connection. These shots are all about atmosphere. Whether the physical sense as in ‘mist’ or rain or in the figurative sense of a moment that exhibits ‘feeling’. Some are about grandeur but most are enigmatic, even partly abstract requiring you to inspect and explore. As with all my galleries all these are available as fine art prints and several will be designated ‘limited’ once they are all titled and priced. But for now, click into slideshow, put some music on and enjoy.
Blue Mountains. Waterfalls have fascinated me since I started photography age 11. Their constantly changing form gives them a beauty and a sense that they are the life blood of the forests and escarpments. I particularly love doing mono treatments as the natural contrasts of the white water and darker surrounds enhances their mysticism and gives them a natural depth.
Ever since I first visited the Blue Mountains back in 2000 I have been fascinated by the area in and around the Gardens of Stone (GoS). Perhaps it was originally the enigmatic name, that sense of hidden jungle pagodas or I had glimpsed some early images, but it had sown a seed. When I came to live in the mountains in 2013 and bought a place in Mount Victoria it gave me a great base, only 5-20 minutes from most of the protected upper Blue Mountains but also 25 minutes or so from the lower reaches of the unprotected GoS areas and an hour or so from the main GoS valleys, Capertee and Wolgan.
But it has been the rather difficult to access areas of Ben Bullen and Newnes State Forests which has attracted my photographic attention. There have been several initiatives to extend the existing protected zones of the GoS into these areas and one can see why - amazing geology, pagodas, vistas and flora and fauna. Most of my images here are in the unprotected areas and I will add detailed location eventually to all images, but some are inside the near by Wollemi National Park. A handful of photographs are fifty meters from where I live such as Pulpit Rock or Bushrangers Cave, also in the proposed extension of the GoS.
I hope you enjoy my images in some rarely captured spots where I endeavour to capture them in a complimentary light, when camping out or treacherous treks in the dark for sunrise or sunset, are commonplace. These will be fantastic places to visit in the future and hopefully they will still be around and by purchasing 'selected' prints you will be helping the area a little as 25% will be donated to the Colong Wilderness Foundation which is one organisation helping to protect these areas.
Sydney Coasts. Having lived for extended periods on the West Coast of the US and since 2005 on the East Coast of Australia I have an on-going fascination with the sea. Particularly at sunrise where the combination of the delicate colours in the sky often contrasts with a powerful crashing sea. To me these photographs represent new’ness, new light and every changing but latent sea and constantly shifting cloudscapes.
A country which has always been high on my list to photography and in late 2017 I had the chance to spend 10 days exploring and capturing. I circumnavigated the main ring road one and a half times, visiting some key spots twice, which doubled the chances of great light. But even on such a short trip we were blessed with a few days of aurora, some fantastic storm and sun conditions and some very moody light. Most shots in this gallery are high quality stills, but as I was also safely filming using two drones, there are a few special aerial stills, shot as stills vs video frames. Iceland is indeed a special place and one which requires several trips to really understand the land, but this first set I am very happy with. Hope you find something you like.
Blue Mountains. As a photographer one is always looking for magical light but also magical atmosphere. Living in the Blue Mountains one comes to accept but also love the mist and fog that pervades everything. After a night or previous day rain one can almost be guaranteed valleys full of mystery as temperature inversions create a completely different world. I am often found standing in complete blankets of mist waiting for the light to break through, whether on escarpments or next to thundering waterfalls, like sunrise a new time begins in the spaces between white and clarity.
Often colour isn’t enough to evoke the power and grandeur of wide open spaces. I regularly make the decision that shots I take are destined for a mono treatment and when the atmosphere is at it’s most mysterious I will deliberately look for textures and light shapes. These images represent a cross section of the mono styles, all of them evoking a timeless majesty.
Blue Mountains. Mid Day Light – The golden light (sunrise and sunset) and blue hour before sunrise and after sunset are the key times for my photography. But sometimes I am caught late morning or afternoon, often on hikes to destinations or just for the joy of hiking and find the landscape still has a lot to offer. Of course the clarity at these times is stronger but one has to work harder to find good compositions or timelapse effects to really bring a ‘normal’ light photograph to fruition.
Blue Mountains. I pride myself of hardly missing a sunrise wherever I am based. Each time the magic of the light slowly building from darkness through to an early dawn glow and then a striking sunburst rise is a constant pleasure. The effort to get to new places often means long walks in the dark with some dangers but it has never, not been worth it.
Blue Mountains. I am often spoilt for choice when it comes to sunsets in the Blue Mountains. When I am in different parts of the world I of course research the best spots for sunset and wish I had a locals knowledge, but now I am so familiar with the Blue Mountains that I have hundreds of locations that look wonderful at sundown. I challenge myself to tell a story that is more than a pretty sky or reflection and the ancient rocks and trees and unbelievable escarpments provide a perfect counterpoint to a glorious sky.