In the previous blog story I visited Empress Falls, and had plans to explore more of the Blue Mountains.
I’m happy to say that since then I’ve discovered some fantastic new trails and reacquainted myself with some old favourite spots, taking full advantage of the fresh winter temperatures.
With a million hectares of wilderness in the Greater Blue Mountains Area, and over 140 km of tracks and trails in the National Park alone, it’s a tough call just where to start. As a photographer you really are spoilt for choice in this area.
I found myself focussing on a waterfall theme between Hazelbrook and Leura, despite the very dry season in this part of the world.
Here are some of the pics so far.
First up I had a couple of walks at Hazelbrook, casing out Horseshoe, Oakland and Burgess Falls for the first time. I have to say even without the falls it’s worth the visit if only to admire the wonderful trees and native bush.
The highlight here was having the magical Burgess Falls all to myself for a good couple of hours.
The Valley of the Waters near Wentworth Falls is absolutely breathtaking. This was a return visit on a particularly cold day. The chill was somewhat accentuated by the cosy indulgence of a fireside lunch at the Conservation Hut Café at the start of the trail.
By this time the trail below Empress Falls had been reopened, so I had the chance to get back to Sylvia and Lodore Falls after a long absence.
Sylvia Falls is such a stunning spot, but I’ve always found it tricky to frame perfectly. This time I tried changing things up with a panorama and I’m very happy with the flow of this wide perspective. Of course the falls are the star of the show, however now with the inclusion of that curving tree on the right, I really like the balance in the image.
The last shot of the day in quickly fading light was probably my favourite from the walk, a 25 second exposure on the way back up at Empress Falls.
Another angle of Empress Falls from a week earlier:
The view from Queen Victoria Lookout offers the perfect excuse to stop and catch your breath on the steep ascent to the Conservation Hut.
My visit to North Lawson came when the light was harsh, and it was windy and very dry. Totally wrong for shooting waterfalls, but I took my time scouting the Empire Pass walk and collected plenty of inspiration for next time.
I snapped this impressive tree fern and banksia along the way:
It was better timing for the South Lawson waterfall circuit, with a great flow of water after some welcome rainfall.
My overdue and most perfect introduction to the magical Leura Cascades came on a damp, foggy morning. I felt some pressure not to waste the beautiful atmospheric conditions, and I was really happy with this, my best image of the day:
Further down the trail I captured this enchanting scene in challenging light.
A week or so later I was back at the Cascades, and struck it lucky with another foggy morning:
I’ve hardly scratched the surface of the Blue Mountains in this short space of a few months. If anything, my list of destinations is getting longer, so stay tuned for the next instalment!
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