Saturday, August 30, 2014

Heading South

What commenced as a simple planned trip to Wattamolla lagoon to photograph a waterfall, developed into a full schedule with many unexpected photo opportunities. Carolyn and I began at Wattamolla lagoon where the recent heavy rains had generated some volume in the waterfalls. Unfortunately, compositions were limited as access to the beach was not possible due to the tide. There were many small flows at the top of the cliff face.

Sky colour was predictably less than impressive and it was only a short descent to get a decent view of the larger falls.

The vantage point form the top of the Falls is quite impressive. I would like to see the same view with some great cloud cover in the golden light of a decent dawn.

Rain interrupted our time at Watamolla so we decided on the spur of the moment to not allow it to spoil our day and headed further South towards Wombarra where the waves were reasonably impressive. The cloud cover diluted the strength of the sun's rays and a beautiful silvery light was cast on the water's surface with the mountains enveloped by layers of sea spray.

 As we walked south along the rockshelf the sun gained strength and fluffy white clouds battled with the blue in an effort to dominate the sky.

The cliff face at Wombarra is patched with warning signs and there was evidence of a recent rockslide, but we needed to stay close to the face as the tide was coming in quickly which made the rock shelf more precarious than usual.

The bluebottle plague we'd witnessed at Potter Point was repeated again so we had time to experiment further with compositions although once again the poor creatures were matted together and beyond their best.  The sun shining through the transparent air sacs created a luminescent glow transforming the bluebottles into surf jewels littering the sand as though someone has scattered the contents of Poseidon's treasure chest across the shore.

A number of Sooty Oyster-catchers were frolicking amongst the seaweed hoping to score a delicious treat but spooked when we attempted to move closer.

After a short stop for lunch at Austinmere, I decided to showcase National Falls to Carolyn as I'd found it a confusing location to say the least and wanted her opinion. The Falls are easy to miss. The turn off from McKells Avenue is hidden when approaching from the South and has limited signage. The view of the Falls from the top is marred by a metal fence and obscured by renegade bushes. It's necessary to walk down the road for a few steps before the access to the base of the Upper falls is evident. Following the steps down takes you to a dead end behind yet another fence, and even denser foliage so it was necessary to climb over a section to secure some passable shots.

Even so, it was challenging to negotiate the wayward branches and slippery rocks in order to capture any sort of decent image.

We made a short detour alongside the stairs which led back to the top and discovered a cave which led to a vantage point behind the falls.

Unfortunately the dirt path was narrow and muddy so we elected to not risk limb and life in order to capture an impressive shot. We were able to negotiate a slide down a slope using tree roots as anchors which led us to the base of the falls.

The rain had been stalking us all day but never heavy enough to foil our chances of a shot. Next stop was Kelly's Falls which is yet another location marred by the obligatory metal fence and obscuring foliage.

I'd seen shots of these Falls taken from below but could see no way of  accessing a safe vantage point. The stepping stones which led across the top of the Falls to a walking path were beneath the water and neither of us wanted to risk ending up on our derrieres in the stream, so we decided to try for one last location before heading home.

The old Helensburg Railway Station is a much photographed location and generally after heavy rainfall the tracks are partially submerged and  a waterfall cascades down beside it. On this occasion it resembled a canal with the track and pathways on either sides completely concealed. Compositions were limited as there was no room to manoeuvre on either side.

All in all a most eventful day

1 comment:

  1. Nice post, love the composition on "View from the top" Bob