Our road trip to Lithgow and Mayfield Garden, Oberon, NSW, Australia

I do love a road trip. Especially when it’s with 3 other photography buddies who love doing what I love doing – taking photos – lots of photos:)

We specifically went to visit the Mayfield Garden in Oberon, NSW Australia. We decided to stay overnight in Lithgow before visiting the gardens and explore the surrounding areas of Sodwalls and Tarana.

The countryside around Lithgow is beautiful. We found old school houses, beautiful flowers, rural scenes, Tarana railway station and even a church. There is something so nourishing about being in the bush and being able to stop whenever you feel like it because you’ve ‘seen’ a photo or a scene that you’d like to explore.

We had such a fun day which was finished off by a visit to the Lithgow blast furnace. The remains of the pump house and furnace foundations gave us plenty of fabulous photographic opportunities. We stayed until the mozzies threatened to carry us off 🙂

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The second day we hit the road early bound for the Mayfield Garden in Oberon.

What a fantastic, well maintained garden paradise this is – I would thoroughly recommend a visit.

The gardens are split up into different themes and all of them are breathtaking. For those that don’t know me, colour and flowers bring me to life…so you could pretty much say I was one very happy photographer!

There were many varieties of beautiful flowers bursting with colour, a lake, waterfalls, bridges and lots of greenery all surrounded by wide open spaces.

We ate lunch at the cafe which had a beautiful atmosphere and delicious food. The vegetables in our zucchini fritters were picked from the Mayfield kitchen garden.

What more could you want?

Thanks to my buddies Judy, Lorraine and Sonia – lets do it again soon 🙂

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Bowral and the Southern Highlands

You all know how much I love flowers and gardens…well a couple of weeks back we visited Sutton Forest and Bowral in the Southern Highlands, NSW, Australia.

It was a particularly cool day but the gardens didn’t disappoint. First up we visited Red Cow Farm, a beautiful garden with lots of hidden garden rooms, a lake and so many glorious tulips. I took a stack of photos and we enjoyed meandering through the garden.

Our next stop was Milton Park, an amazing estate built at the turn of the 20th century by the Horden Family of retail & pastoral fame.

There are breathtaking views at every turn and the gardens are the most beautiful I have ever seen {seriously.}

I love the sweeping lawns {with grass so soft you could roll around for hours} cobble stone paths, rose gardens, mazes and hundreds and hundreds of flowers. Think tulips, camellias, roses, azaleas…..it is spectacular:)

The gardens of Milton Park have inspired painters and writers since the early 1800’s.

This photographer 🙂 was particularly inspired by the beauty and colour of this magnificent garden.

Enjoy the pics ~ remember to click on one to view them as a slide show.

Happy clicking

Chris 🙂

Autumn Colours – Mount Wilson NSW

Don’t you just love autumn? The colours, the textures and the way the plants change….

This year in Sydney we’ve had a really warm autumn….25 degree days – for the last couple of weeks – even as I speak – today is going to be 25 degrees again!!

I thought I might have been a bit late to head up to Mount Wilson and photograph the colours…but they surprised me….when you are way up high the temperature really does its thing to the trees and landscape…

Here are some pics I took yesterday at two ‘Open Gardens’ at Mount Wilson…. ‘Windy Ridge’ and ‘Breenhold’  – Ray and I really enjoyed soaking up nature and being in the open spaces of these awesome properties.

I shot with two cameras {Canon 5d mk 11 and 5d mk 111} – I had my 24-105mm and my 100mm macro on both canon cameras – {thanks Ray for helping me with them.}

Remember to click on each photo to enjoy a large view…

cheers

chris

 

Autumn really is SO, SO beautiful…check out these pics from the Southern Highlands of NSW

Getting out and about with my camera is one of my favourite things…

Last weekend, the Southern Highlands Botanical Gardens hosted the ‘Autumn Open Gardens’ weekend…

We visited the area last Sunday and for me, it totally nourished my soul and had me clicking like crazy 🙂

The first garden we visited at Bowral was ‘Bellagio’…WOW…who lives like that? They had a lake, an outdoor kitchen that looked like my indoor kitchen and two waterfalls…unbelievable!!

We also visited three other gardens in the rain and practised ‘what to do’ when the rain falls in relation to photography….hmmm…that was interesting 🙂

During the rain especially, we practised ‘macro’ photography…It is SO technical and had all of us on our toes…

Macro is an area of photography that I particularly love…as you focus on a ‘small’ area of a scene…lots of new ‘subjects’ come to light…..

Flowers, plants, statues and garden beds were all photographed..

Enjoy the pics..

Click on the first pic to start the slideshow….

 

Lake Eucumbene…..heaven on earth

I’ve written about Lake Eucumbene before…

It holds a very special place in the hearts of everyone in our family…

Every Easter, some, or all of the family head to a private property situated on the shores of Cobrabald Bay, Lake Eucumbene, NSW.

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This years trip was fabulous. We all enjoyed each others company, sitting around the kitchen table talking, eating chocolate, playing boggle and just being together.. Of course there was the fishing, but this year not one fish was caught!!

Naturally, I took the camera with me and really enjoyed photographing with my neice Claire and family friend Kimberley.

The weather provided many seasons in a day, which meant I could photograph many of the fantastic landscapes in so many ways…

We drove to Adaminaby for the annual Easter fair and then to the remains of ‘Old Adaminaby.’

I love the story of the original town of Adaminaby 🙂

In 1949, the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme announced that the town would be flooded to make way for a large dam – Lake Eucumbene.

The residents were given three options for a location for their town, and surprisingly chose a site 7km NE from the original town.

In 1956 the painstaking work began on moving the buildings to the site of the new town. Some buildings were demolished, other’s were left in their original location – St Mary’s Catholic Church was taken down brick by brick and rebuilt in its new location.

Within 18 months all 102 buildings were moved to the new town on the highway and life returned to normal for the residents of Adaminaby. In 1957 the flooding of the Eucumbene Valley commenced and by 1958 construction of the ‘Eucumbene Dam’ was complete.

Under the waters of Lake Eucumbene still lay the remains of the old town – including brick and stone building foundations, a brick pit, farming machinery, fence posts, the main road and the town’s six mile bridge.

We saw some steps and the remains of a couple of old buildings scattered along the edge of the lake.. I kept peering into the water wondering what it would be like to see the town in its watery grave…

In 2007 the dam’s capacity was at a record low of 9.4%. Parts of the old town ‘reappeared.’ Many relics, buildings, steps and farm machinery were ‘revisited’ by locals and tourists at this time.

The rest of the weekend was spent taking more photos, relaxing and enjoying the magnificent scenery.

If you would like more information about this fantastic part of NSW visit lakeeucumbene.com

Enjoy the pics. Click on the first pic to view all the photos as a slideshow:)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Up, Up and away….my Hot Air Balloon Adventure….

It was an early start. I mean a really early start 🙂

We arrived at the meeting point at Camden {on the outskirts of Sydney} all ready for our ‘hot air ballooning’ experience.

Ray and I and the other 7 passengers bundled into the 4WD and set off to our departure point {a field on someones property.}

It was a bigger deal than I thought…

Every few kilometres we pulled over to the side of the road and let off a small balloon to see which way the wind was blowing.

“All good” said the pilot. “We will be flying today.”

“I thought we were flying today anyway” I said…. “If the wind is too strong, or there is a sudden change in the weather, we don’t fly, its back home to bed for you.” said the pilot…

There were smiles all around…the biggest of all was mine.

We parked in a paddock and set up the basket on it’s side and unpacked the balloon…it was such a beautiful morning, and you know me, I was concentrating on taking pics and looking at the moon and the scenery all around me…everyone else was working to get the balloon inflated…. 🙂

The first time the burner was turned on to fill the balloon with hot air, I nearly dropped the camera….I was so excited and couldn’t wait to be airborne.

The balloon was inflated in no time. We all bundled into the basket, the burner was turned on again and all of a sudden….up, up and away….

WOW….the first thing I loved about this experience was the lack of noise..So peaceful and such a wonderful ‘birds eye view’ of the world below….

We had another couple of balloons who were with flying with us, so I was able to photograph a balloon up in the air, which was SO, SO good…

We drifted over homes, farms and misty bushland….It was fantastic..

Then the sun came up, and created such beautiful light and shadows, that my camera was going nutso….

We were up in the air for around an hour….It was one of the most magical experiences ever! I am blessed to have so many wonderful friends who know me so well, and bought me this adventure for my birthday.

All too soon, it came time for landing….and landing a balloon isn’t as easy as I thought. At one point the pilot wanted to land, but the wind prevented that, so we ended up further afield landing on a cricket field…..

All of a sudden we were back to earth and it was all over…..

I continued to photograph the balloon whilst everyone packed it up {clever aren’t I?}

We then headed back to Camden for a big breakfast, coffee and a debrief…..

If you want the experience of a lifetime….go hot air ballooning…I went with Balloon Aloft. The service, attention to detail and the whole experience in general, was amazing…Try it….It took me until I was 50 years old….

enjoy the pics….

If you’ve been hot air ballooning, I’d love to hear your experience. Feel free to leave a comment below….Click on the first pic to view them as a slideshow..

Chris 🙂

 

 

 

Sydney Royal Arts & Crafts Night 2014

I enter the Sydney Royal Easter Show photography competition every year.

I love entering competitions. It is a great opportunity to have your work judged and seen by your peers, others in the photographic industry and the community in general.

The competition was fierce this year!

I enjoyed viewing all the photographers excellent works and getting their slant on the way they view and interpret the meaning of the four photography categories.

I am very happy to say that my favourite image ‘Lake Eucumbene’ sold last night 🙂 I’m very proud of this photograph and LOVE the idea that someone wants my image hanging in their home 🙂

Congratulations to all the winners.

Here are my four entries:

Rural Australia – Lake Eucumbene NSW

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Portrait, Human Form – Woman in Bergamot, Italy

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Urban Landscape – Valparaiso, Chile

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Open Section – Gondoliers, Italy

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Happy clicking,

Chris 🙂