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:)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beautiful Langkawi & it’s STUNNING wildlife….

The Andaman Resort is located on the north side of the tropical island of Langkawi, Malaysia.

This 4.5 star resort is one of the best places I have ever stayed 🙂

Hidden away between a 10 million year old rainforest and the jade coloured waters of Datai Bay – this really is heaven on earth 🙂

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view from the beach

What I loved the most was the how the hotel was immersed in the rainforest…I could feel it. I literally felt immersed in it.

Our room was gorgeous, well appointed and the beds were super comfortable.

The amenities and service were fantastic – from the way they called me ‘Miss Christine’ and ‘the dancing queen, {more about that in another post!} the service in the restaurants, the cool ‘orange’ spritzers on the beach and the AWESOME band all added to the ambience of this beautiful hotel…

Each day, we sat on the beach and swam in the cool waters of the Andaman Sea…I love being nurtured by the sea….I think all of us have forgotten how wonderful it is just to float and be…I loved it….silently beneath the waves, taking it all in…fabulous 🙂

As the hotel is very secluded….{think partner} you can walk, listen and observe all that exists in this magical place.

I enjoyed one of the best massages I’ve ever had at the V Wellness Spa. I was massaged in an open air villa overlooking the Andaman sea…It was absolute bliss.

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There was SO MUCH WILDLIFE to be seen and enjoyed at the hotel..

I was lucky enough to see the Malaysian flying lemur {or Sunda} right outside my room…I mean literally…

The Sunda flying lemur is not a lemur and does not fly. Instead, it spreads out with it’s membrane and leaps amongst the  trees. It is strictly arboreal, is active at night, and feeds on soft plant parts such as young leaves, shoots, flowers, and fruits.

Each day, they looked like this…back from their night flight, resting and chilling out…

Look closely, there are three lemur’s..resting quietly, right outside my door…

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The next day, I saw something moving beneath one of the lemurs and quickly went and got my camera.

This is what I saw….

A baby lemur…peeping out…it was so fabulous, it was as if he was posing for the camera 🙂

The young are born undeveloped and helpless and attach themselves to the mother’s belly, in a pouch formed from the mother’s tail membrane. They are eventually weaned at approx around 6 months old,

How cool is that?

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I was also lucky enough to see a Oriental Pied Hornbill. These magnificent birds frequent the tropical rainforest’s of Asia and are characterised by an unusual, long ‘horn like’ bill structure. This large bill assists with catching prey, fighting, preening as well as nest building.

Again, this gorgeous bird was right outside my door 🙂

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The hotel had an abundance of monkeys that could be seen at all times of the day {we even had a cheeky monkey come into one of our rooms!}

My favourite was the Dusky Leaf Monkey. Characterised by its dark grey/black fur and two white ‘eye glasses’, it frequents the tropical rainforest’s of Malaysia..

This subject was SO much fun to watch…

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There were so many gorgeous photographic opportunities at this resort – my camera just wouldn’t stop clicking… 🙂

My advice? Start packing 🙂

For more information on this AWESOME hotel click here.

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How to create an AWESOME panorama using PHOTOMERGE in photoshop

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I have travelled to some amazing places.

I have recently had some time to go through some images from my trip to Italy….to be more specific….Lake Como…

Beautiful. Stunning. Inspiring…

I took a series of images from the ferry on the way to Gravedona – a beautiful town on the northern shores of Lake Como.

How do you shoot for a stitched image?

Use a tripod. In this case I was in holiday mode – so no tripod 🙂

Always shoot in PORTRAIT orientation – This will give you a taller panorama and allow more room for cropping.

My BEST tip? Take a pic of your hand BEFORE AND AFTER your series of images. This makes it so much easier when editing in Lightroom, I clearly know which images I want to use for my stitched panorama.

Shooting from the left, overlap your images by approximately 40% – {this didn’t happen in this case, the ferry was moving too fast!}

Keep your APERTURE constant for the entire series of images.  This will ensure the DEPTH OF FIELD is consistent in the final panorama. Also make sure your FOCAL LENGTH is the same for each image – {All the images were shot at f13 at 105mm focal length.}

I like to shoot a stitch in MANUALmode. Take a few test shots to determine correct exposure. Here are my 5 images.

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How did I edit this image?

I loaded all the raw images into LIGHTROOM.

HIGHLIGHT all the images for your panorama in Lightroom – click on the first image, hold down the SHIFT key, and click on the last image.

Click ‘CONTROL E’ which will open all the images up in photoshop {I’m using CS5.}

In Photoshop, click on ‘FILE’ then ‘AUTOMATE’ then ‘PHOTOMERGE.’ 

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This screen will open up.

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Click on ‘ADD OPEN FILES.’

‘AUTO‘ is the default button selected on the left. I use this function most of the time. You can experiment with the others for optimum results. Click ‘OKAY’ and watch your panorama stitch together before your eyes.

You’ll end up seeing a version of your panorama that looks something like this.

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When Photomerge finishes,, you will have a single panorama with each image on a separate layer.

Zoom into 100% and check the seams between the images. If everything looks OK, FLATTEN the image by going into the LAYERS menu and clicking ‘FLATTEN IMAGE.’

Crop a rectangular composition of your stitched panorama. This is where shooting ‘VERTICALLY’ really makes a difference. You have a lot more room to ‘CROP.’

And there you have it, a FANTASTIC large panorama of your series of images.

Make any adjustments you like to your final image. I always add some contrast and some vibrance.

In this case I also had to muck around with the ‘lake’…and the different tones.

Please be aware these files are usually HUGE…and may take up a bit more storage room than usual.

So, next time you’re out shooting and can’t fit everything in the frame, consider shooting a SERIES of images to create an awesome panorama 🙂

happy clicking

Chris

 

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 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elysium…Heaven on Earth…The Antarctic

This time last year I was in South America on my way to The Antarctic.

I can’t believe nearly a year has past since my trip of a lifetime..

I think about The Antarctic everyday…

The vivid blue colour of the ice, the wildlife and the beautiful feeling of visiting such a remote, isolated part of our planet.

My exhibition, Frozen Lenses was a huge success for me last year..dates will be released soon for venues in 2014

These are some of my favourite pics…

If you have any questions or comments about these photos, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

Click on the first pic to view all the pics as a slideshow.

Chris 🙂

New – ‘Sydney by night’ photography tours with click.walk.learn….

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My new website www.clickwalklearn.com.au launched on the 31st December and the response has been overwhelming – thanks so much for your support :)

My first ‘Sydney by night’ photography tour is scheduled for next Tuesday night 14th January. 

Is learning more about night photography one of your new years resolutions? Do you want to take some beautiful shots of our gorgeous city at night?

This 3 1/2 hour tour will have you shooting like a pro in no time!! We wander all around Circular Quay and the harbour foreshore taking stunning pics of our city as we go!! I’ll be with you every step of the way, all the ‘ins and outs’ of night photography will be explained to you in an easy to understand manner.

You’ll receive a detailed night photography ebook after booking and I research and know all about YOUR camera before the tour…that way theres no time wasted looking for the right button or setting – I’ll look after all that for you:)

All you need is your camera, a tripod and a whole lot of adventure and passion…

For bookings please head over to clickwalklearn.com.au, and click on the ‘wanna book a tour’ tab – Tour price $99

Tripods can be hired for $10.

Happy clicking

Chris

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