Slow and Steady

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For my 30th birthday last year, I was lucky enough to be given a 100mm Macro lens from my family. I never thought I’d fall for an inanimate object, but well… I may just love this lens. It is fantastic. I had been pining after a lens for macro photography for quite some time, so it was almost a dream come true. I am still refining my skills, and a flash would be a handy addition to the kit, but I am certainly enjoying getting up close and personal with some of natures smallest.

You can imagine my excitement after some rain when this little fellow appeared in our garden. I sat and watched him (or her) for a while, with my sons watching on eagerly as it emerged from the shell. Of course, it didn’t stay out for long with two noisy boys hanging around, but I kind of like the peering out from under the shell look we got.

The last three are all the same photo, just processed different ways. I couldn’t decide which I liked most, so I’m sharing them all.

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Rocky Hill

Although the name provokes images of movie montages and fist pumps, the hill itself is actually quite beautiful. Not too steep, which makes it a pretty good walk for the kids, and there’s plenty to look at while you’re walking along. The kids spent a fair bit of time surveying the landscape below, mostly trying to find our house and their Dads work. It’s pretty cool being able to spot certain landmarks from on high, I like the sense of perspective and scale that you get; kind of puts you in your place.

Madalyn 2013-07-02-Rocky Hill-Toadstool-002_small 2013-07-02-Rocky Hill-Toadstool-003_small 2013-07-02-Rocky Hill-Wattle-001_small Not only did we spot those familiar landmarks, but we also spotted some native fauna; a family of kangaroos. One even had a joey in its pouch. They startled very easily, not surprising when you’re exploring with noisy children, and so I didn’t get any good photos of them; but we did see them. Pinky swear.

One of the sights I usually love seeing as we drive past Rocky Hill, is all the spring blossoms colouring the hillside. I wasn’t expecting to see any of those blossoms making an appearance while we were there, considering it was (is) the middle of winter, but there were quite a few starting to flower; and in the last few days I’ve seen more tinges of purple as we drive past.

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I’m still learning and experimenting with processing, trying to find a style that I like; and although I tried to keep all of these in the same style, they still came out looking different. I usually just try and stick to basic processing, but I branched out a bit with these. Still not really sure about the final products.

Enough of my prattling on, I have to go charge the battery up for a drive to the alpine region tomorrow. It was actually cold enough to snow last weekend, and I’m holding out hope that one of my favourite places will have a bit of cover this weekend. Fingers crossed.

A Walk To Remember

On the weekend I was lucky enough to have a break from our three kids and was able to take a bit of a drive with the husband. We had heard about a cider festival being held in a little town nearby and had planned to check it out, Batlow is nestled in the Snowy Mountains and is famous for apples. During the week I was looking at the other sights around that area and found something called the Sugar Pine Walk not far from where we were headed, and after looking at some of the photos around the internet I was dying to visit. So visit we did.

Sugar Pine Walk - State Parks of NSWDon’t let the light in that photo fool you, that was probably the longest period the sun was out while we were up there. Fluffy snow clouds hung low overhead all day which made for a cold walk, but it was definitely worth it.

As we were getting out of the car and I was getting my gear ready, an older couple emerged from the trees. The gentleman had a camera around his neck and commented that it was ‘a little dull in there for photos’, so I was a little bit nervous about how my photos would turn out. I did take a tripod, but wasn’t able to use it because the base plate was still on my mums camera. Duh!

My husband and I wandered up the path, chatting about how cold it was, and this and that; but a couple of metres into the trees we stopped dead and looked around in amazement. I think there were a few exclamations of ‘wow’ while we took in our surroundings. It really is magical.

2013-05-18-Sugar Pine Walk-1_small2013-05-18-Sugar Pine Walk-5_smallIt was so quiet in there that you could hear the trees creaking as they swayed in the breeze. The ground was covered in pine needles, which made the ground as soft as carpet – maybe even softer. There are felled trees lying around with moss growing all over them, pine cones bigger than my husbands feet, and plenty of other wonders if you looked hard enough.2013-05-18-Sugar Pine Walk-4-Mossy stump_small

2013-05-18-Sugar Pine Walk-6-Toadstool-3_small  2013-05-18-Sugar Pine Walk-3-Toadstool-2_small 2013-05-18-Sugar Pine Walk-2-Toadstool-1_smallI wish I had a dedicated macro lens for those little fungi, the first of the three was smaller than a finger nail.

I imagine that the walk would change during the different seasons, we have been told it is especially wonderful after some snow fall, and I will definitely be heading back throughout the year.

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Adelong

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I was lucky enough to be given a neutral density x400 filter for Christmas, so today we took a little trip to try it out on some cascades at Adelong Falls. There is usually a better waterfall, but the water wasn’t really flowing today. We went in the middle of the day too, so I am planning on returning later in the year – and at a different time – to try again. I didn’t take many photos, it was hard to find a good spot with the water so low, but these are two of my favourites.

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