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Weekend Wanderings – A Mallee Workshop

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Recently while I was in the Mallee I had the opportunity to teach a workshop to some people up there.  The workshop was focused on Landscape and Night photography.  I do love teaching and to be able to teach a workshop in a place like that was just amazing.  There are some things that I need to work on when I am doing them, but I am happy with how they are run, and people do seem to enjoy them, at least that is what they tell me.  The workshop was based around a town called Nyah West, which is sort of north of Swan Hill, a town or small city in the northern part of the state of Victoria.

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Nyah West isn’t the vibrant town it once was, still, I was shocked to see a sheep wandering up and around the main street.  It was having a lovely time eating the grass that is in front of some of the old shops.

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We did go to the old house, but it was very warm and I didn’t take too many photos myself.  I was helping other people and showing them how to do things on their camera.  I have to admit I was also very worried about snakes, which turned out to be justified. This time of the year, and for the next few months snakes are going to be a real problem in places like this.  For those that aren’t aware, most of the snakes we have in Australia are poisonous, and if they bite you, you will die, unless you get to hospital very quickly.  I just found a site, a cheery thought really, check out the poisonous snakes, Facts and Figures: World’s Most Venomous Snakes.  Thank goodness they all sleep in the winter.  Though the two we see the most are the brown snakes and tiger snakes.

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The conditions out at the salt pans. It wasn’t as hot there as it had been at the old house.  It was a very bright sun, and since it was behind the lakes it meant we had to take photos into the sun,  so getting shadows of the dead trees seemed  a logical thing to do.  The trees were lots of odd shapes. The salt pans were precarious, and we really had to watch where we were going, if you weren’t careful you would start sinking.

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It had always been the plan to photograph the sunset here.  It was going to be the ideal setting, the salt pan, the dead trees, even some water, what more could we ask for, well maybe some clouds!  By the time sunset rolled around there wasn’t a cloud to be seen in any direction.  It was disappointing at the time, but still the colours were quite amazing.  I have enhanced them here, but often I find the camera doesn’t always pick up what you see.  Now that I look at the images, I don’t mind that there weren’t any clouds, I like the tones and the starkness.  Maybe if there had been clouds, you would have looked at those more than the trees in the water.

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After dark, after dinner at the Nyah West Pub, we headed out the road again to do some milky way shots.  I did enjoy that too, and it was by far one of the best classes on night photography I have done.  I found a good formula that worked for me, and I think I would like to try it again.  The above image was the last one we took for the night.  I showed a photo the other day of someone shining a touch to light up the milky way, and this is the person that did it.  I asked her to just stand in the road and we lit her up.  The light we used was a little too strong, so I had to work on that, but I don’t mind the results.  Playing with the light turned out to be a lot of fun.

I am hoping to do more workshops up in the Mallee, and I am starting to see that perhaps a lot of people would benefit from a more basic introduction to your DSLR, a class I do down here all the time, so I am going to plan another trip and do a workshop on that.  I have some more photos and will put them into a gallery for you now. The weekend has started here, and plans are afoot to go out and take more photos.  My daughter is very close to getting all her hours up, so she is also keep to go with me to get more driving.  I hope you have photography planned this weekend.

 

 

72 Comments
  1. Dormis Aeternitas #

    ooouuu great stars picture! Very good!

    October 4, 2014
  2. The sunsets are gorgeous Leanne. 😊

    October 4, 2014
    • Thank you John, they turned out okay, considering there were no clouds.

      October 4, 2014
  3. That sheep in the street reminds me of the day that I was driving to the store in Salton City, and had to brake for a small cottontail lazily making its way across the street toward the store. Love you sunset and Milky Way shots.

    October 4, 2014
    • Have to love it when they do that. We have ducks crossing the road near me here in the city, and everyone stops to wait for them. thank you.

      October 4, 2014
  4. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez #

    I’m not afraid of much but snakes turn me into a lily-livered chicken on sight and I don’t care if they are not poisonous. Leanne I hope you are careful as much as you go out into those lovely areas. ❤

    The Milky Way and woman is a beautiful image. The ruggedness in these images is appealing.

    October 4, 2014
    • They do the same to me Jackie, I hate them, they give me the shivers. I am always very careful and I try to avoid areas where I know they will be. I don’t know that I will be photographing some parts of the local park now, might be best to avoid some the areas now.
      Thank you, I liked playing around with the light and seeing what we could do.

      October 4, 2014
  5. Beautiful barren trees in the fading light!

    October 4, 2014
    • Thank you John, it is a very barren area.

      October 4, 2014
  6. Love the sunsets and the long shadows of the dead trees. ☺️ Chris

    October 4, 2014
  7. Thank you for telling us you sometimes enhance the colours on your photos. A lot of people (me included) do that because you are right, the camera doesn’t always pick up the nuances of colour, intensity or mood. After all, the objective for most photographers is to capture a moment or mood, and so, doing what we can to show that is a good thing. Lovely photos Leanne.

    October 4, 2014
    • I enhance them a lot Ardy, sometimes you just have to, I think, and for all the reasons you have said as well. Thank you.

      October 4, 2014
  8. Gorgeous sunset images and the Milky Way too! Wow. I love those trees, so scrappy and rooted. The shadows are a beautiful characteristic in these images and I think you are right, in this case the clouds would have taken away from the trees.

    October 4, 2014
    • Thank you Carrie, The trees are great and I totally agree, about the clouds, it is probably just as well they weren’t there.

      October 4, 2014
  9. hawaygeordie #

    Great quality images – love the quality of the light

    October 4, 2014
  10. Magnificent images. Your pictures are always great, but these are greater than great.

    October 4, 2014
    • Oh wow, Thank you so much Marilyn, that is a wonderful compliment.

      October 4, 2014
  11. Love the salt pan sunset set – they are beautiful especially the shadows : )) trees

    October 4, 2014
    • Thank you Tiny, the shadows worked well. 😀

      October 4, 2014
  12. laroseedespetiteschoses #

    Hi Leanne, I am in Tocumwal, somewhat similar country scene but my photos are nothing as beautiful as yours. Love yours!

    October 4, 2014
    • Hello there, I even know where that is, lovely to hear from you. Thank you, I’ve been practicing for a while.

      October 4, 2014
  13. Love the colours and the starkness of the dead trees in your sunsets, Leanne 🙂

    October 4, 2014
    • Thank you Sue, I love those trees and the mood they help convey. 🙂

      October 4, 2014
  14. You know Leanne I’ll probably never go to Australia, because the places I’d want to see are where the snakes are most likely – how’s it they get the best places to live ? 🙂

    October 4, 2014
    • Just make sure you come to Australia in the winter Gypsy when they are all asleep. LOL, I don’t know, though you do learn how to live with them, or how to avoid them.

      October 4, 2014
  15. Great photos! 🙂
    It’s a good thing that I don’t live in Australia! I love finding snakes and holding them… and examining them; I’ve done it ever since I was a kid!

    October 4, 2014
    • Yeah, you wouldn’t want to hold the snakes here, they would make you very sick.
      Thanks Thomas. 😀

      October 4, 2014
  16. these are brilliant Leanne. The one that stands out for me a lot is the fourth photo down, of the stark tree. I absolutely love the shadow that the branch is casting on the ground, it really makes your photo look almost 3D with the way it comes right to the front of the photo, it’s very striking!
    a very nice gallery!!

    October 4, 2014
    • Thank you Sabrina. I saw that from a distance, and then had to go take photos of it.

      October 4, 2014
  17. This place is truly magical to me. I’ve never seen anything like it! The sunset pictures with those silhouettes!!! Why am i so far away??? 😦 lol

    October 5, 2014
    • LOL, I think you would have struggled with the mozzies, but it is a great place, don’t have places like that in the US? I do love this place and I know I will go back. Thanks Laura.

      October 5, 2014
  18. Beautiful sunset images

    October 5, 2014
  19. Great pictures – no pictures of any snakes? New Zealand doesn’t have any snakes. 😀

    October 5, 2014
    • I’m very happy to say, I didn’t see any snakes, thank goodness, I hate them. I wish Australia was the same, we have too many. Thanks Raewyn, 😀

      October 5, 2014
  20. Some exciting photos here – especially like the strong tree in the foreground

    October 5, 2014
    • Thank you Diana, I have to admit, I am very proud of them.

      October 5, 2014
  21. magical shots and so amazing beautiful capture…. Love the reflections on the water…..

    October 5, 2014
    • Thank you, I was really happy with these. So little water, so it was good to make use of it, suspect the next time I go it will be gone.

      October 5, 2014
      • Nature change accordingly to their surroundings. Same place but different views or scenery.

        October 5, 2014
      • Yes, that’s it exactly, in the summer there, there would be no water in there at all, and I think the only reason there was water in there when we went was because there had been a big downpour a couple of days prior.

        October 5, 2014
  22. Hey Leanne! Awesome Milky-way shot 🙂 Do you have plans to make a tutorial for it sometime soon?

    October 5, 2014
    • No, I hadn’t thought about it, but there have been guest posts and some on the up for discussion post on photographing the stars, if you go to the archives section at the top and click on the up for discussion you will see posts that have been written on how to do them.

      October 6, 2014
  23. Apparently there’s a TV show on this week about Australia’s deadly animals. The review said if we showed it internationally then tourism would die!!

    October 5, 2014
    • I think that is right, especially when I see the reactions people have had to snakes, LOL, though most tourists who come here would probably never see one. I thought I was standing right next to one yesterday at the park for Social Snappers, but it was a blue tongue lizard, thank goodness.

      October 6, 2014
      • Growing up knowing they’re around doesn’t mean I’m not terrified of coming across one!!

        October 6, 2014
      • I know exactly what you mean, I saw them all the time as a kid, and I am really scared of them, I will never get used to them, now I live somewhere where they are a real problem in summer.

        October 6, 2014
    • Have you ever seen (or heard) this one? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E66fySBa0hU

      October 7, 2014
      • No, I hadn’t seen that before, it is a bit like that though, although only in the extremes.

        October 7, 2014
      • Oh that’s an absolute ripper!

        October 7, 2014
      • Thank you Linda, might have to do a Social snappers down at the beach some time, what do you think.

        October 7, 2014
      • Love to!

        October 7, 2014
      • I think Tanya wants to, and someone else, maybe I should try and organise something.

        October 7, 2014
      • Just let me know 😄

        October 7, 2014
      • I might try doing a special outing for social snappers, would a sunday arvo be good for you.

        October 7, 2014
      • Yep. This time of year is super busy for us with loads of birthdays but I’ll try to shuffle things to come along.

        October 7, 2014
      • The other option is to wait until next year, and do it as one of them in term 1 or term 2, that might be better.

        October 7, 2014
      • Whatever you decide is fine with me 📷📷📷

        October 7, 2014
      • Will you know after I talk to the others,

        October 7, 2014
  24. Great post. Glad you had a successful workshop. I love your photos. Thanks for the warning about snakes. One has to be very careful.

    October 6, 2014
    • Thank you Nia, it was great, the workshop, and I loved doing it, would love to do more of that sort of thing. One has to be very careful, but there are things you can do to minimise meeting them, like walking heavy.

      October 6, 2014
  25. Beautiful photos once again. All of your photos are gorgeous you know.
    Laughing at the sheep in the street and nodding at the snake warning. We haven’t found any in our yard so far but we’ve seen some snake warnings on the news a bit. Some guy found one in his jet ski! And did you see the Red Bellied Black that was caught around Newcastle doing the rounds of FB? That was scary.

    October 7, 2014
    • Thank you Suz, I assure you they aren’t all, but I like hearing that.
      I know the sheep in the street, I had to take photos. I haven’t seen that on FB, too many snakes and too many stories about them so soon, not a good sign. There isn’t enough water in nature for them so they are coming to us looking for it. I don’t like that.

      October 7, 2014
  26. Beautiful!

    October 10, 2014

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