Campbells Cove.

campbells sea huts, old, werribee south, victoria, australia

Yesterday evening, without too much time left to spare, I decided to make a last minute dash to Campbell’s Cove in Werribee South, taking into account it only takes me 25 minutes to drive there and a severe storm was approaching Melbourne. Upon my arrival to Campbell’s Cove, the storm was in full swing, heavy rains and lightning blasting away.

Once the rain eased up, I decided to grab my umbrella, step out of the car and tempt fate by grabbing a few snapshots, when right above me the heavens decided to give me a wake up call and let loose with one of the mightiest thunder claps l have ever heard; leaving me cowering for cover and at that moment the best option was to dive back into the car.

The storm passed through within about 30 minutes and once it was safe, I cautiously grabbed my gear and started snapping away. Campbell’s Cove has a lot of interesting photo opportunities given the right conditions. Old Sea Huts, which are colourfully painted and very attractive to the eye, always a great focal point. Also an old tractor hitched up with a boat in tow laying amongst waist high grass, a little bit dicey with snakes, though.

tractor towing boat, abandoned, werribee south, victoria, australia

Whilst taking some snapshots, one of the locals made his way over to ask what I was up to. We chalked up a conversation and he advised me of plans to remove the old tractor and boat, due to the issue of snakes; which didn’t help me none, considering I had just stepped out from the thick grasses, but l did make mention that they should leave the tractor and boat in place as it makes for wonderful subject matter. I must say he didn’t find it to amusing.

The images shown were taken before and after sunset.

Darren J.

Ballarat Nationals 2011

I am pleased to announce that l have been awarded the title of ‘Most Successful Exhibitor’ at the 43rd Ballarat Nationals 2011. My image ‘In The Wind’ won First in Section for the portrait category, and also won the title of ‘Reserve Champion Print’.

Country Victoria, Australia. Portrait of Allen

My Seascape image ‘So Close To Heaven’, won Second in Section for the Landscape category.

This win follows on from my success at the 7th Pakenham Nationals, where I was awarded the Title of ‘Most Successful Exhibitor’, Gold Medal Award for ‘Most Successful Print Exhibitor’ Best Colour Print, 2nd-best Landscape and 2nd-best Portrait. I am looking forward to a most successful 2012.

Darren J.

Returning from the Storm

Wow!!! What a great turn at the Great Ocean – Port Campbell weather really turned it on, two storm fronts in one day.

I slept in my car over near Gibsons Steps, set my alarm for 5.00am but was awoken from my sleep at 4.00 am by the sound of thunder and flashes of lightning cracking the sky open.
In a hurry, I made my way over to the 12 Apostles, set my gear up, ready to reel off a few frames just when the rain started to pelt down, the next hour was spent running to and from the shelter back to the viewing platform in between light breaks in the rain.

The rain was unforgiving and eventually I had to make my way back to the car. After 30 minutes, daylight was well and truly breaking and so was the rain, so I made my way back to try to capture some images. The heavy rains and storm had kept all the early birds and tourists away, which meant I had the area all to myself. It’s always good to hang in there and ride out the storm.

If possible, try to place yourself in an area where you will be the only photographer shooting. If there are others around you, scout around for your own unique view, that way nobody else will near replicate your image. Photography is all about having unique images that are original to the market, and the only way to do this is to find your own space out there.

The cloud action from morning till afternoon was amazing, a day in which I could go on shooting and never tire of the fleeting but dramatic changes in cloud form. It’s important to watch how and where the clouds’ movement is going; always keep your eyes open to all angles and scan 360 degrees constantly to make sure you are capturing the best moment and action – if not, chase it.

The afternoon brought about another severe storm, with the strong winds blowing my umbrella to pieces and the sand blowing off the rocks into my eyes and camera gear. The wind was vicious, but I have to say it was damn exciting.

Darren J.

Heading Back To Great Ocean Rd

I was about to start a new blog post about my photo trip to Guilin, China. But it seems like the weather conditions are looking good for the coastal areas around the Great Ocean Road, so I am heading out there for a couple more days; predictions for stormy weather (just the way I like it).
I have recently added a few new Great ocean Road images to my ‘Latest Images Gallery’ on my website, with the aim of adding a Great Ocean Road Gallery shortly. The Gallery will showcase all my best works from the Great Ocean Road.

Meanwhile here’s a couple of images until I arrive back from Great Ocean.

Darren J.

misty hues, great ocean rd, victoria, australia

stranded, port campbell, great ocean rd, victoria, australia

The Great Ocean

Over the last two weeks I’ve been able to spend five days along the Great Ocean Road. My first weekend, I headed out to Artillery Rocks, which is 12 kilometres outside of Lorne. The evening and morning shoots turned out to be a non-event due to continuous rain and dull cloudy weather. I’m ok with cloudy skies, but they need to have strong form and good contrast for me to get my camera out of the bag.

The Weather Bureau had been forecasting ‘possible storms’ for the area of Port Campbell, which is always a good to time to be out shooting, so I made my way to Port Campbell amidst more cloudy grey skies and light scattered showers, hoping the storm would pass early enough to catch some action whilst out photographing.

The evening shoot went well with the clouds lifting for a short time and the setting sun producing relatively good colour and light.

My energy was on high as I worked frantically to capture the rapid water movement as the high tide made its way into the shore. This is the time when I zone out from everything around me, totally absorbed in ‘the moment’, and all the elements start to gel together; locked in the zone.

I was out taking photos with another photographer named Greg, whom I had met shown the location where I was shooting, so he joined me. After our shoot he mentioned that for the first 15 minutes he had been feeding off my energy. Such is the case when I’m out there – my instincts take over, guiding me and my photography.

custom made, port campbell, great ocean rd, victoria, australia

The passing storm and lightning arrived well after my shoot (11pm), while the next morning produced more cloud and light rain, however I still managed to shoot a few frames down at Gibsons Beach.

mixed emotions, port campbell, great ocean rd, victoria, australia

Mixed Emotions : Prints Available

The second weekend away, which I have recently returned from, was over at Port Campbell. Three days of constant cloud, wind and driving rains (again) meant that my camera was kept dry in its bag most of the time. With my frustration mounting and fears growing that I may never see the sun again, 30 minutes before sunset on my last evening shoot the clouds decided to be a little accommodating.

I fell to my knees and cried for joy (only kidding, l didn’t really fall to my knees) I grabbed my gear and headed for the ocean, crying out like a madman. When you’re out photographing the Great Ocean Road, more often than not you’re dealing with grey skies. I’ve had a lot of disappointing outcomes over the years, but I keep going back.

Darren J.

survivors of the storms, 12 apostles, great ocean rd, port campbell national park, victoria, australia