The Grampians, Victoria.

A few weeks ago l decided to head out to the Grampians and drag myself away from the Great Ocean Road, give myself a break from shooting seascapes. l must say it was great to have a change of scenery as the landscape at the Grampians is just spectacular. The views are amazingly beautiful (and scary) if, like me, you don’t like heights. 7 nights camping at Halls Gap was just what the doctor ordered, time out after being in lockdown for well over 6months during to covid.

Hiking up and around the mountains and beautiful look-outs made me feel great both physically and mentally as the hikes really lifted my spirits and fitness levels. It’s amazing how great you can feel being out and about in nature.

Visiting places such as Mount William which happens to be the highest point with 360 degree views. A steep walk to reach the peak but well worth it.

Boroka Lookout, which is to said to be one of the best look-outs and only 200 metres from the car park. with views over Halls Gap and 180 degree views of Western Victoria.

Reeds Lookout and The Balconies, which l visited 4 days straight hoping for the right conditions to grab a few good photos.

Below are a couple of lovely images l managed to capture one misty morning at Boroka Lookout. Conditions were perfect for atmospheric looking images as the mist covered the landscape and the sun made its way over the horizon casting wonderful morning light through the mist.

Darren J.

brook lookout, the grampians, angel, Vitoria, Touched by an Angel. :Boroka Lookout, The Grampians, Victoria.

tree, mist, brook lookout, grampians, Victoria, Rising Up. :Tree in Mist, Boroka Lookout, The Grampians, Victoria.

Australian Landscape Photographer of The Year 2020.

Darren J Bennett is pleased to announce that he has been ranked Australia’s #1 Landscape Photographer at the 2020 One eyeland International Photography Awards.

Congratulations to all the other photographers who entered the competition.
Darren J.

 

Victorian Landscape Photographer.

Hi Friends,
A very unique perspective.
l am always on the lookout for something a little different from the Great Ocean Road. This location is amazing, off the beaten track and standing on a very narrow cliff face (shaking at the knees) whilst composing. The views are nothing more than awesome, with the wild ocean and strong breeze just about blew me over the edge. You really need to brace yourself whilst out at these locations and many times l ask myself ‘what the heck am l doing out here risking my life’ with so much corrosion and sections of the cliffs falling off, but here l am again living and loving what l do.
Salt Water in my Veins.
darrenjbennettphotography.com
Darren J.

migg

Get to know your seascapes

These examples show what can be achieved through getting to know your subject matter, which means getting to your location early, scouting around the area you intent to photograph and pre-visualizing what type of effect the water will have when conditions and tide flow change.

I arrived at this location a few hours before sunset, knowing that high tide will start coming in around sunset, l killed some time scouting around and looking for subject matter that had potential to create strong visual elements once hide tide was in.

Bearing in mind that this particular location was very flat in appearance (no huge rock stacks to play with) it was important to create dynamic foreground interest through water motion.

The example below attracted my eye with it’s strong lines and shapes,  l had already pre-visualized the type of image and look l was after, than waited for the tide to come in.

Darren J.

tut1

Once you have the water motion, than start playing around with your shutter speeds to help emphasise subtle variations in motion. For this particular scene l wanted to achieve more of a streaky kind of motion, using speeds of around 1 to 2 seconds, whilst keeping the cascading water effect over the central rock.

tut4If my shutter speed had been longer it would have created a more ‘milky look’. Move around the scene trying all sorts of different compositions, until you find the strongest dynamics and best visual impact within the frame. With hide tide coming in it’s important to step back and assess the dangers.

Quite often rogue waves can catch you of guard, causing lots of damage to your gear and making it a very dangerous situation for the photographer. In most cases the surface of the rocks will be slimy and very, very slippery, so if you have to back track in a hurry, always take care.

tut2With the water cascading in and out of the giant pot holes, your bound to end up with sea spray continuously hitting you and your camera, be sure to carry a cotton t-shirt to wipe down your camera and filters, make your way to and from the area capturing images then going back to wipe your gear.

To capture this kind of seascape requires lots of water action and that means getting in close. l am often asked how l deal with looking after my gear shooting in these trying conditions, to which l answer ‘l don’t’. If you plan to be serious with your seascapes, your camera gear will suffer considerably, no matter how well you maintain it, if your gear is in good condition than your not getting the shots and your not close enough.

Darren J

tut3

 

Great Ocean Road Photographer.

Hi Friends,
A couple of evenings ago at the 12 Apostles on the Great Ocean Road. Turned out to be a really lovely evening, slept in the car with my (50kg) puppy Tahshee, both of us huddled in the back of the car and l must say he handled his first night of sleeping in the car really well, l was a little concerned considering it was his first sleepout. Now that he can handle it, there will be plenty more sleep outs ahead. Although he has to stay in the car whilst we are visiting the National Parks.
l arrived at the Apostles car park at around 7.30pm with sunset due at around 8.20pm, sat with my dog at the car for a little while than wandered of to take some photos and boy was l excited when l arrived at the viewing platforms to see the 12 Apostles bathed in beautiful sea mist whilst the evening sunlight was creating a lovely warmth to the scene.
In all the years l have visited the Apostles it is very rare to have sea mist engulf them, truly a sight to behold.
Darren J.
12 Apostles, Great Ocean Road.
Gibson Beach Lookout, Great Ocean Road.

Amazing sunset, Gibsons Beach, Great Ocean Road.

Every once in a while you encounter a sunrise/sunset that leaves you breathless and this sunset at Gibsons Beach was one of those occasions, leading up to this moment the sky and clouds were quite dull and not showing to much promise in terms of producing an exquisite light show but in the final moments the clouds opened just enough to let the sunlight through and what happened next was truly magical for a photographer, which goes to show that you should wait until the last moment until packing your camera gear away.

 

Darren J.

Gibson Beach Sunset, 12 Apostles.
Gibsons Beach, Great Ocean Road, Port Campbell.

 

The Razorback along the Great Ocean Road.

Sometimes you may have to do a little bit of ground work to find what your looking for, especially when your in search of new and unusual subject matter. Getting away from the main tourist platforms and finding new ground so to speak, goes along way when coming up with something new.

Push yourself and your boundaries a bit further each time, sometimes a little change makes a big difference.

These images were captured in Port Campbell along the Great Ocean Road, a place called Loch Ard Gorge and the Razorback. Not from the usual viewing areas, to capturing these images required some trekking through heavy shrubs and grasses, which house a few of snakes. so, its best to move quickly.

 

Darren J.

The Razorback, Great Ocean Road, Port Campbell.
The Razorback, Great Ocean Road.

Gog and Magog Gibson Beach.

Early morning at Gibson Beach, Great Ocean Road, Port Campbell. As the sun baths the famous rock stacks known as “gog and magog.” in all its glory. Getting up early is worth it when you are greeted with this kind of reception.

 

Darren J.

Gibson Beach, Great Ocean Road, Port Campbell.

Stormy Skies 12 Apostles.

As the storm passes, clouds open and the sun appears, the light illumninates the landscape, providing mood and atmosphere. The conditions can change very quickly, so never walk away to soon or you may just miss the best light.

Darren J.

12 Apostles, Great Ocean Road.

Missing The Great Ocean Road.

Really missing the ocean at the moment. Need to get some saltwater into my system. The restrictions due to Covid19 seem to be going on forever, Someone tell me there is light at the end of the tunnel. This image of me in action was captured by Rob Featonby, whilst we were running a Photography Workshop at Aireys Inlet and Point Roadknight along the Great Ocean Road.
Darren J.
Point Roadknight. Great Ocean Road.