Above Forrest Beach

Forrest Beach
I grew up down here. When I was a young boy, my dad use to take myself and my brother here to go hunt blue manna crabs along this beach. It brings back some sensational memories, and one particular time when a crab decided that it was going to have a go at chomping on my finger. Ouchie!!

Sometime I have to pinch myself while flying up and down this coastline. The bluest waters, the whitest sands that continue over the horizon, we really are very fortunate.

– In the Spray –

Lesmurdie002
The falls were pretty much at full force after the latest rains, and I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to get as many different angles as possible. Where my last shot was a bit safe and just a touch up the water fall itself, this shot was a lot further up. I was sliding around trying to get my tripod steady, the spray from the waterfall was a constant hassle as it covered my filters, so every shot was a dry wipe on those.

But persistence payed off and after a solid 20-30min at trying to achieve it, I managed to fire off a few that were spray on the filter free.

 

Colours over Jindalee

Jindalee-Pano

I havent been able to get away for photos of late as I’ve got my wedding coming up. So to get my photography fix, I have been frequently down at my local beach Jindalee.
Last nights sunset was a beauty with the clouds being lit up like fire, just as the sun was setting below the horizon.
The time-lapse came out a beauty as well. Another addition to the ever growing collecting now.

 

2 Minutes Late

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The sunset tonight from my backyard was just awesome. Actually, it wasn’t just awesome from my backyard, countless people bared witness to one of the most terrific sunsets in recent times here in Perth. Technically not the most thought out photo ever, yet you just cannot go past the brilliant saturation of colours presented to us in Perth tonight. We truly are blessed to be living in one of the best places on earth to witness sunsets like this.
Just magnificent.

– Wet and Windy Mornings –

Whalers-Cove-Pano

Last week I headed to Albany for a quick overnight trip. A shoot in the morning before I departed was always on the cards and I was very fortunate to have met up with the amazing Tina Bartley again.
Last time we shot together, we promised that we would shoot this location. And now we have.
Thanks Tina for making the effort and joining me for the wet and cold morning.

Approaching Storms

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Last month I travelled north to capture storms that were forecast to develop around the Jurien/Coorow/Moora areas.
After a big night of lightning near Jurien, the storms started to develop further inland.
I was on my way to meet up with another storm photographer Marie and her parter Arek, when I saw this developing just to my north.
It turned out to be quite nasty when it hit, strong wind gusts, and isolated very heavy rain impacted the area, about 30km or so NNW of Moora.

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Lower Midwest / Wheatbelt / Northern Lower West Storm Event

Everyone were on edge today as thunderstorms were expected to develop through the Lower Midwest, the Wheatbelt and northern parts of the Lower West districts of Western Australia.
After hearing the possibility that thunderstorms could develop today, and from having discussions last week, and following the advice of others,  I decided that the best place to head would be Coorow. A small farming town about 2 1/2hours drive north.  There are a couple of ways you can drive to Coorow, but I made sure that my trip there included a stop at the Bindoon Bakery for one of their award winning pies. It didn’t disappoint.

Now that my stomach was satisfied, I was now on my way to Coorow, with only one more stop in Moora to see what the charts were doing, and then to decide really where my chase was going to take me for the day.

I arrived in Coorow believing that I was going to arriving with storms already developing. They were not. It was a nice 29C, a tad humid, and only a few clouds about. My initial feeling was it just didn’t feel like a place where storms were going to develop.
After deciding that Coorow wasn’t really doing anything for me, I decided that a quick trip back to Moora (90kms away) was the only way to go.
On the way back the clouds started to grow and by the time I got to Moora it was fairly evident that storms were definitely on their way.
I sat down again and decided where the best place to go and watch the storms develop, I decided to head west towards Dandaragan.

I got only 10km out of Moora, when I decided to pull over and get my first shots of the day, a quickly developing cell that looked to be around the Watheroo area.

These storms were just developing everywhere, and I was getting ready for a couple of hours of driving and chasing to get in the right position for photos.

When the most northern storm was getting a little close for comfort I jumped in the car and raced about 5km up the road. Just enough time to snap another photo of the cell now really developed and heavy rain starting to fall.

After a very loud rumble of thunder roared overhead, I thought it would be a good time to jump back into the car and head toward Dandaragan.

Again I pulled over just outside the town to take another photo (panorama) of the approaching storm.

After this photo, very heavy rain and small hail hit the area. It was pretty surreal to be parked on the side of the road in the middle of the cell.
I knew I had to get back in front of this cell so I headed through the rain and while driving as carefully as possible eventually got through it. I got to Dandaragan with the wind blowing strong and the cell just minutes behind. I don’t know if Dandaragan got hit at all, because the storm looked like it was just going to pass to the east of the town.

I headed south of Dandaragan towards Regans Ford. I stopped at the CBH depot and had a clear view of the storms to the south. I set my camera up just outside my car and tried a new technique of connecting a 10stop filter to my camera. I have learned that this doesn’t work after knowing that I certainly had CGs in frame and then after reviewing the shot, not one strike on film 🙁

I packed my gear and headed towards Orange Springs Rd off Brand Hwy and bolted to the western end to Cowella Rd, and managed to snap this photo

I then headed south towards Dirigan Rd off Cowella Rd and managed to capture this strike on video. (snapshot)


This is another shot facing west off Cowella Rd

I was now tracking parallel with the storm heading south along Cowella Rd, and observed plenty of CGs and CC strikes.

I got to Gingin Brook Rd and headed towards Military Rd and headed south along there till I got to Wanneroo Rd. By now it was quieting down quite a bit and so I headed into the Pines off Smokebush Rd to get some mammatus cloud shots.
This is taken as the sun was going down and pointed straight up in the sky.

That was the final shot for the day, I drove a total of 604km. Not a bad effort.

Till the next storm…..

Central Wheatbelt Storm Event 2/10/11


The day started in Kellerberrin in the wheatbelt region of Western Australia. I was initially heading to Kellerberrin to watch my fathers horse race. Though during my daily look at the weather I was informed of potential thunderstorms to develop in and around the south-west and central wheatbelt regions of WA, and that our location would be almost in the middle of it.
At around 1300 the build up had started and you could see the cloud starting to stand up,
in fact we started to get a light shower of rain from a very ominous looking cloud that towered above the racecourse (amazing that only 15mins before it wasn’t there, don’t you just love that).
1315 we left the racecourse and proceeded to the service station to grab a few refreshments and discuss the plan of attack for the afternoon.
We noticed a developing cell to our west and we proceeded to head there to try and get a couple of photos off. We got there, I set up my camera in a paddock and got off a couple of shots, although it quickly became apparent that it was loosing structure and wasn’t going to produce anything substantial. While the disappointment was setting in on a possible missed opportunity, we both noticed a cell developing to the NE. We checked the radar and it confirmed our suspicions. The radar was showing a growing cell and the visual we had showed good structure, and then LIGHTNING.
It was great to finally see a CG and it quickly raised our spirits.
The radar indicated the storm was tracking to the SE and we estimated it would cross the Great Eastern Highway about 20-40km east of Kellerberrin.
We jumped in the car and made haste through Kellerberrin again and headed out towards the east. We found a great spot about 25km east of Kellerberrin and pulled over and set up ( I don’t think I would’ve got a shot like this if we had gone further ).

It was quite calm when we arrived but 5 mins later we had wind associated with the downbursts from the storm in excess of 40km/h.

After the rain set in from this cell, we checked the radar again and observed cells now becoming very active to the west of Kellerberrin. We raced about 40km through Kellerberrin and towards the closest most active cells. We had to divert north off the main highway about 5km up a gravel road and found ourselves smack bang in-between two cells, one east that was producing very heavy rain and one to our west that was developing very quickly. We did notice substantial rotation at the cloud base and very strong structure development, which had me thinking we were watching a severe storm (possibly a supercell) developing.
This is the shot I got of that particular cell,

Storm-Chase-Kellerberin-493

This storm continued to develop and I was taking a pretty silly risk by staying out while it was approaching us. I wanted to capture the rotation on a time-lapse and also a lightning strike hitting the field, so I stayed out for as long as possible. I didn’t get the lightning strike, but I did get the time lapse. You can view it on youtube, and I will post the link at the end of this post.
Jumping back in the car we headed towards more developing cells further west and this time we jumped on a track on the south side of the highway, as it provided an un-interrupted view of the approaching system.

This particular cell produced large hail and it passed right over us. I was a little worried that my old mans Landcrusier was going to become a casualty of hail damage, but we were lucky and it didn’t receive any.

We left this storm and headed even further west towards Meckering.
My video may as well continue this blog entry from here because I have footage of us just outside of the town that shows the system stalled over Meckering, producing very heavy rain (6-10mm in 10mins) and frequent lightning.

The Meckering system was the last storm we covered for the day and so we started out 2 1/2 hr drive home.
We were lucky for the day, the storms seemed to develop one after the other as we headed west. It was as if they knew we were coming and would intensify as we approached. Not that we minded at all, because this day was a great introduction to chasing storms. I look forward to chasing more in the coming months and sharing the experience with everyone.

I produced a small 5min video showing some of the storms we tracked for the day. I uploaded it to YouTube and it can be found at

Home City


Perth the capital city of Western Australia is one of the most isolated cities in the World. And it doesn’t worry me one little bit. If you do not fall in love with this city from this photo and many others like it then I don’t know what will.
This shot is an eastward facing 10 shot Panorama taken at sunrise from Kings Park.

Canon 5d Mark II
24-105mm f4.0L IS
T: 20secs
A: f9 @ 55mm
ISO: 100

Cathedral Gorge, Purnululu

A 106 image stitch of Cathedral Gorge. It is pretty surreal to just sit and listen in on wind passing through the gorge. Cathedral Gorge has been featured in a Qantas ad with the collaboration of the Australian Youth Choir and Australian Girls Choir singing here.

The gorge is located in the Purnululu National Park (aka Bungle Bungles) at Piccaninny Creek. Get there!
Details

EOS Canon 5d Mark II

24-105mm f4.0 IS + CPol

A: f8.0

T: 5secs

FL: 24mm

ISO: 100