The latest Nikon Photo magazine published in the UK has a full page Image of mine of a shot I took there on my last visit. It’s an early morning photograph of the rising sun at Bradbury rings in Dorset. This area has the remains of an Ancient Iron Age fortifications with a forest growing in the middle of it, very scenic and picturesque, especially in the late spring when all the wildflowers come out in full bloom.
My second Published book which is a photographic essay on the magnificent Flinders Island was launched last thursday at Vista’s Lodge and Restaurant. The wonderful hosts Ken and Carolyn put on a delicious finger food and cocktail party for invited guests from the Island community. The book was well received and I was introduced by Carol Cox the Island’s Mayor. The next day was the Islands annual show and we had arranged to have a stall and meet the locals and show them the book and sign their personal copies. We met some wonderful people with an overwhelming response to both us and the new book. 25% of the total print of this edition sold at the launch and the show. The next day the Tasmanian Parliament ordered 3 copies. Local businesses and the flinders council want to stock it and it will now be available to everyone who visits the Island. My personal thanks to Gordon Brown of Tas Air services for freighting all the books and for the wonderful return flight of Ann and myself. A big thanks to all the Islanders who supported us over the weekend and a special thanks to our friends Ken and Carolyn for all their hard work support and encouragement. We had a few hours over the weekends frenetic activities to look at some new locations for the annual workshops I conduct there. Some of the locals we had met at the show had suggested various areas near their homes and indeed on their properties, so we drove out and spent some time scouting them. I am excited to now add a couple of locations which are photographically appealing to the next workshop we do in April 2014 and these include Egg Beach, Long Point Lagoon, Blue rocks and various properties with interesting subject matter like old machinery and derelict buildings. Our next workshop will be a very interesting exercise indeed. A note on the photography… due to weight restrictions (lots of book cartons) I only took the Olympus OMD and a couple of lenses. It handled itself remarkably well.
After seeing the Tour group off and left in the capable hands of Peter Walton at Salt Lake city Airport, we caught a flight to Denver Colorado. I had in mind to chase up the colours of the Aspens and Autumn colours especially in the beautiful area of Maroon Bells. This is a photographer’s mecca and the first snowfall of the season happened the day before we arrived. Maroon Lake is up around 10,000 feet and so you are almost guaranteed some snow when the weather changes. The morning was crisp and clear and getting there early was a bonus as Alpenglow appeared and shone across the Maroon Bells Range. Later that day there was no wind and so the reflections were perfect. We also spent some time around Independence pass, at 12100 feet it is simply wonderful. Telluride was our final destination and the San Juan Mountain range…. beautiful… and snow fell to make it even better.
Yellowstone National Park proved to be a winner with the group and after a week driving through and photographing this stunning area of Hot springs, mountain ranges, waterfalls and geysers we headed south to the next beautiful area which were the Grand Tetons. We based ourselves at coulter Bay for the first two nights before moving south again to have three nights in Jackson. It snowed as if on cue and the Tetons were covered in a fine white layer. Places visited included early morning starts at Oxbow Bend, the snake river overlook made famous by Ansel Adams, Mormon row and Jenny Lake. to stand at nearly 10,000 feet above sea-leval and look across a turquoise lake with fluffy white clouds above is truly memorable. The group voted the best spot in this area as being the reflections at String Lake….I personally find it hard to vote as everything is just stunning and magical.
Spending a considerable amount of time in the national parks has many advantages for photographers. One of course is the chance to spot and observe and hopefully capture the animals that roam the park. Although we saw many animals, getting closer is another thing altogether. Wild bison in herds, much harder to get than photographing one individual resting. Chipmunks and squirrels everywhere and birds of prey too. We were able to observe many animals in their natural habitat and photograph some of them, such as the Canada Geese. Herds of Elk too far off most of the time and a lone moose at the waters edge far away in the mirky dawn light. Lovely to see but very hard to shoot. Being there was amazing, and to just observe because we had the time was wonderful. To photograph bears, wolves and birds of Prey close up we needed to visit the West Yellowstone recovery centre. Here unwanted and nuisance animals from the wild are housed and looked after admirably. It was raining but what a privilege to see and observe these lovely creatures.
The Tour continues its way down through Wyoming to the famous Yellowstone Park. This national wonder will need some days to fully do it justice photographically….and all the images here on this entry are from within the park. Prior arrangements have been made to stay at the Northern end for a few days and then move on to the Western side so the group can see most of the natural wonders on offer, and have time to photograph them. By day seven, although its all so spectacular, many in the group say they are almost geysered out! Some highlights include, the Mammoth springs area, Biscuit Basin, Old faithful, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Upper and lower Falls, Tower Roosevelt, Midway Basin, Artists paint pots and Norris Geyser Basin. We also encountered a variety of animals and will be featured in the next entry of this blog.