It’s been a hectic month. After 5500km or thereabouts, I think I have been on the road and away more than I’ve been at home. Thredbo, Sydney, Mt Buller, Sydney, Thredbo, Narooma, Sydney, Orange and home again. I did manage to sneak a couple of days of R&R into the mix while at Narooma however.

I was in Narooma to shoot the Rocky Trail Superflow on the new MTB trails they have there, 2 days of racing on 4 different trails. It’s the first time they’ve had a race there and guessing by all the smiling faces it won’t be the last. The trails are fantastic or at least the couple I saw, smooth and flowy with some unique features such as the half-buried car. The trail system is big. I was surprised looking at the map just how expansive it is. Check out Trailforks map here. I only saw a couple of the trails this time but by all accounts, Dirt Art has created another masterpiece.

Narooma has long been a favourite coastal destination of ours. The coastline is spectacular, the water is beautiful (not called the Sapphire Coast for nothing), and the marine life is fantastic. There’s a small colony of Australian and New Zealand fur seals living on the harbour break wall easily accessible from town. Off the coast though, is Montague Island or Barunguba where a much larger colony lives. If you are visiting Narooma paying a visit to Montague Island for a dip is a must-do in my opinion. I’m already looking forward to a planned visit later in the year when the water is clearer and the seals more numerous.

Posted by Richard in Events, Places, Travel, What's going on
Favourite 23 Images of 2023

Favourite 23 Images of 2023

2023 saw me driving up and down the East Coast of Australia again. I didn’t reach Queensland this year but I did get down into Victoria a couple of times. The images below are my favourite landscape and nature images picked from my favourite 200 or so that are being uploaded to the website. There are no sports images in this group. Once I have finished uploading the landscape and nature shots, I shall fire up a sports gallery.

I once saw a meme somewhere that said:

As you age, it’s ridiculous how fast bird-watching creeps up on you. You spend your whole life being 100% indifferent to birds and one day you are like “Damn, is that a yellow-rumped warbler?”

Internet Meme

And so it seems it happened to me last year. I was never 100% indifferent to birds but, out in the bush shooting the races, I’m always surrounded by birdlife. I took many photos of birds in between waiting for the competitors to pass. Seems the natural thing to do is just point the camera and shoot.

More of my favourite images can be found in the main gallery for Australia here, and more will be going up soon so be sure and keep a watch. Prints are available for all the images.

Posted by Richard in Nature, Places, Travel

A trip to the mountains

The Blue Mountains near Sydney always make for an interesting trip and a great way to escape the bustle of city life. There are some great little corners and hidden pathways and it seems like everyone who heads up love going on adventures.

A couple of weeks ago I bought a new 16-35mm wide angle lens with the intention of taking more landscape photography again. I also pulled my 360 panoramic tripod head out of retirement and took it up with me. It was a bit of a rush job setting it up and it certainly needs a bit of fine tuning but they seem to go well together.

I also noticed the Autumn colours starting to kick in so I might just have to make another trip up to the Blue Mountains get some of those lovely oranges and yellow hues maybe even another 360-image or 2

Posted by Richard in Places, What's going on
Stromlo Weekend

Stromlo Weekend

I like Canberra. I never used to but it has grown on me over the years. I still have no idea how to get to anywhere except Mt. Stromlo but I’m getting there. I don’t often get down there in Summer and I am not so sure those scorching hot dry days would suit me so well but, being a winter person, the cold blustery days suit me just fine.

I arrived late on the Friday afternoon and caught the sunset. With the sun going down so too was the temperature. Martin from Rocky Trail set up a gas heater inside the marquee and we chatted and ate dinner. I crawled off to bed early, keen to get wrapped up in the warmth of my sleeping bag. At some point in the wee hours of the morning the temperature went sub-zero

I awoke to a thick frost covering the car. The chill made it hard to get up. It was the final round of the Shimano GP series though and I have been shooting this series for a few years now. Stromlo is one of my favourites on the circuit there are some great views to be had around the hill.

A couple of hundred people turned out for the race. I got out onto a new section of track on the backside called slippery rock. Although i say new the track itself is old but its new to the race and new for me to shoot. I made my way upward shooting at various locations along the way. At the top of the section I was greeted with a great open vista across to the Brindabella range to the west.

Day dawned warmer but soon cooled off as a cold wind set in. Today it was the Elite Sprint Cup, a new race for, as the name suggests, some of the top names in the Australian XC racing scene. The course was only 2kms long and as I was here to shoot editorials rather than competitor shots I found myself running around a lot more trying to cram in as many shots and locations as I could in the short time. Thankfully it was a nice compact track. One of the things I love about Canberra at this time is the golden blooms of wattle And this short course ran straight through one of the finest stands of wattle trees at Stromlo. It also ran across the 4 cross track and so I found myself running between the 2 sections each lap. It was great to see the impressive pace these athletes all kept up.

The rain moved in as we were packing up. I heard mention that it was snowing 10kms up the road in the hills so I took a short detour (completely in the wrong direction) and dashed up into the Brindabellas. I had all the weather on the way there rain followed by hail followed by sunshine followed by snow. As I near the top of the range the snowfall became quite heavy and started to sit on the road. Since I realised I was no longer going around corners but rather more drifting around them I turned back down the hill and decided to start the long drive home

Posted by Richard in Bikes, Events, Places
Superflow: Kempsey Enduro

Superflow: Kempsey Enduro

Last weekend was spent cavorting around the headlands and bushland near Kempsey. It was the final round of Rocky Trail Entertainment’s Fox Superflow Enduro and I was up there to cover it with Gil under the guise of Outer Image. I set up camp each night at the beautiful Hat Head National Park on the coast. It’s only about a 20 minute drive from the trails in Kempsey but is a beautiful area. Rugged coastline and wild surf made for some interesting shooting on the headlands over the weekend.

Kempsey Superflow enduro is a 2 day  race taking place on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. The trails had been hit by some torrential rain through the week leading up to the race. Sections of the tracks were underwater whilst other sections were just mudpits. It certainly made for some interesting comments from the riders as they went on by. On the Sunday the trails were cut shorter in order to remove the worst of the wet trails. There was still a couple of deep mud sections that took down more than a few riders.

On the way home I took a bit of a detour and headed out to find Mount Seaview Nature Reserve. in the falling darkness I managed to drive right past the turnoff. Not wanting to drive too much further in the dark (I would miss all the great scenery) I settled in for the night on the edge of Cottan Bimbang National Park.  In the morning I took a drive through the park and it is definitely a place that I think calls for some further exploring.  I headed back towards Mt. Seaview but it turns out it’s not an easy park to access. Something I shall have to plan for in the coming future.


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Posted by Richard in Bikes, Events, Places
Storms and Waves

Storms and Waves

The East Coast of Australia received a battering from some big back to back storms over the last week which brought with them wild winds and heavy rain. The storms caused a fair bit of damage, especially around Collaroy/ Narrabeen here on the Northern beaches where they washed away the Collaroy beach and created the new South Narrabeen Headland. They also whipped up one of the best swells Sydney has seen for a while.

I love this type of weather, its just so full of energy, and I spent the weekend running around chasing the weather and playing in the wind. In the days after I went to the beaches around here to try and capture some of the action that was going on down there and there was plenty going on. I spent most of the time at Narrabeen but also swung by Curl Curl and Avalon. Most of the Northern Beaches were in their element.

Posted by Richard in Places, Surfing