Suggestions on a location to kick-start my creativity again... Please...??

Discussion in 'Australia' started by SteveR, May 16, 2013.

  1. SteveR

    SteveR Member

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    Good evening all,

    Hope everyone's keeping well, I've missed being able to pop in here regularly and keep up with what's going on!

    Well, I'm after some advice, I know this is a very subjective topic, but I thought I'd throw it open and see what inspiration comes my way...

    I'm organising to get a week away to spend focused on photography and re-igniting my creativity. I know I know, a week is pretty lame considering I used to spend a month or so at a time in the outback, but I'll take what I can get! I've got family coming to relieve me of responsibilities back here, so I want to make the most of it.

    What I'm hoping to get from you all is some inspiration as to where to head, keeping in mind it will probably be around July. All my usual favourites are a bit out of reach with only a week up my sleeve. I have always wanted to head up to Mungo (it was going to be my last adventure before letting my 4wd go a few years ago, but never eventuated), but being the middle of winter I don't know how accessible it'll be. Another thought, I have always tended to head inland (red dust is in my blood, after all), but I do love the coast, so maybe a rocky, stormy beach somewhere could be what I need to get going (partly inspired by one of Shane's pics from the last Melbourne meetup).

    I'm open to all suggestions, some considerations to keep in mind: Vehicle based camping would be preferred, as nice as walk-in sites would be (I'm thinking the GOW), a weeks worth of supplies, on top of the essentials (ie, film, changing bag etc :tongue: ) might be a bit much for me. Plus, I like to be able to nip into town for a counter-ie at least once). I'm on a bit of a budget too, so I'll try to keep accommodation to a minimum cost, but after usually paying a big fat nothing, I know pretty much anything down the coast will be a shock, especially since it will probably fall on the first week of the school holidays too...

    So, have you got any favourite spots that get your creativity going? Coastal, Inland, Barren, Heavily wooded, I'll consider them all!

    Thanks guys.
     
  2. AOCo

    AOCo Member

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    Great post, I look forward to reading answers (although not the ones specific to the area you're mentioning).
    Creativity is somewhat orthogonal to finding the right place and time for a good landscape shot, though, IMHO.

    I remember a photographer whose creativity was to bring a chair (the exact same old beat-up chair) everywhere she went, and then taking a shot of the chair in the middle of forest/train station/hospital/desert/fields. I thought that made a very creative series.

    I suppose you should start questioning your plan : what if I concentrated on a specific color, specific angle of view, close-ups or any other technique ? What if I shot myself in every picture (seen series like that) ?

    There is also a saying that constraints nurture creativity, which I am a believer of, but I could not give a decent example of the top of my head.

    All in all, I guess it helps if you bring some literature and not just the gear. Just my $0.02.
     
  3. Maris

    Maris Member

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    I did Mungo by car camping in winter a few years ago. Accessibility was not a problem. Only the achingly cold and frosty mornings were a challenge. I thought a week at Mungo was too long so I went down the road, turned right, and spent the other half of the week at Wilpena Pound in South Australia; more cold and frosty landscapes but truly dramatic as well! And do the Cazneaux Tree if you go down that way.
     
  4. SMBooth

    SMBooth Member

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    Having a week is ok but you don't want to spend 4 days of it driving, I would look at Thurra Inlet, got some ripping sand dunes behind it and a lighthouse,lots of coastal views. You can still drive to a couple of other spot from there.
    A word on Mungo, had a fried just get back a said that the walls area is all fenced of and technical nobody is allowed in without a guide between they found a bone..
    Flinders Ranges would be high on my list too
     
  5. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    The outback would be a sure bet this side of winter; cool to cold but drier than down south. The colours of the outback are far removed in winter from summer: it turns green and you know as well as I do that Vaudeville Velvia just loves playing with greens!

    I will be in the outback beyond Broken Hill and then up to Quorn (south side of Flinders Ranges) and down to Burra in September, one month. Near BH early on, staying on two stations ('Belmont Station', outside Silverton, and 'Eldee Station', on the Mundi Mundi Plain). The former Station has a prop of interest that was used in 1980s 'Four XXXX' beer commericals which I want to incorporate into star trails.

    Meanwhile, the Otways are getting delightfully wet at the moment (Forrest flooded yesterday!) — bodes well for the very long and boring dry that left many beauty spots parched. Planning a solo walk to A.B. Falls and Staircase Falls (scrubby circuit, re-taped and routed earlier this month) early-June if it is of interest to you, with a crash at the Forrest Brewery, but expect to get wet and be covered in sticky clay from Curtis "Track". Bring skis. Better than walking...:pouty:

    Other places you could consider are Wilsons Prom (peaceful in winter; rent a cabin); NE Victoria (based in Bright; visit lower forests of Buffalo e.g. Rolly Falls), East Gippie, as Boots suggested, Portland for the unusual rock strata around Discovery Bay...the Grampians (my destination next weekend)...many places.

    Creativity can end up in the doledrums if you don't frequently get out to be stimulated. Must always remain active with something to do in photography — even if it's buying cameras: a natty trick I picked up from Boots when times are quiet :smile:. "You never can have too many." Hmmm. Who said that??

    I didn't know you spent time in the outback. That's interesting. Pity it's so far away. You'd need to drive for 7-8 hours to free up enough time for the rest of the week to weep and wail and wander through the ghostly open nothingness.
     
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  6. JamesR

    JamesR Member

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    i own a house at Sandy Point, near Wilsons Prom, happy to rent it out... :wink:

    i recently went on a solo adventure, traveled along the Great Ocean Road, up to Adelaide the to Uluru.
    all up 11 days and over 6000kms.. few photos here
    still havnt developed all the film i shot yet.
     
  7. FotoFunfDreissig

    FotoFunfDreissig Member

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    Wow, beautiful shots James, SA coastline looks amazing and i love the lighthouse.

    Steve, you could come west, i've been going into the south west my whole life but for shooting quite a lot recently. Not sure if you have a lot of them in the east, but Ive been spending some time in local unregistered caves (just make sure you tell someone where you plan to go). Shooting long exposure or wide open, light in the natural caves can bare interesting results. Failing the caves over there, coastal and farmland is always a go. Getting a cow to sit still when you try to get right up close is actually very difficult. :D

    I hope you manage to rekindle your love. It is a love that I wish more had.

    Good luck.
     
  8. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    James, I'm surprised you could get yourself to 'The Breakaways' outside Coober Pedy; atmospheric, 'out there' and strikingly beautiful at sunset, we learnt that private vehicles were not permitted there (from the quite strict aboriginal custodians) so we were forced to go with a commercial tour. This wasn't too bad (we did have access to a restricted area, which looked no more remarkable than an ancient mullock heap, but was described as a burial mound (!!) ), but it was rather too "Hollywood" for my liking: picnic tables, white table cloths, bone china, champagne and candles. And RUSHED! I had enough time to get four (one roll) of 6x17cm images at the time, pack it all away, file into the bus only to demand a kilometre later that the bus stop when a blood-red Moon arose over the plain! The others were grumbling and cursing because they were not photographers (they only came along for the grog!). Maybe the rules have been changed or relaxed since we went there (June 2011). It would be an ethereal, specular place to camp, but I don't see that happening. :smile:

    Not surprised to see the disappointing view of Erskine Falls; it's been extremely dry for too long, even by Otways standard, and thousands of people have had the gall to complain long and loud to Lorne Visitor Information Centre that "those falls are not flowing at all!", lol!! So funny!
    But most falls are now picking up and will continue to build flow with more regular rain and run-off now.

    I recognise many other places in your folio of your travels! PS: Get a spririt level. And don't leave home without it. :smile:

    • Evening light, 'The Breakaways'
    1-5804-1_TheBreakawaysSA_60x20.6MET.jpg
     
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  9. JamesR

    JamesR Member

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    thanks mate!

    yeah i just drove there.. even drove down to the Dingo Fence. i didnt read any signs, so cant say whether i was supposed to or not.. ha
    unfortunately, i was only there mid afternoon, so the light was a bit flat and uninteresting. i have a half dozen rolls of film to finish scanning, so hope i have some more keepers to add to my site.
    i dont think im allowed to post photos of Uluru either. oops..:whistling:
    i know what you mean about needing a spirit level, im trying to get better, but occasionally rush myself. my 4x5 and 6x17 have levels, and i sometimes use the straighten tool in PS if its really on the piss.
    i didnt mind Erskine Falls too much, not much water, yes, but still nice. Triplet Falls though, now THAT was a let down. could barely see the falls.

    if anyone finds themselves in the Gippsland area, feel free to give me a yell if you want some company.
     
  10. LJH

    LJH Member

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    Nothing I could find suggests it's OOB.

    I think morning's the best time for The Breakaways. Go out and face back to get the earth glow, then the warm light on them once the sun's up.

    Regardless, rippa place!!
     
  11. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    I have a trip in September to (at the moment) as far as Port Augusta; tossing up whether I should make a return to Coober Pedy and thence, The Breakaways. What troubled us on the last trip was we arrived just in time to witness a group of aboriginal residents glassing each other on the steps of Centrelink in CP. Meanwhile, 200m up the street, glittering gemstones and guys in Zegna suits plied their precious trinkets. Woe betide you if you step inside to a halogen-flashed wonderland of sparkling colour and beauty and — bang! You're hooked on the lure of opals! CP was running out of water on our visit and artesian bores were hurriedly being dropped. The caravan park was roamed by town youths who smashed beer bottles on the paths. After two nights, we'd had enough of this frightening stuff. The jury is still out what type of town Coober Pedy is (rough and dusty it definitely is), apart from one where fortunes are obviously won (and won a lot!) and equally lost in the outback heat and haze. Skipping over the town to the relative solitude and stark, restless beauty The Breakaways though sounds good indeed. I wish it was possible to camp there, at the major viewing area at the top. Can't remember now if I did see campers...
     
  12. JamesR

    JamesR Member

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    it certainly is an odd town.
    first impression i got was that is was a rough place, i pulled in later afternoon, and there were a lot of youths and drunks wandering the streets.
    i stayed at an underground backpackers, cheap and cheerful.
    on the way back i stopped in and spent another night, but this time i had a bit more time in town.
    the police seem to keep the locals under control, and with their presence i felt more comfortable.
    i even spent an hour or so wandering around town, taking a few snaps.
    water didnt seem an issue this time though. give it another chance, its not that bad.
     
  13. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    Was/is a 4WD necessary for access to The Breakaways? I think I can recall going in a Commer-style multiseater bus; corrugations but not much else remembered.
     
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  15. JamesR

    JamesR Member

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    it was quite dry when i was there, but the road is quite good. its fairly rocky, so i wouldn't expect it to get too boggy even in winter.
    my car is an AWD Subaru with 18" low profile tires, it handled the road well, but some of the corrugations were pretty bad down toward the Dingo Fence.
    most cars should be fine.
     
  16. LJH

    LJH Member

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    I took a 1974 Peugeot 504 in there in 1996. Easy.

    Again, I found nothing about restricted access/camping there on the 'net.
     
  17. SteveR

    SteveR Member

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    Wow, thanks for the responses and great conversation guys, not being a regular on the internet it's amazing how quickly a thread can build up! (I remember the days of sitting at the computer hitting refresh every minute wondering why no one was around!). pardon me while I try to address you all chronologically (until I catch up!):

    AOCo: Thanks for the tip, my 'emergency box', which is always present (even just daily running around) includes my first aid kit, space blanket, bottle of hooch, cash and a Thoreau, Pirsig, Kerouac or Gibran.

    Thanks Maris, I'd expect just about anywhere in July will be either cold, or wet, or both. If I had the time I'd love to head to the Flinders/Gammon Ranges, haven't been there in a couple years but it used to be a regular haunt.

    Shane, interesting to hear about the restrictions in Mungo, I'll have to look into that before I ever get there. I'll look up Thurra Inlet too, sounds potentially deal.

    Garry, Forrest flooded on Thursday?? I was there Friday and it was beautiful and sunny, spent a couple hours at the school and no one I talked to mentioned flooding... I guess they're just so used to it it wouldn't even rate as news :tongue: A walk down that way again would be really nice actually, keep me posted, if you don't mind a tagger-alonger.
    I'd thought of the Prom, not too keen to leave the bike tied to a tree while I walk away for a week though! Maybe that could make a good Apug Long-Weekend-Away-Gathering? I remember some of your pics from along Discovery Bay, I'll have to look into that some more.

    James... Sandy Point eh? How much to rent a 4M2 piece of your lawn? :wink: But seriously, what's a week in your place worth to you?

    FotoFun, when you say 'South West', do you mean Limestone Coast sort of way? I've got an uncle in Naracoorte I've been meaning to drop in on for years now, I'd thought I could head that way for this trip, you know, two birds and all.

    Re Coober Pedy, I haven't been there since 2009 (we have friends with a dug-out up there), but there were no issues with accessing the Breakaways, early or late. The little dry river I camped along (to the North of town) was a really nice spot too. ...Thursday mornings in town are fun tho!

    All around Coober Pedy, right out to Moon Plains there's no need for 4wd, I think last time I went I didn't need it until well after Oodnadatta, except for a nicely hidden moist clay bed in a dry creek crossing near the Painted Desert. Moon Plains is an interesting spot I'd really like to spend some time photographing under different lighting conditions, very interesting spot, I'll have to dig up some of the photo's from that way (mostly snapshots, was far too windy to setup LF).

    Gary, would you know if any of the Great Ocean Walks campsites are accessible without trudging the whole GOW?
     
  18. SMBooth

    SMBooth Member

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    Drive-in campsites
    Drive-in sites for car-based camping are located at Blanket Bay, Parker Hill, Aire River East and West, and Johanna Beach. Facilities vary depending on the site. Registration fees do not apply (except Blanket Bay during Christmas and Easter). Parker Hill, Aire River and Johanna Beach drive-in campsites cater for larger groups in more open, grassy settings. Fires may only be lit in designated fireplaces at Blanket Bay and Aire River East. No fires/flames to be lit on days of Total Fire Ban.

    http://www.visitvictoria.com/Region...king-and-hiking/Great-Ocean-Walk/Camping.aspx

    Parker Hill has great photo opportunities
     
  19. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    The go-kart will handle bulldust with ease; just the cornering I haven't mastered... :whistling:
    I've put 'The Breakaways' on my itinerary and will camp there — but not in Coober Pedy, if that's a'right with the rest of you!? It's only 545km from Port Augusta (PA itself being quite an interesting town to scoot about).

    Steve, when are you actually heading out, or are you day dreaming again? We're on the edge of winter (albeit so far looking curiously mild). Mind you, a few days at The Prom in winter even rows my boat. :smile: I have never done the GOW route; a few walkers in Geelong have and spoken highly of it, save for its many inland detours that are "sometimes a trudge". Johanna has a plum campsite on the walk, a short distance away from the usual digs for car-, bike-, horse- and camel-based campers.
     
  20. LJH

    LJH Member

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    I refuelled in Port Augusta once. It was a true service station, where a guy with a killer mullet came out to fill the car up. One of the scarier moments in my life, as he was smoking as he did it. I paid and split as quickly as I could, all the while expecting to see a mushroom cloud fill my rear-view mirror.

    Another vote for Blanket Bay. I was there years ago and saw the most peculiar thing: brightly coloured starfish in the rock pools. Intensely coloured reds, yellows and blues. If I hadn't seen them moving about, I would have thought them to be plastic toys.

    Finally, just a note on the Otways. Add Beauchamp Falls to the closed track list. Appears that the bridge over the creek has been smashed by flooding.
     
  21. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    Pity the floods didn't entirely demolish that absolutely awful engineered gantry at Beauchamp Falls. It's horrific. An entire hillside's worth of vegetation was destroyed to shoe-horn that monstrosity, so unlike the sensitive treatment afforded at Triplet Falls.

    Coffin Bay SA is worth a look for the red-lichen covered granite. And pick up some oysters too.
     
  22. JamesR

    JamesR Member

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    mate, i could probably do it for $100 for the week.
     
  23. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    That's interesting. :smile:
     
  24. JamesR

    JamesR Member

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    3 rooms- 2 double beds, 3 singles.
    It's currently sitting there empty, so if I can get something to help cover bills I'm happy. Especially in winter.
     
  25. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    Hmmm. Jeez, that's... a big dig.
    Maybe we could organise an APUG weekend or week away down there, concentrating on the 'bucket list' of attractions at and around Wilsons Prom. Just a thought. I have spent time at the Prom in winter a few years back (2008) and it was very quiet, and lighting and general weather conditions were sublime, especially evenings. Far, far better than the chaos of summer.
     
  26. LJH

    LJH Member

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    I'll second that, Gary.

    Could be the APUG Melbourne Red Wine Trip each year! Donation to James for every bottle? Or perhaps a Whisky Weekend?