I think in the future when I have the time I’d like to dedicate a whole chunk of time to just looking and photographing people….here’s some I have taken over the last few years.
I think in the future when I have the time I’d like to dedicate a whole chunk of time to just looking and photographing people….here’s some I have taken over the last few years.
Sometimes I feel that colour doesn’t always do a photo justice. In order to truly see what is in some photos, you sometimes have to strip away the colour leaving just the black & white contrasting shades & tones. I was brought up early on a healthy diet of B&W photos. My uncle Garth was a navy trained photographer and he was always taking wonderful B&W photos of us kids as we hiked and camped all over the beautiful Blue Mountains, Australia. As youngsters we would see him go into the laundry of our grandmothers house (his darkroom) where he would disappear and somehow come back magically with these wonderful photos……how he did this, I certainly didn’t know back then.
As I came to understand and practice my own photography years later I believe my early exposure to black and white photography had been awakened. Some photographers who specialise in B&W photos say that they, “see in B&W”, when looking out in the world and I totally believe this. I know that a large aspect of being a photographer is your ability to see a finished photo as you are taking it. The ability to pre visualise a scene before taking a photo and to know how it will look after editing is what makes a better photographer. I have come to understand when I’m out taking photos what light & subject would suit B&W or colour. I find as my photographic journey progresses I find I’m drawn more & more to black & white or a duo toned shot. There is a beauty in stripping something back, a rawness to it. Much like how a cabinet maker might strip back an old piece of furniture, removing the old excessive layers of paint to reveal it’s true bare form & it’s naturally beautifully grain. This for me is wonder of B&W, the allure to find a scene without the hindrance of colour. A scene where dark and light truly unfolds across the frame. A scene where there is only black….or white.
Black & White
allot more to go… perhaps another time
I can remember swimming across Wentworth Falls lake, a large and vast open body of water, (well so it seemed like when your 10) as a young kid growing up in the Blue Mountains. As a kid you were elevated to a higher status amongst your peers (local street kids) for successfully making the swim across the lake. It seemed that the older kids suddenly knew your name and for the next for weeks………you were immortal………like…ish. So as I returned to take some sunrise photos I couldn’t help but think of those early carefree days on the lake.
Checking the weather maps the previous night offered up the chance of fog the following morning, which means the possibility of some good mood. Though the low fog wasn’t as much as we would of liked, it was far better than none at all and really help to set a golden scene as the sun began to rise. I have always enjoyed coming to the lake on different seasons throughout the year and I look forward to getting some more shots from this beautiful little spot in the Blue Mountains, Australia.
I hope you find some time to get out and about….
Wenty lake shots
It was that time again this year when all things 1950’s descended upon the township of Katoomba and the Carrington Hotel for the annual Lady Luck Festival . Held on the 17 & 18th of January this year, the weather produced a summer scorcher as hot rods lined the main street and rockabilly inspired dress turned heads as they sauntered by…. . A great crowd turned out to see live music and some amazing 50/60’s dance action that was held on the Carrington front lawns.
If your into vintage cars or just want to see some really beautiful automotive designs, then make sure you come and have a look next year as it really is a great family day with lots to do and see…
a few snaps from the day
Leura falls is one of those areas that pops up in a photo once in a blue moon. I had been to these beautiful falls many years ago without a camera & decided it was high time that I went back and took some photos. It’s one of those locations that does require quite the walk out of the valley, so this keeps most people away. Recently I decided it was definitely time to go out and get a heap more waterfall photos, so I packed up and spent three days immersed in the creeks and streams in the beautiful Blue Mountains, Australia.
During the afternoon I was standing knee deep in water and I looked up to see a group of young tourists just standing there staring at me, obviously thinking, “this guys bloody mad”. It moments like these that I feel truly happy and content with my life…..As the afternoon light descended onto the sandstone cliffs, I tried finding some interesting angles of the falls and surrounding area. I always love the challenge of presenting an area with different and unique angles that I can come up with on the day…..
more photos of leura falls
Cicadas are one of those things that tell us that summer must be on the way. I was completely amazed the other night when I went outside to see heaps of these little guys struggling to get to higher ground in order to shed their skin. Australia has some 237 species of cicadas and I reckon half of them were on my porch the other night. They live for at least a year underground feeding on sap from roots of trees. Upon emergence you can often hear that distinctive hum(some would call it a great racket) in the air….Cicadas tend to live for only a few weeks after years underground.
I can remember walking through different parts of the bush in summer to that almost deafening noise at times. As a young boy with my brothers and friends we would spend summer days trying to capture the elusive “black prince“, where apparently you could take it to the local chemist for money……..never did see any cash for our efforts…..another urban myth we believed. I don’t quite know what attracts me to these curious, noisey critters. Perhaps it’s the alien, like act of bursting out of their body and evolving into something different, or their attention seeking shrieks I hear when I’m walking, I’m just not sure. However I can tell you this, if I do find a black prince in the front yard this summer I’m going straight to the local chemist to get some of that cash……….lol
Thanks for reading, cheers ben
In Australia we live under the constant threat of bushfires & hence the need for controlled hazard reduction burning on a regular basis to help reduce bushfire severity. It has been a particularly dry winter period so the RFS has been out & about trying to burn as much fuel as possible. Now as a person who doesn’t suffer from asthma, I really enjoy the smokey skies and as a photographer it’s mood heaven for me. Every time I hear that they might be burning in my area I always try and head to some of my favourite spots to grab some of the smokey goodness in the skies & valley’s. Smoke is a really great infuser of colour & light and can really set a scene for some dramatic images come sunset.
I really do appreciate the great work that the RFS and all other departments do in order to keep our homes and livelihoods safer come fire season. The fires came close to where I live only a few years ago and the helicopters did a great job of controlling the blaze as it raced towards businesses and homesteads, via repeated water bombing from the air. So even though fires can wield a terrible destructive force, I also enjoy the beauty they can bring to a landscape as well. New life swiftly follows a burnt out area of vegetation with vibrant greens and reds as the environment quickly adapts after a fire. I hope that this season the fires will burn in habitats that can sustain and re-develop quickly and hopefully leave the smoke far from our doors…
Note: After writing this yesterday I came home today to learn that fires have been burning out of control in the lower Blue Mountains and western Sydney region. My thoughts go out to the people that have already been affected by this seemingly early start to bushfire season. Once again I take my hat off to the brave men & women who risk their own lives to keep the greater community safe. I dedicate this image to them…
mob-0405052660 smoke infused photos
If I had to name one, if not my favourite, all time locations in the Blue Mountains it would have to be Narrowneck plateau in Katoomba, NSW, Australia. I was first introduced to the this area, along with my brother Simon, some 25 years ago when we first started rock climbing in the area. As young enthusiastic teenagers we use to spend all weekend, cutting our teeth, on the magnificent sandstone walls of this area. Climbing would envelop our life for the next 10+ years, without much room for much else…..
Narrowneck is a narrow ridge line that cuts it’s pathway between two majestic valley’s, the Megalong & Jamison. Approximately 12 kms in length, it commands attention within it’s landscape of the world heritage listed, Blue Mountains. So here I am some 25 years later wandering the plateau again, perhaps not clinging to the side in desperation or for life, but still clinging, hanging, camera in hand…………..in search of light & mood. I’m not sure what attracts me to this location so much, perhaps it’s the balancing act, perched between to the two valleys, constantly tugging at me from each side, luring me in for another shot………………who knows, but I love it. I’ll continue to wander this landscape getting lost in thought & time searching for that elusive perfect light & mood for many moons to come, perhaps I’ll see you out there one day……
more narrowneck splendour
The ruined castle is a popular and distinct sandstone rock outcrop in the Jamison valley within the World Heritage Blue Mountains, Katoomba, Australia. I have ventured out there for a walk on numerous occasions and also camped within the ruins many moons ago. A great sight of this wonderful sandstone structure is to witness the last sunrays falling across the castle in the jamison valley on sunset. I have often stood at a lookout watching the last rays of the day lighting the sandstone walls of the castle walls. I’m guessing that it got it’s name, as it appeared, “castle like” to somebody walking through the area some time ago and in which they probably said something along the lines like, “Hey, don’t you think that looks like a castl, you know, like a ruined one”! I’m sure this is totally incorrect, but it will do for now and if you need to know, I’m sure google has the answer somewhere…..
If you do find yourself in the area and you have a few hours in which you’d like to get your heartrate up a little and be rewarded with a beautiful 360 degree view at the end, then this just might be for you. A great way to get there is to descend the golden stairs off the Narrowneck plateau. If however you would just like to admire it from the distance like the many thousands of tourist each year, then Echo Point in Katoomba is a great vantage point for this spectacular Blue Mountains landmark. I hope you find time in your week to get outdoors to explore…..
See you out there
cheers ben more castle views
recently found myself enjoying a little sun & sand in the gorgeous coastal town of Tuncurry in NSW, Australia. Located approx 300 kms north east of Sydney, it is a a popular tourist destination for many holiday makers. One of my favourite places to take a stroll is on the beautiful 9 mile beach where I often tried my hand at catching some fish and I’ve also seen many dolphins swimming just offshore from here.
I managed to do a sunrise walk along the beach one morning and was really glad I made the effort as I was rewarded with some beautiful light, colours and a pod of dolphins playing in the waves on sunrise. I had forgotten just how beautiful the ocean can be when the weather and conditions are just right. The colours that engulfed the ocean and beach on this morning were just spectacular to witness. Moments like these I feel so privileged to be a photographer and a dedicated chaser of light. It was a great way end to my short stay in the area and I’ll be eagerly awaiting my next trip to beautiful Tuncurry. If you get a chance to visit the area I’d highly recommend it as a beaut spot to get away with friends or family.
See you out there,
One of best viewing platforms to see the beautiful Jamison valley in the Blue Mountains has always been from Echo Point in Katoomba. From this very popular tourist destination you can often see jamison valley transform through it’s different moods before your eyes. The valley is a sandstone area much like most of the Blue Mountains and Sydney area, characterised by it’s steep sandstone cliffs. Much of the soil in the region has a layer of shale throughout which has been eroded over time causing the sandstone to collapse, which helps form the beautiful deep valleys and canyons.
I spent a large part of my youth and beyond roaming and climbing around these beautiful areas. The jamison valley is populated densely with Eucalyptus trees, often giving it a blue haze that looks stunning upon sunset. Many times I’ve come down to the jamison valley trying to capture some change in weather or mood. Some of my most memorable photos so far have been the morning mists or the smoke after hazard reduction burns in the valley. I don’t think i’ll ever tire of looking out into the jamison valley and into the sea of trees………..I just love it.
I hope to see you out there….
cheers ben more from the jamison
One of the great natural phenomenons that occurs in the upper Blue Mountains is the little known “phantom falls”. Without boring you too much with the science behind it…., it basically requires warm humid that is heated by the sun rays in the Jamison Valley colliding with much cooler air from the neighboring Megalong valley (or via versa), resulting in the spectacular “waterfall” like effect in the valley. I have watched the fog numerous times just effortlessly gliding over the Narrowneck plateau, shrouding the scene in a wedding like veil.
I took off on a large walk the other day, not really anticipating capturing the phantom falls in action. I had actually gone off in search of a waterfall I’d seen many years ago and was keen to take a peek. As it was humid I decided to get closer to see if there was any fog in the valley and I was pleased to see the apparition like scene in the valley, the phantom had most definitely appeared. One of the things as a photographer I try and do is to get some different and unique compositions of an emerging scene. So I spent the next 1.5 hours scooting up and down the cliffs looking for different angles to capture this wonderful phenomenon. Though I’ve seen the fog covering more of the escarpment in the past, I was happy to get some nice light in the valley on this occasion as well. I’ll continue to look for this great natural occurrence in the future and I hope to get many more great shots of it. So if you’re in the area and conditions feel right, head over to the nearest lookout and you just may see the…………………..Phantom of the Blue Mountains.
have a wonderful week, enjoy the views
cheers ben more of the phantom
The 3 Sisters is one of Australia’s most iconic landmarks attracting millions of visitors each year. In my younger days I worked as a climbing guide and have taken hundreds of people to the summit of these unique sandstone formations, unfortunately you are no longer allowed to climb these peaks. Rising out of the Jamison valley in the world heritage listed Blue Mountains, they project a unique and breathtaking image to the many who flock to witness their beauty. The native Aborigines of Australia call them Meehni (922 m), Wimlah (918 m), and Gunnedoo (906 m) and have their own legend of how they came to be here.
As with many of the popular lookouts and vistas that populate the Blue Mountains I often look for a composition or a take on the scene that I haven’t seen before. I constantly challenge myself to come up with different and unique ways to capture and express the iconic 3 sisters to the viewer. Photographers will often say about a popular tourist destination, “ahh that has been shot to death, don’t shoot that”. As is often the case that just encourages me to do the opposite and i’ll work hard to represent a common scene in a new light…….my light, my way of seeing. I like to convey a scene the way I see it through my lens, and we all see things quite differently.With the above shot I was fascinated by the three weeds growing which seemed to be mimicking the real sandstone structures in the scene. As I live just up the street i’m often here at the lookout just taking in the view, often not photographing anything but rather watching as the light transforms the view into something different. I have been here allot and to me it’s always different, the mood, the weather, the light………it looks different everytime. I took one of my most recognizable and best selling shots here.
If you haven’t been to look at these amazing sandstone rock formations I would really recommend them for sure. As with any popular tourist destination or location, there is a reason people go in search of it………it simply looks great!
I hope to see you there one day,
cheers ben more photos of these great ladies….click on images for a larger view
plenty more to come……another time
So as the drumbeat fades into the distance it marks the close of another great Winter Magical Festival that was held in world heritage listed, Blue Mountains, Australia. As usual the event was held in Katoomba on the winter solstice, meaning the shortest day of the year. We got lucky with the weather as the rain held off most of the day & just long enough for the fireworks display, before the skies opened up. This year would see me don the fluoro vest in order to get in close to some of the great action throughout the day.
The official estimates for the crowd this year were in the vicinity of 45000+ which is a great result for all those who put in the huge effort in organising this massive event for the local Blue Mountains community. Allot of these events are normally run by the local chamber of commerce in other towns, this event however is run by the local members of the community. It is a real credit to the locals to get something this large off the ground. There is allot of voluntary work hours that go into the winter magic festival every year to make it a viable option to put run.
The Grand Parade that makes it way up katoomba street had over 700+ people participating and gave the large crowds some great Kodak esque inspired moments to capture. This is always the highlight of the festival as you witness all the weird and wonderful costumes making their way past. One thing I really enjoy is the great personalities you get to chat with throughout the day. These festivals really allow people to embrace,explore & express their creative and quirky personalities. I think this is crucial for the blue mountains community as we are home to some truly exceptionally creative residents.
I felt the need to try and cover allot of the festival this year and in doing so I still missed quite allot of activities. When you are trying to document a large event such as this you don’t have the luxury of sitting back and waiting for the “money shots” as their is far too much to cover. I have seen some great shots from other photographers on the day and I’m happy that I was able to put my own spin on the event as well. Next year i’ll implement a different plan of attack in covering the event, it’s all a learning curve for me and I love a good challenge. This year we saw the addition of the newly built Katoomba Cultural Centre which added a wonderful vibrancy to the festival and town atmosphere. The cultural centre hosted some wonderful musical and performance acts that really got the crowd in a fantastic mood throughout the day.
I really enjoyed myself on the day and it was great to see so many families having a fun time too. The finale to the day was again well worth staying around for. Held at the Carrington Hotel, the fireworks display was a real treat for the audience that saw the night sky light up with a great array of colour and sound. If you missed the event this year I urge you to put aside a few hours and come have a look next year…………..I’m sure it will be great!
If you haven’t already seen my album of photos from the day you can see it here-https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.594399713914223.1073741833.483571081663754&type=1
Have a wonderful weekend, cheers ben more shots from the day
So as the smoke fades from the last of the fireworks over Sydney, which I watch in comfort from my loungeroom, I start to reflect on the year that was 2013 through the images I captured. Last year was a year that would see me share allot of images online, not sure I’ll share quite as many this year, time will tell… (pending exhibition too)…. I covered allot of events across the Blue Mountains, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It was the year in which I would chase images from hazard reduction burns in the upper Blue Mountains, seeking mood as the smoke infused light saturated the valleys. It was a year that proved more difficult for capturing my beloved waterfalls as winter rains failed to fill the creeks and streams compared to years past. This worries me little as I will always seek out the water, whenever it may fall. It was a year that saw me dabble with some still life subjects, something that I will continue with in 2014. Though I took quite a few portraits for clients and for personal assignments, I would like to pursue more studio and natural light portraits in 2014 as I really enjoy this type of photographic work. I took quite a few landscapes photos throughout 2013 and I’ll chase these again in 2014 as I hunt for that elusive mood and light in the beautiful Blue Mountains & beyond. With 2013 images safely saved to various hardrives, 2014 folders sit relatively empty, but no doubt this will change as the year progresses and gathers speed as the years do. This year will see me focus on wedding photography as I expand my business further. I look forward to capturing those raw emotive moments that comes with weddings. I will be giving a few presentations early in the year to photography clubs that have ask me to showcase some work & thoughts on my photography. I look forward to this very much. I’m hoping that in the latter part of the year that I’ll get to exhibit my work for the first time, and I’d truly like for this to happen, in this year. I hope you get the time to check in and have a look at some of the new images as the “journey continues” this year. I hope that this year will be a great one and I look forward to sharing some more of my work with you…. cheers Ben- email@example.com facebook portfolio twitter buy prints
A small sample from Images in 2013
Come on the journey in 2014….Ben Pearse Photography
I think you either like Cockatoos or you don’t. They are a very common Australian bird and can be rather cheeky and a little noisey at times. I for one really like them. I think they have allot of character and I like their cheeky side too. They also do make a pretty easy target if you’re trying to capture them in a photo as well. Over the years I have managed to take quite a few shots, especially of the sulphur crested Cockatoo, which is very common species throughout the Blue Mountains where I live.
I’m really looking forward to getting some shots of the majestic black cockatoo in time as well. They have proven to be much more elusive to get a really top notch photo of. I have come very close on a number of occasions whilst trying to stalk them through the bush, but alas I’ll have to keep trying to get the really great shot that I feel does justice to this beautiful bird…
I hope you’re well and enjoying some time in the beautiful outdoors, cheers ben
I really thought I’d got my Cicada photos out of my system with the last blog……I guess not. They tell me that every seven or so years we get plague like proportions of these little fellas, and this year is one of them. The warm weather has brought them out of the ground around 3 weeks early, and this year and they are everywhere….I won’t bore you with too many facts this time as you can read them in my last blog. You will find as you look through my photos that I find the shells far more engaging than the actual Cicadas, weird I know. For me I find the skins far more photogenic in nice light than the actual live cicadas, not always but most of the time. So if you’re not overloaded with the noise from the guys at the moment I’m sure my photos might tip you over the edge, lol. Enjoy!
Have a super weekend…
Cicada madness begins