Dogface & Landslide, Blue Mountains, Australia.

Dogface panoramic

On January 26, 1931 a large fissure of rock (Dogface) some 5 to 9 feet wide separated itself from a section of Katoomba cliffline creating a large semi detached rock  precariously poised over the jamison valley. A short time later on January 28, local residents were awakened at 4am as some 100,00+ tonnes of rock hurtled and crashed into the valley floor creating a thunderous sound. A surveyor inspected “Dog Face Rock”  in February and found a canyon like formation some 30ft wide and 300 feet deep. The “Dog Face Rock” as it became known became a very popular tourist destination in the ensuing months bringing sightseers from across the Blue Mountains as well as interested tourists from Sydney wanting to view this intriguing landmark of collapsing cliffline. As a result of heavy rains in May 1931, the final landslide occurred on the rock face which left behind a clean sheer face of yellow sandstone which you see today.

In the 1960’s the late John Ewbank  a pioneer of Australian climbing began establishing  rock climbing routes on this notorious soft and yellow rock, often in climbing terms referred to as “Choss”. Having myself rock climbed on the “Dogface” in the 1990’s I feel a strong connection to this unique landscape scene in the Blue Mountains, Australia. Over the last few years I have endeavoured to capture this iconic  landmark at varying times of the day and with differing accompanying moods. Here is just a few of the many photos I have captured of this beautiful Blue Mountains scene.

Ben Pearse is a professional photographer living and working in the beautiful world heritage Blue Mountains, Australia. Ben is available for Weddings, Portraits, Functions, Licensing & most forms of commercial photography. Ben also has  a large selection of images of the Blue Mountains available as fine art prints or image licensing for business.

Contact Ben-Email-benpearsephotography@gmail.com

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Seeing Red

Seeing Red

The Dogface Rock

The Dogface Rock

Seas of Fog

Seas of Fog

Looking up to Dogface

Looking up to Dogface

Looking out

Looking out

Landslide view

Landslide view

left in pieces

left in pieces

Dogface in black and white

Dogface in black and white

Big sky panoramic

Big sky panoramic

Dogface Glowing

Dogface Glowing

Smoke over Dogface

Smoke over Dogface

Looking through to Dogface

Looking through to Dogface

Afternoon glow

Afternoon glow

Dogface viewing

Dogface viewing

Dogface in Fog

Dogface in Fog

dogface panoramic

dogface panoramic

looking into the jamison valley

looking into the jamison valley

a view of cliffs nearby

Dogface through wildflowers

plays of light

plays of light

Jamison seas

Jamison seas

 

Wentworth Falls lake

Golden morning

Golden morning

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….

cheers ben

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Wenty lake shots

Autumn glory on the lake

Autumn glory on the lake

The sun rises

The sun rises

poles apart

poles apart

enjoying the lake

enjoying the lake

Leura falls, Blue Mountains

Leura falls panoramic

Leura falls panoramic

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…..

cheers ben-

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more photos of leura falls

last light

last light

through the ferns

through the ferns

I couldn't resist a selfie on this boulder

I couldn’t resist a selfie on this boulder earlier on the day

in B&W

in B&W

shadow & light

shadow & light

Smoke & Light

Smoke & Light

Smoke & Light

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…

cheers ben

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mob-0405052660                                                                                                                                                                smoke infused photos

heavy smoke

heavy smoke

Smoke soaked sunrays entering the Jamison valley

Smoke soaked sunrays entering the Jamison valley

silhouettes in smoke

silhouettes in smoke

amazing sunsets

amazing sunsets

Jamison Glow

Jamison Glow

Smoke-in-Katoomba--September-2013--low-res

smoke rays

megalong burns

megalong burns

back open for business

back open for business

scorched

scorched

birds watching the smokey sunsetbirds watching the smokey sunset

tired firefighters

tired firefighters

water bombing the fires

water bombing the fires

new life comes

new life comes

close call in 2011

close call in 2011

cloud of smoke

cloud of smoke

choked valleys

choked valleys

after glow

after glow

shafts of light

shafts of light

colours of smoke

colours of smoke

Ben Pearse Photography

fires of 2009

Narrowneck plateau, Katoomba

Ben Pearse Photography

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……

cheers ben

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   more narrowneck splendour

waterfalls of mist

waterfalls of mist

Golden light

Golden light

summers afternoon

summers afternoon

trees with colour

trees with colour

balancing act

balancing act

a popular abseiling location

a popular abseiling location

Fog rolling between valley's

Fog rolling between valley’s

dissecting the valley's

dissecting the valley’s

moody skies during bushfires

moody skies during bushfires

last light

last light

Me training a few years back

Me training a few years back

Me.....back in the day

Me…..back in the day

a view of cliffs nearby

a view of cliffs nearby

looking into the jamison valley

looking into the jamison valley

heavy smoke on the plateau

heavy smoke on the plateau

jamison valley glory

jamison valley glory

Ruined Castle

Ruined Castle

Ruined Castle

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

surrounded by mist

surrounded by mist

last light touches the walls

last light touches the walls

hazy light

hazy light

without colours

without colours

hidden in bushfire smoke

hidden in bushfire smoke

aglow

aglow

glimpsed through the trees

glimpsed through the trees

A storm approaches the castle

A storm approaches the castle

Guardian of the Castle

Guardian of the Castle

Conquering the Castle

Conquering the Castle

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Mount Solitary- Blue Mountains

Mount Solitary in cloud

Mount Solitary in cloud

Mount Solitary is a dominant sandstone formation that rises 950 metres from within the jamison valley in the world heritage listed, Blue Mountains, Australia. Surrounded by a sea of  Australian native eucalyptus trees the local indigenous people called the mountain Korowal, meaning ‘the strong one’. You can take a hike to the top of the summit, though you might want to take your best set of legs for this one as it’s pretty arduous….hard, steep, bit of a slog….you get the idea. Though if you do manage to get up there the views are well worth the sweat.

One of the best spots to view Mount Solitary from is the viewing platforms at Echo Point. From here you are literally right in front of this majestic sandstone formation rising steeply from within the valley. In the late afternoon you can watch the sandstone turn a beautiful orange/ red as the last sunrays fade across the valley. On the mornings when the fog is still in the valley, Mount Solitary is one of the few distinct landmarks to be seen rising out of the white sea of fog. So if you are in the area go and have a look at this wonderful natural landmark, it won’t disappoint.

see you out there

cheers ben                                                                                                                                                                                           more solitary views

solitary glowing

solitary glowing

commanding a view

commanding a view

morning light

morning light

off in the distance

off in the distance

surrounded by smoke

surrounded by smoke

last light for the night

last light for the night

catching some rays

catching some rays

during the day

during the day

after the sun goes down

after the sun goes down

helping guide the fog through

helping guide the fog through

the steep climb up

the steep climb up

solitary confinement in bushfire smoke

solitary confinement in bushfire smoke

basking in dramatic light & low clouds

basking in dramatic light & low clouds