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-

portfolio

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

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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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e-benpearsephotography@gmail.com

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

Katoomba Falls

From bottom to top, Katoomba Falls

From bottom to top, Katoomba Falls

Katoomba Falls is located in the world heritage listed Blue Mountains National Park in Katoomba. With a height estimated at 230 metres this majestic waterfall takes a series of plunges as it descends into the Jamison valley. I have been here on numerous occasions to photograph this beautiful waterfall in many different moods and water levels. These falls have always been very popular with the many thousands of tourists that visit each year due to the ease at which you can visit the falls. There is a great natural viewing platform where you can take in the falls from mid height and snap as many photos as you like. Another great way to see katoomba falls is from the air via the scenic skyway. From this vantage point you can get a real sense of the height and scale of the falls within the landscape.

One of the great draw cards for these falls is the constant changing environment in which they are situated. I’ve been here in heavy mist, fog, low cloud, rain, intense heat…you name it I’ve tried to capture it. The ever changing moods of the Blue Mountains allow photographers to get a huge range of photos of a scene if you’re willing to put the effort in. I really enjoy visiting certain locations over and over as it gives me the opportunity to get a a real variety of photographs in which to document a scene. Hence why local photographers will generally always get the more engaging photographs of the local scenes……….it a time thing, time & patience. For me it’s also the challenge of finding a composition that is “new to market‘ so to speak. Getting something new from a popular location is something I really enjoy doing. I was given a great compliment the other day, I was told me I was giving the blue mountains “a new look” in this digital age, I was flattered to say the least. It’s always nice to hear that your work is appreciated and well received within the community.

I will always enjoy this pursuit of angles and light that we call photography, it has allowed me to really see the environment in a new light.I always feel very lucky to literally step out my front door and within minutes be immersed in a sea of eucalyptus trees and gorgeous views. I hope you enjoy some of the images that I bring back from my little adventures in the bush. I know you won’t like them all, but perhaps it time one image may really speak to you, and if that’s the case……..I’m a happy camper.

Enjoy the journey, cheers ben

more photos of water falling down

 click on photos for a larger view

 in the mist

in the mist

shafts of water

shafts of water

cascading down

cascading down

ummmm having an outdoor shower

ummmm having an outdoor shower

a study of colours

a study of colours

at the base of the falls

at the base of the falls

a boulders view

a boulders view

through the mist

through the mist

silky scenes

silky scenes

pouring over like milk

pouring over like milk

flyby

flyby

having fun in the falls

having fun in the falls

surrounded by eucalypts

surrounded by eucalypts

the big picture

the big picture

an aerial view

an aerial view

tucked away

tucked away

colourful display

colourful displays

  visit the shop

Blue Mountains Winter Magic Festival 2013

Carrington lawn dancing- winter Magic 2013- low res

opening the festival- hands, heart & feet

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              

Spiderman delivering newspapers- Winter Magic 2013- low res

Spiderman delivering the news                                                              

Belly dancing- WM 2013- low res

dancing up the street

Street performers-Winter Magic 2013- low res

engaging the crowd

Ben Pearse Photography

drumming to a different beat

Harry Potter- Winter Magic 2013- low res

cute kids in costume

Part of the Act- Winter Magic 2012- low res

eye popping acts

NSW Rural Fire Brigade

lending some help

Get the shot- Winter Magic 2013- low res

straining to get the shot

Carrington lawn dancing- winter Magic 2013- low res

feeling the rhythm

Katoomba Street- Winter Magic 2013 ver 2- low res

standing out in the crowd

St Hildas Church- Winter magic 2013 in colour- low res

singing a song

Sweeney Todd & Mrs Lovett near Carrington- WM 2013- low res

acting out

I Love Blue Mountains- Winter Magic 2013- low res

catching their eye

Strike a pose- Winter Magic 2013- low res

pausing to pose

Charlie and friend- WM 2013- low res

getting a hug

Dancing- Winter Magic 2013- low res

working the shot

Police band- Winter Magic 2013- low res

marching the street

Having fun-WM 2013- low res

having a ball

Carrington Hotel fireworks- Winter Magic 2013- low res

watching the colours

Autumn in the Blue Mountains

Autumn at Wenty lake- April 2013

I took a trip to the beautiful Wentworth Falls lake in the Blue Mountains to see some Autumn colour………and it didn’t dissapoint. I have always enjoyed the distinctive 4 seasons that we encounter as mountains residents. Autumn in the mountains has always been one of my favourite times of year as the trees just explode with colour and vibrancy.  This shot is also another example of the great colour and light that was on display on the day.

Wentworth Falls lake located in the wentworth falls township is also home to many beautiful waterfalls and I would thoroughly recommend an exploration of this area as it has so much to offer as a destination for those inclined to explore the World Heritage listed blue mountains. It had been too long since I had visited this area and have vowed to get back here more often to explore some more photo opportunities. This photo and more are available for purchasing here.

Thanks for tuning into the blog, have a super week everyone.

Cheers ben

more from the day…

Wenty Lake in Autumn

Wenty Lake in Autumn

Streets aglow with colour

Streets aglow with colour

Phanthom Falls in the Blue Mountains

Into the Light- Narrowneck Plateau- Katoomba, NSW, Australiau

On a recent trip out to Narrowneck plateau as I was taking photos looking out to the Jamison Valley, I got to witness the amazing Phantom Falls in action. Though it didn’t create the full waterfall looking apparition, it was still incredible. I really look forward to seeing more of this phenomenon for sure. This link explains how the right conditions are needed for the phantom falls to appear.

This photo which I have entitled Into the Light is the latest edition of print for sale.

Narrowneck Plateau has always been one of my favourite places to explore. I grew up in the Blue Mountains and my oldest brother  and I cut our teeth learning to rock climb in this area. It has been great to go back and explore and reminisce about our earlier adventures in this area. Coming back with a camera has been a really great experience and I look forward to spending more days wandering the area hoping to catch another glimpse of the Phantom!

See you out there….

cheers ben