Three sisters and snow

Three sisters in snow

Three sisters in snow

After the promise of snow in the blue mountains from the weather bureau came and went a few weeks ago without even a flurry, it was finally great to see a decent amount start to fall on thursday night (16-07-2015). Now over the last few years I’ve been trying to capture an image that combines the iconic three sisters in Katoomba and some snow in the scene as well. Each time there has been a snowfall I’ve raced off down to the three sisters to capture this image that has been sitting in my head for a good few years. Anyone familiar with the landscape side of my photography knows that I’ve attempted to capture the three sisters in as many different moods and weather scenarios as possible over the years. So with family and friends in tow we set off on foot down the street as the snow started to blanket the streets into a winter wonderland.

As we walked and slid our way down to echo point and the lookout, the wind was really starting to howl. I remembered the last time it snowed I had come down and my umbrella blew inside out in the first few minutes, luckily for me it was 90% rain and there was no shot to get. So this time armed with a few handy assistants I liked my chances allot more. Knowing the three sisters are lit up at night was a real deciding factor for coming here in such horrid conditions. So with my partner holding the umbrella for me and a friend giving me some light via the phone light I set up my tripod and camera. A big part of photography is pre visualising a scene in your head before you take the shot. Prior to coming down I was 90% confident of the shot I wanted without even knowing how much snow was around. As I set up the conditions were rapidly getting to the point where it was really hard to keep the camera covered from the elements. The floodlights though strong, were not going to shed enough light to highlight the snow which was rapidly swirling around us. I attached my trusty speedlight (flash) and metered the scene in camera. I manually dialled in how much fill light I wanted in the flash, wiped down the lens element of snow for the umteenth time and pressed the shutter……..got it!

I was really happy with the outcome of the shot and was glad to have finally captured the iconic three sisters in some snow. I came back in the morning on sunrise hoping to get the sisters covered in snow, you know that picture perfect postcard esque scene…. but alas that wasn’t to be. The snow hadn’t settled on them as the wind had been far too strong (you can see this clearly in the B&W image below) overnight and the sisters elevation in the valley proved a little low for a decent snow dusting….with any luck it might snow again this winter and I’ll be able to tick a few more of my “must have”images of my list.

I also went out and captured some images of the blue mountains township of Katoomba when it was covered in the beautiful snow. See the photos here

About Ben– Ben Pearse is a commercial and wedding photographer who works and resides in the beautiful blue mountains, Australia. Ben also sells and licenses his portfolio of blue mountains landscape images. These are available from this website in the shop section.

Follow Ben’s photographic journey on any of these social media platforms Facebook  Instagram  Google+  Twitter  Flickr  500px  Pinterest 

Website- benpearsephotography.com.au

Contact Ben here

Sisters under snow siege

Sisters under snow siege

Three sisters on sunrise with a little snow

Three sisters on sunrise with a little snow about…

Snow over three sisters

Snow over three sisters

Three sisters in a snowstorm

Three sisters in a snowstorm

Blue Mountains winter wonderland

Blue Mountains winter wonderland

Katoomba gets some snow

Katoomba gets some snow

 

 

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Black & White Photography

Rain & rainbows

Rain & rainbows

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

 

Echo point at night

Echo point at night

basking in light

basking in light

Leura Falls

Leura Falls

balancing act

balancing act

jamison valley drama

jamison valley drama

Katoomba falls in the mist

Katoomba falls in the mist

low fog in the grose valley

low fog in the grose valley

phantom falls

phantom falls

drama

drama

Grose valley panoramic

Grose valley panoramic

minni haha falls

minnehaha falls

Rainy days

Rainy days

Dad

Dad

wedding fun

wedding fun

melbourne streets

melbourne streets

mother & daughter

mother & daughter

Into the mist

Into the mist

pine needles pattern

pine needles pattern

urban fog

urban fog

echo point in the fog

echo point in the fog

Autumn mist

Autumn mist

blazing wattle tree

blazing wattle tree

iconic Bondi beach

iconic Bondi beach

what the fork...

what the fork…

urban night

urban night

Jamison rains

Jamison rains

out on the farm

out on the farm

drive me to the moon

drive me to the moon

north face 100

north face 100

Brooding streams

Brooding streams

Opera house Sydney

Opera house Sydney

skating

skating

mardi gras

mardi gras

approaching storm

approaching storm

reaching for light

reaching for light

Bee & nessie

Bee & nessie

last show

last show

seas of fog

seas of fog

waverley cemetery

waverley cemetery

Autumn night

Autumn night

shadowlands

shadowlands

katoomba falls pano

katoomba falls pano

Jamison seas pano

Jamison seas pano

Bee

amongst the daffodils

 

I can do this

I can do this

life is still

life is still

sisters in silhouette

sisters in silhouette

last light

last light

popular spot

popular spot

ellenborough falls

ellenborough falls

junction falls

junction falls

pumping along

pumping along

after the rains

after the rains

dark moods

dark moods

Victoria

Victoria

Carrington hotel cellars

Carrington hotel cellars

glow worm cave

glow worm cave

generations

generations

dance motion

dance motion

cockatoo portrait

cockatoo portrait

weeping rock

weeping rock

glowworm stream

glowworm stream

looking to megalong

looking to megalong

approaching change

approaching change

katoomba falls

katoomba falls

three sisters

three sisters

dogface panoramic

dogface panoramic

cultural centre

cultural centre katoomba

echo point viewing at night

echo point viewing at night

winter magic festival

winter magic festival

 

amongst the ferns

amongst the ferns

getting in close

getting in close

cascades in flood

cascades in flood

getting a haircut

getting a haircut

wedding party

wedding party

rolling in

rolling in

explosion

explosion

feline study

feline study

Atop ruined castle

Atop ruined castle

moody falls

moody falls

phantom commeth

phantom commeth

Katoomba falls

Katoomba falls

louie the fly

louie the fly

operatic mood

operatic mood

Katoomba courthouse

Katoomba courthouse

having an outdoor shower

having an outdoor shower

calm

calm

lost in thought

lost in thought

allot more to go… perhaps another time

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

Three Sisters

Growing to match the enviroment

Growing to match the environment

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

3 sisters sunset

3 sisters sunset

through the grass

through the grass

half a rainbow....half a pot of gold then

half a rainbow….half a pot of gold then

sunrise panoramic

sunrise panoramic

ocean of mist

ocean of mist

light it up

light it up

after glow

after glow

morning fog

morning fog

afternoon rays

afternoon rays

Valley mood panoramic- 20 inch by 8 inch panoramic- $110.00

Valley mood panoramic

Jamison sunset

Jamison sunset

Rainbow sisters

Rainbow sisters

through the trees

through the trees

night viewing

night viewing

Three sisters with cloud

Three sisters with cloud

Three sisters with low cloud

Three sisters with low cloud

Three sisters at sunset

Three sisters at sunset

Sisters from below

Sisters from below

upclose

upclose

panoramic views

panoramic views

Afternoon glow

Afternoon glow

heavy smoke

heavy smoke

Boxing day panoramic on sunset

Boxing day panoramic on sunset

Rainbows and Rain

Rainbows and Rain

jamison shower over solitary

jamison shower over solitary

sisters in silhouette

sisters in silhouette

Echo point panorama- 60cm by 20cm- $120.00

Echo point panorama

sisters on sunset

sisters on sunset

bushfires

bushfires

Rainbow over Sisters

Rainbow over Sisters

in black & white

in black & white

three sisters by night

three sisters by night

silhouetted sisters on sunrise

silhouetted sisters on sunrise

as part of the big picture

Part of the big picture

from a distance

from a distance

Ben Pearse Photography

Play of light

shadowlands

shadowlands

Three sisters sunrise

Three sisters sunrise

approaching storm

approaching storm

changing weather

changing weather

bit of fun...

bit of fun…

after glow

after glow

ocean of mist

ocean of mist

Growing to match the enviroment

Growing to match the environment

touch of red

touch of red

Three sisters sunrise

Three sisters sunrise

Shadows circling

Shadows circling

Colours at dawn

Colours at dawn

Here comes the sun

Here comes the sun

three sisters....with 3 sisters

three sisters….with 3 sisters

plenty more to come……another time