After the Bushfires – Blue Mountains, Australia.

Narrowneck plateau in Katoomba after the bushfires

In late late 2019-2020, you probably heard and saw dramatic and devastating footage of the bushfires that ravaged Australia. I posted images and footage in this blog post here about these bushfires in my local area of Katoomba, Blue Mountains, Australia. After the fires had gone through I was interested to see the impact on the local landscapes in my area. After the bushfires many of national park areas that were burnt remain closed due to the risk of falling trees etc. I was very interested in hiking out to Mount Solitary, however this trail is still closed at time of writing.

narrowneck plateau, Katoomba

Altered lands

Aftermath of the Katoomba bushfires

Life still remains…

Mount Solitary panoramic view from Narrowneck plateau in Katoomba

Panoramic view looking past Ruined Castle (small outcrop in middle) to Mount Solitary (left) and Lake Burragorang just visible in the rear. Castle Head jutting out from Narrowneck on the right.

Ruined Castle, Katoomba

Looking down to Ruined Castle, where these bushfires originated in 2019. Allot of what is pictured here was burnt in the bushfires.

Lightbleed- Ben Pearse 2020- Web Size 2048

New growth catching the light

I decided on documenting one of my favourite areas, Narrowneck plateau in Katoomba. This area was impacted by the ruined castle bushfire in early December 2019. As I wandered through different areas of narrowneck plateau, it became apparent that certain areas were going to take some time to regenerate compared to others. In the gully of diamond creek, the unmistakable vibrant green regrowth stood out against the dull magenta and black of the surrounding burnt landscape. I couldn’t help but be drawn into this area due to the alarming contrast of colours on display. As diamond creek carves it’s way through the valley, it brought a lifeline, in the form of water, enabling new life to regenerate and grow.

Resilient Lands- Ben Pearse 2020 (2)

Resilient Lands- Narrowneck plateau- March 2020

Narrowneck plateau in Katoomba after the bushfires

Return to Green- Diamond creek pathway

 

Blue Mountains fire regrowth

Narrowneck plateau, Katoomba, Blue Mountains.

After the bushfires 2020

Green returns to the landscape

Over the next few months I would see more regrowth appear across the burnt fireground. In the steep gullies and the tops of ridgelines where the fires burnt very hot and intense, it will take additional time for the regeneration to gather momentum. The flora and fauna that grow, dwell and cling to the sandstone formation that is Narrowneck plateau are resilient and should thrive once again in the years to come.

Lizard emerges after the bushfires

Wildlife returns

Regrowth after the bushfires, Blue Mountains

New buds emerge…

New growth

New growth after the fires

Green returns- Ben Pearse 2020 copy

View from Narrowneck into megalong valley

Kangaroo tails emerge after bushfires in Blue Mountains 2020

Emergence- Kangaroo tails (Xanthorrhoea) catching the last light of the day…

Looking west over megalong valley on sunset

Looking west from Narrowneck plateau over megalong valley on sunset

New Life- web 2048

Regeneration- New growth returns after the fires…

Thanks for looking,

Cheers Ben

Visit Ben’s website here- Ben Pearse Photography

 

Blue Mountains Snowfall-August-2019

It’s always nice to wake up to snow covering the ground in my hometown of Katoomba, Blue Mountains, Australia. Over the last decade I’ve tried to capture a snowfall that has settled on the iconic three sisters in Katoomba. I’ve only seen an old postcard of snow that has properly settled on these sandstone ladies from the 1970’s. I thought this time I might be in luck as the snow really starting coming down on sunrise, however it just wasn’t quite enough. So the quest continues, perhaps 2020 will be the year I get the photo I’m seeking…

Snowfall in the Blue Mountains

Snow on the Mountains

Snowfall in the Blue Mountains- Three Sisters

Sunrise and Snow

Snowfall over Three sisters- August 2019

Snowfall over Three sisters- August 2019

Ben Pearse Photography

Blue Mountains Snowfall- Ben Pearse 2019

Visit Ben’s Website here: Ben Pearse Photography

Bushfires in the Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia, 2019- 2020- New Blog!

In late November 2019 the Blue Mountains in NSW Australia would see the start of a  unprecedented bushfire season that would destroy approximately 80% of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage area. Drought conditions across Australia in the leadup to the fire season left the soil with very little moisture which helped fuel hundreds of bushfires across the nation. By the end of the fire season, 34 people would tragically lose their lives and over 46 million acres (186,000 square kilometres) of land would be burnt. Hundreds of millions of mammals, reptiles and birds would perish during the fires…

I first took note of a very small bushfire that was burning around the Ruined Castle on 27th November 2019 in the jamison valley in Katoomba, NSW. Over the course of the next few days this fire would spread onto the Narrowneck plateau and eventually into the megalong valley. Most of the images I captured are from the Ruined Castle bushfire.

Ruined Castle Bushfire- Ben Pearse 2019

The Beginning-Ruined Castle Bushfire- November 27th 2019

Fire Season- Ben Pearse 2019- web 2048

Small puff of smoke near ruined castle

Begrimed- Ben Pearse 2019

Begrimed- Ben Pearse 2019

Thick dust laden smoke starts to choke the air on sunset in Katoomba. The setting sun takes on an eerie feeling, a forewarning perhaps of troubling times to come…

Sunfire- web 2048

Eerie sunsets

On December 1st, 2019, the Ruined Castle bushfire flares up and races up the sheer sandstone cliffs on the Narrowneck plateau in Katoomba. Despite a strong prevailing breeze against it, the fire raged effortlessly up and down the sheer vertical walls and pushed closer towards the township of Katoomba. Precision water bombing from the RFS helicopter slowed the fire spread before nightfall. RFS ground crews worked throughout the night to control the blaze along the narrowneck plateau.

Narrowneck plateau fire- web 2048

Fire rages on the narrowneck plateau cliffline

Plateau on Fire- Ben Pearse 2019- web 2048

Fire engulfs the treeline on narrowneck plateau

Narrowneck Fire- Ruined Castle Bushfire 2019- web 2048

Thick plumes of smoke choke the air

Raging- Ben Pearse 2019- Web Size 2048

Fire climbs up and down the sheer sandstone walls in minutes

Ruined Castle 1- Web Size

Dry conditions fuel the fires- December 1st 2019

At night concerned local residents would view the Ruined castle bushfire from Echo point lookout. At night you could clearly see the location of the fire as the flames would become visible in the darker conditions.

 

Ruined Castle fire- Ben Pearse 2019- web 2048

Night view of the ruined castle fire from echo point lookout

Fireline- Ruined Castle Bushfire 2019-web 2048

Line of fire in the jamison valley, Katoomba, Blue Mountains, Australia

fire watchers web size

Echo point providing a great viewing platform for the ruined castle bushfire

Jamison valley fire- Web 2048

A wall of flames at night in the jamison valley, Blue Mountains.

Jamison fire- Ruined Castle Bushfire- web 2048

Nightfire- Katoomba, Blue Mountains, Australia- December 3rd-2019.

Jamison valley- Ruined Castle Bushire 2019- web 2048

Fire burns up into Pitts Amphitheatre, Katoomba, NSW.

Mount Solitary at night- web 2048

Fire burns a path onto Mount Solitary. In the background the Kowmung river fire rages. This fire would go on to join with the the Green Wattle creek fire.

Flaring up- Ruined Castle bushfire 2019 web 2048

Ruined Castle fire flares up in gusty dry conditions- December 10th 2019. Planes and helicopters water bomb from above and bring the fire back under control.

Castle Fire- Ben Pearse 2019 - web 2048

Fire returns and burns in behind the iconic Ruined Castle sandstone formations. This was near the point where the fire originated 2 weeks ago.

Twilight glow- Ben Pearse 2019- web 2048

A small flareup on narrowneck plateau as misty conditions permeate the night…

A backburn that was implemented to stop the spread of the massive Gospers Mountains fire, broke containment lines and entered the grose valley. The grose valley fire produced a huge pyrocumulus fire cloud that dominated the skyline…The Gospers Mountains fire was unstoppable and burnt over 1.2 million acres, becoming the largest forest fire in Australian history.

Pyrocumulus Cloud- Ben Pearse 2019

Pyrocumulus Cloud- Grose valley fire 2019

Gospers Breath- Ben Pearse 2019

Gospers Breath- Grose valley fire 2019

Note: I would like to personally thank all the incredible and tireless work that the Emergency workers do across Australia each fire season. Thankyou!

Cheers for looking, Ben.

View Ben’s Website here: Ben Pearse Photography

 

 

 

 

Mount Solitary walk- Blue Mountains

Looking back- Ben Pearse 2016

Looking back on Katoomba from Mt Solitary ridge

Situated in the world heritage listed Blue Mountains, Australia lies the majestic Mount Solitary. At 950 metres above sea level Mount Solitary demands attention amongst it’s nearest landscapes rivals such as the iconic three sisters located nearby. The local indigenous people called the mountain Korowal meaning “the strong one”. Mount Solitary is located in the jamison valley and is most easily accessed via the mountain township of Katoomba.

Over the years Mount Solitary has been a sought after destination for many experienced walkers, hikers, runners and overnight campers as they seek the majestic and breathtaking views the mountain offers up as you labour up it’s steep eucalyptus lined ridges. From it’s summit you are offered a stunning view from melville’s lookout near chinaman’s gap that takes in lake burragorang and the wild dog mountains.

In recent times the National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) have installed pit toilets, shelter and rainwater tanks for the increased traffic flow to Ruined Castle ,which you pass along the way enroute to Mount Solitary. Though the rain tanks may supply water year round, yet it’s vital you carry a good supply of water as it may not be available in the dry periods atop Mount Solitary. Overnight campers can stay in chinaman’s gap or nearby areas with suitable tents and sleeping equipment.

Below is a series of pictures taken by Ben Pearse who is a commercial photographer living and working in Katoomba, Blue Mountains, Australia. These images document the popular walking route from the Golden Stairs to atop Mount Solitary. The distance from the beginning of the Golden stairs to the Chinaman’s Gap is approximately 7.7km. (please read additional notes below images on hiking severity)

I hope these images help others enjoy this beautiful section of the Blue Mountains, Australia.

cheers Ben

All images are copyright to Ben Pearse Photography 2016

Website

Golden stairs to Mount Solitary

three sisters view

three sisters view

Golden stairs decent- april 2016- 2048

Golden stair pathway

angophora trees

Angophora trees

Signs to Solitary- april 2016- 2048

Signposts to Mt Solitary at base of Golden Stairs

Entering the forest- april 2016- 2048

Entering the forest

Dappled light- 2048

Dappled forest light

Forest views- april 2016

Forest views

Forest greens- april 2016- 2048

Forest greens

Sunshine in greenery- april 2016

Sunshine and greens

Sun through the trees- april 2016- 2048

Sunshine through the trees

Trees amongst the ferns- april 2016- 2048

Trees amongst the ferns

cliff lined views- april 2016- 2048

Cliff lined views

Track between ferns- 2048

Track through the ferns

Forest in sunlight- april 2016- 2048

Forest in sunlight

Sea of ferns- 2048

Sea of ferns

Under a fern canopy- april 2016- 2048

Under a fern canopy

Lush forests- april 2016- 2048

Lush forests

Bush toilets- april 2016- 2048

Bush toilets

Turnoff to ruined castle- 2048

Turnoff to Ruined Castle

Warning signs to heed- april 2016

Warning signs to take note

Camping site- 2048

Campsites and rest spots

Water and shelter stop- 2048

Water and shelter

Rain tanks and shelter- april 2016- 2048

Rain tanks and shelter

Last pit toilet- april 2048

Last pit toilet stop

Rainwater tanks- april 2016- 2048

Rain tanks can provide water if it’s available

Raintank- april 2016- 2048

One of two rain tanks available

Beautiful angophora trees- 2048

Beautiful angophora trees

The uphill climb begins- april 2016- 2048

The uphill climb begins

Ruined castle views- april 2016- 2048

Ruined Castle views

Angophora forest- april 2016- 2048

Angophora forest

Sunlight over angophora- april 2016- 2048

Sunlight over Angophora tree

Angophora canopy- 2048

Angophora canopy

The track steepens- april 2016- 2048

The path gets steeper

First steep scrample

First steep scramble

Looking to Kings Tablands

Looking to Kings Tablelands

Katoomba cliffline views

Katoomba cliffline views

The chimney climb

The chimney climb

The second knoll climb looms above

The second knoll climb looms above

Looking back across the jamison valley to Katoomba

Looking back across the jamison valley to Katoomba

Looking back panoramic views

Looking back panoramic views

Narrowneck plateau views

Narrowneck plateau views

Summit views...still a way to go.

Summit views…still a way to go

Finding shady spot on the climb

Finding a shady spot on the climb

Summit glory

Summit glory

Chinamans gap- Mount Solitary

Chinaman’s gap- Mount Solitary

Chinaman's gap eucalyptus trees

Chinaman’s gap eucalyptus trees

Chinamans Cave- Mount Solitary

Chinaman’s Cave- Mount Solitary

 

Chinaman's gap in the mist

Chinaman’s gap in the mist

Morning light

Morning light

Melville's lookout- Mount Solitary

Melville’s lookout- Mount Solitary

Zooming in on Lake Burragorang

Zooming in on Lake Burragorang

View over Lake Burragorang

View over Lake Burragorang

Panoramic view from Melville's lookout

Panoramic view from Melville’s lookout

Rain over Lake Burragorang

Rain over Lake Burragorang

Tales around the campfire

Tales around the campfire…

Katoomba panoramic view

Katoomba panoramic view- Mount Solitary on the left. The hike starts from right, underneath narrowneck plateau, and continues left past and below ruined castle and finally up the steep visible ridgeline onto Mount Solitary.

 

Thanks for looking, cheers Ben

Website

Note: The hike to Mount Solitary is not suitable for inexperienced hikers and campers. The long steep ridge path through sections of sandstone boulders can prove exhaustive and dangerous for those whose fitness is not at a suitable level.

Note: The author takes no responsibility for any incorrect information in this blog post. All person/s who are undertaking a walk/hike or camping trip to Mount Solitary should research/contact NPWS and other local government agencies and/or official sites prior to leaving to ensure their own safety. Please stay safe and monitor bushfire warnings when hiking and camping and be sure to take out your rubbish with you so other can enjoy these areas too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Blue Mountains Winter Magic Festival

hands, heart, feet...

hands, heart, feet…

As a long time resident and professional photographer of the Blue Mountains I’ve always looked forward to the annual Blue Mountains Winter Magic Festival in june each year. The festival is held in the upper mountains township of Katoomba and revolves around the winter solstice every year. It’s a time for people to embrace and showcase their inner creative and flamboyant streaks by wearing a costume that reflects the annual theme of the festival. Each year the theme changes, this year it was peace and over the last few years it has been phoenix dreaming and historia…Every year there is a grand parade that makes its way up Katoomba street, cheered on by large crowds that line the sidelines. Each year crowds over 45 ooo+ people will come and visit the festival. There is a huge selection of stalls to browse through on the day and many performances take place at various venues of the course of the festival.

Over the last few years I’ve been one of the official photographers and I thought I would put together a small showreel of some of my favourite images that I’ve captured of this wonderful local festival over the last few years. I thought this year was the busiest in terms of just moving through the crowds, I personally struggled throughout the day as I felt pretty unwell and only shot a small portion of the day’s festivities. Luckily there is always plenty of local photographers on hand to showcase the event to the public via social media platforms. As always the event is organised by a group of tireless volunteers who do a great job of coordinating one of Australia’s biggest festivals..no small task i’m sure, and they do an outstanding job.

So sit back and scroll through some of the images that I have personally enjoyed capturing of the Blue Mountains Winter Magic Festival. I hope to see you there next year…..

cheers Ben

Website- benpearsephotography.com.au  Winter Magic Festival Website-http://www.wintermagic.com.au/

looking back at winter magic over the years

selfie time

selfie time

rhythm

rhythm

Strike a pose- Winter Magic 2013- low res

Strike a pose

Grand parade coming through

Grand parade coming through

Sweeney Todd & Mrs Lovett

Sweeney Todd & Mrs Lovett

Happy faces

Happy faces

romantic interludes

romantic interludes

Carrington hotel fireworks

Carrington hotel fireworks

smiles all round

smiles all round

street performers

street performers

marching to the beat of the drum

marching to the beat of the drum

little fairies

little fairies

tall people

tall people

wonderful volunteers

wonderful volunteers

having a good time

having a good time

scarey outfits

scarey outfits

traditional music

traditional music

colourful kids

colourful kids

knights of the realm

knights of the realm

blue mountains fans

blue mountains fans

marching bands

marching bands

fireworks in the mist

fireworks in the mist

great performers

great performers

eye popping acts

eye popping acts

captivated crowds

captivated crowds

what goes up must come down..

what goes up must come down..

getting there groove on

getting there groove on

stop on red

stop on red

talented youngsters

talented youngsters

boom shakalaka

boom shakalaka

show of hands

show of hands

burning off lunch

burning off lunch

little Harry potters

little Harry potters

cultural centre drumming

cultural centre drumming

church choirs

church choirs

Captain Jack is sure to be there

Captain Jack is sure to be there

checking the outfit

checking the outfit

viking encounters

viking encounters

long time participants

long time participants

beautiful costumes

beautiful costumes

yummy food

yummy food

redheads

redheads

funksters

funksters

jumping with joy

jumping with joy

happy helpers

happy helpers

festival favourites

festival favourites

thor

thor

great traditional dancers

Jo from Wagana

happy stall holders

happy stall holders

performing to the crowds

performing to the crowds

morning entertainment

morning entertainment

getting the shot

getting the shot

spidey deliveries

spidey deliveries

blast from the past

blast from the past

belly dancers

belly dancers

kids in colour

kids in colour

sun dancers

sun dancers

rock singers

rock singers

up on stage

Wagana performance

friendly pets

friendly pets

graffiti artists

graffiti artists

dressed in white

dressed in white

making news

making news

Mad hatters

Mad hatters

ending with a bang

ending with a bang

thats a wrap for now

Hands, Heart, Feet

5

Winter Magic Festival 2017

Winter Magic Festival 2017

Winter Magic Festival 2017

1

Winter Magic Festival 2017

40

Winter Magic Festival 2017

Fireworks 2

Winter Magic Festival 2017- Fireworks

Winter Magic ver 3 copy

Winter Magic Festival 2017

About Ben- Ben Pearse is a commercial and portrait from Katoomba in the Blue Mountains. Ben works from his home portrait studio in Katoomba and also sells and licenses his large portfolio of landscape images of the Blue Mountains, Australia.

You can follow Ben’s photographic journey on these social media platforms Website Facebook  Instagram  Twitter  Google+  Flickr  500px

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

Facebook  Portfolio  Google+  Twitter   500px 

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

 

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

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

after glow

after glow

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

 

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