Mount Solitary

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Favourite pictures from 2015- Ben Pearse Photography

Three sisters in snow

Three sisters in snow

So once again it’s quickly become that time of the year where I take a look back at some of my favourite photographic moments from the year just gone…2015. Wow that was fast! Are we sure there is still twelve months in a year or has it changed to about seven! This year, now nearly over, just seemed to fly by for me.

For me personally 2015 was a tough year as my father passed away on his birthday leaving me quite flat and uninspired at times. I made the decision to step back from taking allot of pictures in 2015 as I didn’t feel my usual drive. I’m glad of this decision as it allowed me to solidify my photographic business direction for the next few years. I got to work for some great clients in 2015 and I’m very thankful for those opportunities and I’m sure 2016 will be even better.

I hope you have enjoyed looking at my images from 2015 and I hope that you will continue to appreciate my photos for many years to come. Thanks to all of you that have viewed and perhaps shared my images online through the various social media platforms that I use. A big thanks to all my wonderful clients from 2015 and to the businesses that support my work as well. I’m looking forward to holding a joint photo exhibit this year in August as well as expanding my commercial photographic business to incorporate new and exciting opportunities for future and past clients. I wish everyone a very happy and safe New Years celebration and I look forward to bringing you much more of my photographic work in 2016. Thanks again for your support!

Here are a few of my favourite images from 2015

what goes up must come down..

what goes up must come down..

Katoomba gets some snow

Katoomba gets some snow

Three sisters on sunrise with a little snow

Three sisters on sunrise with a little snow

Blue Mountains winter wonderland

Blue Mountains winter wonderland

Three sisters in snow

Three sisters in snow

Snow over three sisters

Snow over three sisters

Winter Magic Festival 2015

Winter Magic Festival 2015

Hands, Heart & Feet annual perforamce

Hands, heart & feet great winter magic annual performance

viking encounters

viking encounters

Undearneath the canopy

Underneath the canopy

Blue Mountains Summertime

Blue Mountains Summertime

Pools of green

Pools of green

Three Sisters moods

Three Sisters moods

Commercial photography for BMCC

Commercial photography for BMCC

Lady luck festival

Lady luck festival

Jamison valley rays

Jamison valley rays

Crescent moon reflections in pool

Crescent moon reflections in pool

Grose valley clouds

Grose valley clouds

Fog in the jamison

Fog in the jamison

Misty moods

Misty moods

Rainshower over Lake Burragorang

Rainshower over Lake Burragorang

Lithgow Halloween

Lithgow Halloween

Morning mist

Morning mist

Bondi twilight runner

Bondi twilight runner

Lithgow halloween costumes

Lithgow halloween costumes

Solitary confinement

Solitary confinement

Commercial photography

Commercial photography

Commercial photography

Commercial photography

Ben Pearse Photography

Commercial photography

Commercial photography

Commercial photography

Commercial photography

Commercial photography

Commercial photography

Commercial photography

Commercial photography

Commercial photography

Commercial photography

Commercial photography

Commercial photography

Commercial photography

Commercial photography

Commercial photography

Commercial photography

Commercial photography

Commercial photography

Commercial photography

Australian Kite Flying Society- Bondi Beach

Australian Kite Flying Society- Bondi Beach

Rural sunset

Rural sunset

Karuah views

Karuah views

Face in the clouds

Face in the clouds

Culturescape

Culturescape

Forest light

Forest light

Emily

Emily

Leura village fair

Leura village fair

Golden three sisters on sunset

Golden three sisters on sunset

Leura Cascades

Leura Cascades

Linda falls

Linda falls

Boulders home

Boulders home

Huntsman hideout

Huntsman hideout

Pod of Dolphins

Pod of Dolphins

Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House

Murray river bridge Taree

Murray river bridge Taree

Pelican portrait

Pelican portrait

North face runners

North face runners

Pelican gathering

Pelican gathering

Kangaroo amongst bamboo

Kangaroo amongst bamboo

Three sisters under floodlight

Three sisters under floodlight

Avoca fury

Avoca fury

Ettalong beach sunset

Ettalong beach sunset

Country frosting

Country frosting

Mountains sunset

Mountains sunset

View to solitary

View to solitary

Katoomba falls panoramic

Katoomba falls panoramic

the-north-face-100-sunset-runners

The north face 100 sunset runners

Sunset over falls

Sunset over falls

Mountains flow

Mountains flow

Tranquil waters

Tranquil waters

Roadside rays

Roadside rays

Blue moments

Blue moments

Fog in the valley panoramic

Fog in the valley panoramic

happy halloween

happy halloween

Leila

Leila

Self portrait

Self portrait

Snow over megalong valley

Snow over megalong valley

View to falls

View to falls

Golden reflections

Golden reflections

Three sisters snow sunrise

Three sisters snow sunrise

funeral blues

funeral blues

Into the cauldron

Into the cauldron

Rhythm and flow

Rhythm and flow

Water of life

Water of life

Where witches leap

Where witches leap

Falling water

Falling water

Hidden in the mist

Hidden in the mist

Around the campfire

Around the campfire

Jamison ablaze panoramic

Jamison ablaze panoramic

First light on jamison

First light on jamison

Landslide rainbow

Landslide rainbow

 

Thanks for taking a look, cheers Ben

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

 

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

Cicadas-A short but noisey life

Breaking free

Breaking free

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

facebook  flickr                                                                                    more cicada magic

The climb up-September 2013-Web size Cicada holes- September 2013-Web size New body- September 2013-Web size Coming out- September 2013- Web size Tough climb-September 2013- Web size Hitching a ride 2- September 2013-Web size Rebirth- September 2013-Web size Having a seat-September 2013-Web size Hannging on-September 2013- Web size Lttle friend-September 2013- Web size Line of cicadas- September 2013- Web size Cicada on the branch-September 2013-Web size Old body- September 2013- Web size

seeking higher ground

seeking higher ground

Cicada--September-2013--low-res Moved-on--September-2013--low-res End-of-the-road--September-2013--low-res Cicada-shell--September-2013--low-res