Monday’s Musings…

I am writing this from our hotel in Inverloch, grabbing a quick rest after a very long day. We were up at 5am to shoot sunrise back at Warratah Bay….paradise. We acually visited this spot 3 times in 4 days.

We have been visting this little stretch of coastline for three days and still two days to go. I hope the weather holds out. 

I am exhausted and sore, so many stairs, everywhere we go. Steep slopes and stairs 😣 my legs are so sore. But what an amazing area. Will post more soon. 

Until next time…happy snapping

-Julz

Weekly Photo Challenge – Earth

With Earth day coming up on April 22, our theme for this week’s WPC is Earth. I have just spent eight days in the Australian Outback, where I had no signal, nor internet for at least three of those days and more often than not; little to none on the rest of those days. I can’t say I went without any tech; I had my car, my camera and my tunes…but I did spend a week getting back to nature.

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Day Dream Mine

Autumn is a magical time of the year in the Outback, days are wonderful and the nights not too cold, tru Spring often has wild flowers, but there is something about this time of year…..the light: the sunrises, sunsets and the evening sky – all magic

~ Julz

Our Outback Adventure, Day 5

Broken Hill – Silverton – Mundi Mundi Plains, 24 kms

We allowed ourselves the luxury of a sleep in this morning, as we had a free morning to ourselves, we did however miss a fabulous sunrise. We went to Bells Cafe for morning tea, it’s a retro 1960s cafe filled to the brim with retro goodies and decor. I got a lactose free Cherry Ripe Milkshake……yummo!

We then headed back out to the Line of the Load memorial for some more photos.

Next was the Royal Flying Doctor Service, a vital medical service which covers a majority of outback Australia, for which without, there would be no clinics or emergency services.  We did a tour of the facilities and had everything explained from changes in the last few decades due to technology and how operations work. We even saw the hangar where they house the air-planes.

We then wandered around Town for a bit, looking at some of the historic buildings, had some lunch at Thyme Cafe (delicious) and then met the others to head off to Day Dream Mine. Some ventured on the underground mine tour, I had read it was quite rigorous so I stayed above ground.  There is the remains of the old township and smelter, but it is quite dangerous and had to stay on the dirt road….the ground still has many open mine shafts which you could fall into, as well as some of the slag heaps still contain cyanide, arsenic and lead and disturbing them is ill-advised! The ones who did the mine tour all complained how stiff & sore they were from the cramped and difficult conditions they endured down there, for days! So glad I stayed up top. On and no I did not try the fresh scones 🙂

After carefully exploring the area we headed off again to Silverton. This area was used to shoot several Mad Max films, although they had to shoot the last one in Mongolia or something as the area broke out in a sudden case of Spring after some rains and wild flowers dotted the landscape………so very un Mad Max lol.

We wandered around this now ghost town, but as we arrived quite late we could not visit the many galleries dotted around the small town, nor the Mad Max Museum. We did photograph many of the abandoned houses and buildings, we met donkeys and horses, goats and some kangaroos. We then drove out to Mundi Mundi Plains for the most stunning sunset overlooking what could have been the edge of the world. So flat and barren and untamed, not a soul in sight except for ourselves.

We drove back (carefully dodging kangaroos, horses and donkeys) back to Silverton Pub for a lovely dinner, with loads of stories and laughs.

After dinner we went back out to one of the abandoned houses for some light painting in the ruins. No flaming steel wool tonight, too dangerous. True there is not alot left to burn down, but I am sure any damage would not be appreciated.

Some of us were so tired and still had the drive back to Broken Hill in the dark, so we didn’t play all night, even if I wanted to, I had some new ideas I had wanted to try. Oh well, can’t be greedy! Eventually made it back to the hotel safe and sound and that is where I will leave day 5…

~ Julz

Day 4 | Day 6

Our Outback Adventure, Day 1

We rose early, packed the car and headed off on the start of our Outback Adventure, we were not meeting the others in the group for two days, but we had decided to slowly make our way to the meeting point and stop off throughout Gold Country on our way up; making our trip a 9 day adventure.

Our first stop was Macedon, as there are several lovely gardens to visit as well as Hanging Rock, it is only about one hour from Melbourne. I didn’t realise it was also ‘Run the Rock’ marathon weekend and the whole area was packed, making parking and photography quite difficult. Also the leaves have not started to turn colour as yet…..so we thought we may come back in a few weeks, it is only an hour or so from Melbourne. Our next stop was Woodend and it was Market Day, a rather large event as it turns out……the town was so packed we could not move here either; our week was not off to a great start! We had no real plans, so it was not a major issue and we continued onto to Mount Macedon. This is snow country and the day we visited was 7C and the wind blowing fiercely making it seem even colder. We visited the Memorial Cross at the summit, this imposing structure stands 21 metres high and commemorates all those who served in wars. We also wandered the gardens, grabbed a hot coffee and then continued on our way.

There were a few old wheat Mills and old Farm yards to visit between Kyneton and Carlsruhe and we got very lucky that Windmill Farm; which is a private property and  was having an open day, due to it being sold. This Farm has used in a few films and can usually only be seen from the road. I got cheeky and asked if we could take photos, the real estate agents thought it was OK…..so we did! We also shot around the old bridge, such a fabulous area.

We then went looking for old viaducts and train bridges around the Taradale and Malmsbury area. We found an abandoned house in Malmsbury which was a delight to shoot, opposite the Juvenile Detention Centre.

Eventually as the sun was getting low, we headed off to Maldon, where we had booked a B&B for the night. After check in we headed into the town (or what is left of it) for a lovely dinner at the Spotted Cow Restaurant.

After dinner we drove out to Mount Tarrengower Tower to see if it was open and a good spot for Sunrise. We dodged kangaroos all the way up and down the mountain, it was quite scary in spots. Eventually made our way back to the B&B for bed……we planned an early morning.

I will leave Day 1 here and continue Day 2 in another post.

~Julz

Day 2

 

Monday’s Musings

Hi Everyone……..I’m back. Firstly, let me start by saying I am sorry I have missed everything that you wrote and every picture you posted. I started trying to read everything I missed while I was away……but it is just too hard. So just assume I loved everything, as I follow you for a reason 🙂 Same goes with Social Media……so many messages and comments I will try to get through them all, but most of the week was spent without any internet at all, so this week I will catch up where I can, and just let the rest fall by the wayside. If there is anything important, send me a new message.

So………we are back from our Outback Adventure; 2,490kms from Melbourne to Silverton and back. 16 Intredpid travellers, eight vehicles and one caravan. We picked up some part way through and lost others along the way……no one hurt or anything; just car problems or people just not continuing on. I have done these roads before as a child and tweenager, but most I can barely remember.

April is the perfect time to go, the rains from up North (currently QLD and Northern NSW are completely flooded) have not arrived, the days are much cooler (average 25C) and the nights not too cold (avg 12-15C). The roads are all open and they are in good condition. September is also a great time to visit the Outback, for similar reasons, although the rains have been and some roads may still be closed. In fact one year (many years ago) we did a similar trip, we were stuck in Broken Hill due to roads were all closed and flooded.

Outback Group Shot

Group shot taken in Broken Hill – 2 people missing

Apart from the caravan jack-knifing and damaging itself and the car, there were no other issues and the trip mostly went smoothly. The car and caravan met us and stayed in Broken Hill, they slowly limped back down to Mildura, however towing a caravan, this couple knew they could not keep up with the faster 4WD and cars in the rough terrain (some of the cars had to take things slowly as well), so this was always their plan. Some roads were great, but many were just dirt tracks

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We saw many sunrises and sunsets, most very fabulous, some were average. We had a crescent moon, to start the week, so not much good for Astro Photography. We did see, but not capture shooting stars in Silverton.

So these images are just a tiny sample of some of the spots we visited; Maldon, Mildura, Broken Hill, Silverton, Mungo, Swan Hill and more. The images have not even been processed and we have already started discussing our trip for 2018, as this was such a huge success.

We came home a day early, hoping to beat a big storm front hitting Melbourne, but only just made it in time. Spent yesterday emptying the car, food shopping, laundry and just getting stuff organised. Back to work today, before a break for Easter. Hopefully I can get through a few photos before then. I will break the posts down for this trip day by day.

Til then, I hope you all have a fantastic week…

~Julz

 

 

Summer Wanderings…Clifton Springs

Technically it is now Autumn, but the weather has been very summery! We spent a wonderful weekend down on the Bellarine Peninsula recently and paid a visit to a sleepy little fishing spot in Clifton Springs…….photographers love it for the remains of the old jetty, last time we were there it was so grey and dismal; the sky, the water and I swear even the sand was grey; but not this time.

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Gorgeous Summer blue skies and puffy white clouds, gentle sea breezes and peace and quiet. We were going to shoot sunrise, but at 5:30am it was raining! We arrive a bit before noon…..we should have gotten there earlier, as trying to do long exposure in the middle of the day, a really super bright day is quite difficult.

I didn’t realise the camera had slipped a bit on the tripod either, chopping off the bottom of the image, oh well…guess we need to go back one day 🙂

I was happy just to wander along the coastline and take a few snaps, I got out the crystal ball and played around with that too…..but I was happy to just BE. After spending more time than was probably necessary, we headed off to find other adventures.

Til next time…safe travels and happy snapping;

~ Julz

Share Your World – 14th Feb 2017

Back for another week, I’m running a little behind due to a long weekend. Join us as we share our world each week with a list of questions from Cee.

Do you push the elevator button more than once?  Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster? Mmmmm let me think on this………NO! I do not, really I find those obsessive button pushes quite annoying actually. Even when a light is lit because I pushed it and someone new turns up and pushes it…..arrrrgggggg I have to stop myself from saying saying sarcastic “Thanks Mate…I didn’t think it was pushed enough” or “Don’t I look like I am capable of pressing a button?”. Don’t get me started lol I don’t even think I did it as a child………..now on the other hand as a child I used to press ALL the buttons in an elevator…….that bugs me now too 🙂

Do you plan out things usually or do you do them more spontaneous (for example if you are visiting a big city you don’t know?) I’m a planner, I often have things planned down to the second. Hubby thinks its great, I tell him what time he needs to get moving and just keep going for the rest of the day. Our holidays are often jam packed with an itinerary, especially if we are travelling overseas. However……in saying that I have also learnt the art of NON PLANNING. We have taken a few trips over the last few years where we have just got in the car and drove, only with a general direction in mind; The Great Ocean Road, sure there were places I wanted to see, but no time frame, no accommodation booked. We spent 4 days exploring a stretch of road you can drive past in 20 minutes! These trips can be fun too. Our day trips can be like that too. I have come to really enjoy these magical mystery tours.

Describe yourself in at least four uplifting words. Creative, caring, adventurous, fun- loving. Ohh that felt good, so I would like a round#2; loving, loyal, intelligent, imaginative………ooohh that does feel good, like self affirmations they are good for the soul in this current climate of self deprivation.

If you had a choice which would be your preference salt water beaches, fresh water lakes, ocean cruise, hot tub, ski resort or desert? Mmmm let me think…..WATER!!!! It has to be water……….preferably the beach, there is something about the waves, the sounds, the smell, it restores me. But I also enjoy a good lake, especially if there is a forest to explore, fresh tree smells after the rain, heaven. Deserts are interesting, we went into Australia’s Red Centre in 2015, fabulous. I have never been on an Ocean cruise, but would like to one day. I do enjoy my own hot tub, and I would rather be in my own. Ski Resort? No not really, I visited one last year, in the Autumn, I don’t really like the cold, and as pretty as snow is I don’t think I would like to holiday in it. Also I am so naturally clumsy, trying to learn to ski is just asking for BIG trouble.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

Last week was a great week, full of fun and inspirational things and people, we got a long weekend full of interesting spots to visit. We had long beautiful days, with perfect weather and filled with good food and good people. This week is a short work week (yay) and then I have a fun concept shoot with one of my wonderful models, can’t wait for that (I hope it doesn’t get too hot we have to cancel). This week I also have lots of photos to edit. It is also mid month so that is when I am busy doing magazine submissions, Shift Art challenge entries and such.

Julie Powell_Quieting the storms from within

Quieting the Storms from Within – With Hayley

Well, that’s it from me for this week, I hope you all have a truly fabulous week,

~ Julz

Daily Post – Expectations

I might have mentioned recently that we are going to Bali later in the year for a wedding…….honestly isn’t it a bit much to expect people to fly to another country just so they can get married on a beach? Initially I didn’t want to go, I have nothing against Bali…..just not something on my bucket list and I have a long bucket list.

But what do I know about Bali……….absolutely nothing to be honest. All I really know is Australians play hard over there, drink and do drugs and end up in Jail (often with a death sentence – Bali does not tolerate drugs), Australians get blown up in Bali  – pre 9-11, there was several bombings in Kuta. There are a lot of temples, there a lot of beaches and it gets hot. So my expectations were not really very high, but I figured if I am now going, I had better figure out what there is to do over there; if nothing else.

Stay away from Kuta is the main thing to remember, it’s where the young hooligans stay, it’s cheap and there are lots of bars and clubs………no interest here from us. We are heading inland to Ubud, more mountainous, with temples, water gardens, villages and such. We are spending a week there exploring the area before the wedding which is on the East Coast in a resort miles from any town. I want to see rice paddy fields and slopes, ancient temples; intact and in ruins, stunning water gardens, the Monkey Forest, artisans with silver and cloth and wood, lovely beaches along the coast and lovely sunrises and perhaps sunsets on the West Coast (if we get that far). We are staying at a Safari Park and I want to see elephants and giraffes, zebras and tigers, I hope my expectations are not too high for this place. I hope our stay here is not too short.

After the wedding we are spending a few days on one of the islands, rest and relaxation, snorkeling and swimming, and maybe some more exploring. I hope it will be enjoyable…what’s not to love; beach, sand, sun, warm weather, tropical forests, exotic animals and ancient temples. Supposedly the weather is perfect in October, not too hot, lower humidity and it is the dry season.

The down side of all this is my big trip back to New Zealand, which I had planned for October/ November has been pushed back another year. It tears me apart that I have to wait…….but then again I did not have such high expectations of New Zealand before I went and did not expect to fall in love with that country either. Perhaps Bali will be similar? I mean people keep going back again and again; surely it’s not for the cheap booze and DVDs?

If you have been to Bali and have any interesting places to visit, drop me a line…

~ Julz

P.S. Photos from Pixabay

Share Your World – Feb 14th, 2017

I think I answered some of these last week in the 100 questions no-one asks, but that is OK most of those were one word answers.So this week Cees asks us to Share Our World with the following questions.

Do you sleep with your sheets tucked in or out? I have to agree with Cee, bottom in but sides out, it’s the whole animal thing, they take up so much of the bed and are so stubborn if you have to get out you need to escape out the sides, can’t do that with them tucked in. Also I tend to get hot and have the whole sleep with my legs out thing, need at least a sheet on the top part of me, but like my legs o=uncovered from time to time – weird right?

Have you stolen a street sign before? Oh Yes, Cee said she didn’t even know anyone who had, well she does now…..I never said I was an Angel 😛

Do you cut out coupons but then never use them? Yes, but mostly fuel coupons and then forget them when I get fuel. Thankfully these days most of my savings like that are on a swipe card.

Do you have freckles? Yes I have a few, not many. When I was younger and lived in the water (I loved the pool, the beach, rivers, creeks) I was always in the Sun and always had lots of freckles on my nose and cheeks……these days I cover up more and don’t seem to get them as much.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

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I got to go out and explore more of my Marvelous Melbourne, it never lets me down, even when I think I have seen it all; it shows me hidden gems. I have been to the Royal Exhibition Buildings plenty of times, but never just sat and looked at it at twilight and early evening with the lights come on and the stars come out………magic.

I also got to book my upcoming trip to Bali, finalised our Outback Adventure in April and booked another exhibit for my art. Made plans for a few short stay trips over the next coming months, while the weather is still good, as well as some photoshoots. So that is plenty to be grateful for. This weekend, I am hoping to have another photo shoot arranged for my new Series I am starting and that is about it at the moment.

~ Julz