15 49.0138 8.38624 1 1 5000 1 https://www.lukeobrien.com.au 300 true

Cradle Mountain Photography Tour Highlights

Last week’s Cradle Mountain photography tour coincided with one of Tasmania’s hottest ever days. Shooting the rainforest in these conditions was always going to be tricky but we took a short visit to Weindorfer’s forest behind the old Waldheim hut – which is coincidentally celebrating it’s centenary this year. My workshops are designed with flexibility re conditions firmly in mind in order to maximise photographic opportunities, so due to the extreme weather I decided to extend the evening session to make sure we could still have as much time in the field as possible.

The evening session began with a wildlife shoot, and the wombats were the stars of the show as they happily munched away at the grass just a few feet from us, pausing only to give themselves a good old fashioned scratch from time to time. We even spotted a mother with young in her pouch which was quite a unique sight. We then went to Dove Lake for the dusk shoot and things started out very promising with some nicely positioned high level cloud right above the familiar outline of the mountain. As the dusk wore on the lake became very calm and before long we even had reflections and we started to think something quite special was going to happen…

Dusk at Dove Lake - Cradle Mt Photography Tours

Dusk at Dove Lake – at this point we started getting quite excited…

Dusk at Dove Lake

Dusk at Dove Lake – the one that got away 🙁

Unfortunately, however, the colour faded fairly quickly this evening, and we discussed that half the fun of landscape photography is the “thrill of the hunt” – you can never know in advance exactly what you are going to get, and it is often that sense of anticipation that hooks us as photographers. We then turned our attention to the night sky, as I knew conditions would be tough during the forecast heat of the next day. As it turned out we stayed at the lake until nearly midnight doing star-trails of Orion, Taurus and the Seven Sisters. Jupiter was stunningly bright, and I was impressed to see the Galilean moons through my 200mm. I gave the Pentax Astro Tracer another run, and was really impressed to see the distinct red hues of the giant stars Aldebaren (in Taurus, near the centre of the image below) and Betelgeuse (in Orion, to the right). The Seven Sisters were clearly visible to the naked eye and Jupiter was dazzlingly bright. The image below is a 3 minute exposure.

The Seven Sisters, Jupiter, Taurus & Orion. 3 minute exposure, with Pentax "Astro Tracer"

The Seven Sisters, Jupiter, Taurus & Orion. 3 minute exposure, with Pentax “Astro Tracer”

The next morning after the sunrise we spent a few hours indoors discussing post processing techniques over a coffee. The heat and wind were starting to pick up but we made a short journey to where we had noticed some lovely mountain rocket flowers in full bloom, against a rustic old fence. This turned into a macro session as we discussed a few tips to handle shooting in such high contrast conditions (tip: umbrellas can be useful for weather conditions other than rain…)

Macro Photography Tips - Cradle Mountain Photography Tours

Macro Photography Tips – use your umbrella to shield your subject from harsh light (left image). Image at right shows the harsher contrasts caused by the direct sun.

Tasmanian Wildflowers - Mountain Rocket, Cradle Mountain

Tasmanian Wildflowers – Mountain Rocket, Cradle Mountain

Tasmanian Wildflowers - Mountain Rocket, Cradle Mountain

Tasmanian Wildflowers – Mountain Rocket, Cradle Mountain

All my workshops run for a minimum of just 2 on mutually convenient dates, so you are guaranteed plenty of one on one tuition time and flexibility. Tour fees include all transport, meals, accommodation and tuition. Full details on my range of workshops is on my Tasmanian Photography Tours page.

Previous Post
Tasmanian Photography: The Colours of Mt Wellington
Next Post
Wedge Tailed Eagle Release, Tahune Airwalk
Avatar photo

About Luke

Luke O'Brien runs a stall at Hobart's popular Salamanca Market every Saturday where his prints and cards are available for purchase. Follow Luke's photographic adventures on Twitter at @lukeobrienphoto, at his Facebook page or by subscribing to his email newsletter.