Exactly 30 months ago , Charlotte came into this world. Exactly 30 months and 1 day ago was the last morning that Marianne and I had without having to worry about being woken up or waking up Charlotte. While that sounds negative, I have to stress that parenthood itself has been filled with so much joy and life experience that there really are no room for regrets, just opportunity for reflection. With our second child due to enter the world in a few weeks, we decided to try something different : a holiday without Charlotte. We had all sorts of concerns ranging from how Charlotte would cope without us , to how glum we might feel without her boundless toddler energy (she’s past toddling now really) . I am delighted to say that Charlotte treated it as a holiday to our grandparents’ house (whose assistance was greatly appreciated). Marianne and I almost didn’t know what to do with ourselves with the sudden degree of freedom to do as we pleased! I would have usually considered photographing most dawns, dusks, nights and travelling through the day tiring but compared to raising a young child, it is nothing! I think this is a hard concept for those without children to grasp but if you are a landscape photographer and plan on having children in the future, take full toll of your freedom now!!
As for the Great Ocean Road itself, we were visiting with two frames of mind. The first was that of a keen tourist. I had not been down here for many years and definitely not without the knowledge of how to take and create images so I was excited to see what ‘all the fuss’ was about. From this perspective I was not disappointed as there were just so many walks and places to visit and revisit. The second was that of a photographer. The worldwide portfolio of images from this location is outstanding and possibly even intimidating. However, there is a ‘sameness’ to such popularly shot icons and I wondered if it would be possible to come back from the trip with the personal satisfaction of creating a set of unique images. I’ll let you answer that question for yourselves at the end of this post but I’d say I was only partly satisfied :) And now for the pictures:
Our first evening at the 12 apostles , fresh off an 8 hour car ride took us to the twelve apostles, the most accessible of locations.
During the next morning, there was little light on offer but we visited the Loch Ard Gorge area.
After some wanderings around the Bay of Islands and the Grotto, we had a great lunch at the ‘Fat Cow’ at Timboon.
That evening, we witnessed some amazing light having split ourselves between the apostles themselves and Gibson’s Steps
The following morning saw a return to the Bay of Islands before venturing out to the Otways. I had thought that the closed waterfalls meant no access but apparently photographers have still been getting to Hopetoun and Beauchamp falls! If only we had known!
That evening, Marianne took a break from proceedings while I found my way down to wreck beach and the 366 steps down. (366 steps is not actually as many as it sounds). The anchor of the Marie Gabrielle stood waiting as the tide retreated.
The following morning saw a return to Loch Ard Gorge with some golden light after sunrise.
The last evening was again spent at Loch Ard as Marianne had not been there thus far.
Knowing the weekend of freedom was coming to an end, I took advantage of a seemingly clear night to photograph the stars. Unfortunately, the cloud blew in just as the moonrise was occurring which meant that I had to take a foreground exposed shot several hours after the star images.
And with that, concludes our last photographic trip for quite some time as we are expecting to be taken up with parental duties from after early April :)