The Great Ocean Reprieve


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.

12 Apostles (minus a few)

During the next morning, there was little light on offer but we visited the Loch Ard Gorge area.

Just south of Loch Ard Gorge

After some wanderings around the Bay of Islands and  the Grotto, we had a great lunch at the ‘Fat Cow’ at Timboon.

The Grotto and a splash!

That evening, we witnessed some amazing light having split ourselves between the apostles themselves and Gibson’s Steps

Golden drama at the twelve apostles

The light from 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!

Triplet Falls, and a wandering photographer

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.

Shelves and reflections at Wreck Beach

Resting place of the Marie Gabrielle

The following morning saw a return to Loch Ard Gorge with some golden light after sunrise.

Loch Ard Gorge by moonlight

The end of Loch Ard Gorge

The last evening was again spent at Loch Ard as Marianne had not been there thus far.

Loch Ard Gorge at sunset

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.

Milky way over the apostles

Last golden light before leaving

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 :)

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Posted on March 10, 2014, in 1, Australia, Photography, Victoria and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. A fantastic post guys – I think you got great light at the apostles…every time I’ve been there it’s been ghastly windy and rainy weather so well done! I also really liked the milky way shot too – never seen something like that before from this location.

    I’m looking forward to seeing baby #2!

    • Thanks muchly Imogen ! That first shot was shot in some really trying conditions (60km winds lol) – the others, we got much better conditions where the tripod was actually able to be kept still lol. Looking forward to the due date too!!

  2. Ingrid Van Streepen

    Wonderful photos from a fantastic location. I have not been there yet, but it is definitely on my list.
    Love your Milky Way over the Apostles. I was hoping to do something similar, when I go there, so thanks for the fantastic image and inspiration.
    Good luck and best wishes to both of you for your new baby.

  3. beautiful post and photos. wishing you luck with bub number two. After just giving birth to my first, I think my photography days are limited for a while. It is a lot more time consuming than I realised! In a good way.

  4. Having 3 children of my own, I know it can be a bit of a roller coaster as you bounce between the amazing joys and challenges of parenting. But one thing I didn’t consider before I became a parent is how much it changed me. For me I think it changed me for the better, it gave depth to my character. This in turn improved my cabilities as an artist/photographer.

    I have always been encouraged how you both have included Charlotte in your photographic travels. I am sure at this has not been easy.

    All the best with number two. Praying all goes well.

    • Thank you for your sentiments – even with one it is a bit of a roller coaster already. Certainly changes life’s perspectives and priorities :) We will continue to try involving them with our travels and hopefully they learn to enjoy the wider world too !

  5. beautiful shots – makes me want to pack my bags and head to Oz! I totally hear you on the topic of children + photography – my little girl is now six months old, and I have barely touched my camera (for landscapes, that is.). But, for the moment, baby in sling and off to the beach on a nice day is a real treat, and something we both can enjoy :)

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