Locations: Blue Mountains

The Blue Mountains are an icon amongst Australian landscape destinations.  Named for the blueish haze you can see in the valleys from all the eucalyptus oil evaporating from leaves and mixing with the air, they provide wonderful opportunities for photography.  From the numerous lookouts where you can capture the valley views to the steep walks into gorges and gullies, wet with water dripping down from the cliff faces and never far from a waterfall or two. I spent 4 days in Blackheath which is only a few minutes drive from the Grosse valley lookouts and Grand Canyon walk.  Katoomba is only 20 minutes drive away and here you have easy access to locations like the Three Sisters and the Valley of the Waters.  

As always with popular destinations the challenge is making images that are unique even though there have been thousands standing there with camera's before you.  This is one reason I did not expect much from the "Three Sisters" lookout - its been done to death photography wise.  I did visit on my last morning and the following shot is the best of that attempt.  


This trip was the first chance I have had to use my new Canon 24mm TS-E II lens which is a tilt/shift manual focus lens.  I plan to do a field report of this lens in a later post but suffice to say it is now my "go-to" lens for anything landscape. I can virtually retire my old 17-40 F4! The ability to flat stitch photos and control focus planes is invaluable.

The following image shows the a section of the walking trail from the Grand Canyon walk.


One of the best and most popular walking trails is the Valley of the Waters.  This trail dives down into one of the gullies beside a small river and follows it past many small waterfalls (including Empress Falls in the next image).  It is a steep hike down but worth the effort if you like shooting waterfalls. 


Queen Victoria Lookout is on the way to the Valley of the Waters trail and provides a good veiw of 'classic' blue mountains scenery with the blue eucalyptus haze and sheer sandstone cliff faces sheltering lush wooded valleys.