The Wheatbelt Way | A Road Trip | May 2018 {Avon Valley & Wheatbelt Documentary Photographer}

With my Autumn weddings done and dusted, I took the opportunity for a three day Roadie earlier this week, heading north-east to the shire of Mt Marshall on the edge of the Wheatbelt, where the Emu Proof Fenceline divides our farmland from station country.  

Late Autumn is such a beautiful time of the year out there.  The days are warm and still, the flies are (mostly!) gone, and the evenings cool.  But it's also the driest time of the year, normally following a long hot Summer, and before the first rains of Winter settle the dust and germinate the newly sown crops. 

Founded on a nomadic pastoral industry, which later included the cutting of sandalwood, the Shire of Mt Marshall takes in the tiny towns of Bencubbin and Beacon, running north to the Emu Proof Fenceline. Nowadays it mostly consists of vast areas of flat, open cropping country, pockets of bush teaming with native flora and fauna, long straight gravel roads, the remnants of small settlements, and some very large rocks.

So, armed with my Fuji XPro2 + 18-135mm lens, plus a few other essentials, like food, water, my coffee machine and a Wheatbelt Drive Trail Map, I headed east to the Beacon Caravan Park, to set up camp - ever conscious of the fact that I was going to be far more comfortable in my Donga than my great great great grandfather JS Roe would have been, when he first discovered and explored this country in 1836! 

  And for the next three days I drove long distances, trekked through bush, climbed rocks with easy to spell names names like Billiburning, Elachbutting and Beringbooding, and watched farmers kick up trails of dust across the landscape with their seeding machines.  I also walked through towns (both existing and extinct), and met a few of the locals, including Bruce and Mal, who offered me a stiff cup of black tea and a rollie, and took me through the Beacon Men's Shed, and a short history of the tractor in Australia. 

But mostly I just hung out on my own.  Sometimes it's good to just quiet the chaos, to switch off and celebrate the simple things in our own backyard. That's what this trip was all about for me. And maybe a little bit about taking photos too, because, well, that's just what I do! 

 

Why I Chose Pentax as My Weapon of Choice | Polka Dot Wisdom | Polka Dot Bride {Perth, Avon Valley & Wheatbelt Wedding Photographer}

A little article I wrote for the lovely ladies at Polka Dot Bride has just been published, and it goes something like this...

Hey, guess what?  I shoot Pentax!  Weird, I know?!  I don't think twice about it, of course, but every now and then I get asked why I chose Pentax as my camera system, usually by an observant wedding guest with an interest in photography, and almost always when I'm darting around grabbing shots, with no time to spare for explanations.  Well, it's mid winter now, and I'm buried in my office, with time to finally answer that question for you!

So why did I choose Pentax, when so many photographers have gone down the Canon or Nikon path?

Well, technically, Pentax chose me, when I joined my high school photography club and was handed one of the dozens of Pentax K1000's that the school loaned out to students on weekends, with a roll of film and a few vague instructions on how to use it.  My fate was then sealed in Year 11, when my parents returned from Bali with a K1000 they'd purchased for me Duty Free (thanks Mum and Dad!).

A couple of decades down the track, and I'm still shooting with that K1000, as well as Pentax's latest full-frame DSLR, the Pentax K1 (both pictured below).  And the reason I've stayed with this system is because Pentax make superb cameras and lenses.  They've been around forever, and have stood the test of time.  Their optics are incredible - they even make a medium format camera, the Pentax 645 Z, which just goes to show the level of build quality they are capable of.

They also boast a huge range of lenses, with many of the old manual film lenses being compatible with current digital cameras.  Which is a huge plus for me, because after so many years shooting Pentax, I now have a fabulous set of fast primes I can still use to create beautiful, dreamy images on your wedding day! 

And lastly, Pentax renders the final image with a lovely film-like quality, which goes hand in hand with my style, allowing me to produce images that hark back to the days of film, even when they're shot on the latest digital cameras.  So really, what more could I ask for in a camera system?!  Definately Pentax and proud!

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Australian National Balloon Championships 2015 | Northam, Avon Valley Event | 24 August - 6 September 2015 {Avon Valley & Perth Event Photographer}

This year we were blessed to be able to host the Australian National Balloon Championships, right here in Northam, in the picturesque Avon Valley of Western Australia.

Last held here in 1981 and 1984, this event saw balloonists from Australia, China, Hong Kong and Japan fill our skies each morning at daybreak, in an explosion of colour, as they competed for the national title.

And I was lucky enough to be there. On the ground, and in the air. Over four mornings of 4am starts. And mostly on and over our family farm, which made it just that little bit extra special!

The following set of images were shot over those four mornings, as I tailed, launched and flew with local balloonists Pete, Mick and Andrew Clements from 'Team Jenna'. 

And all I can really say about the experience, is that it was completely stunning. We were blessed with morning after morning of soft light sunrises, fog in the hollows, and incredible Wheatbelt landscapes of canola and wheat, mixed with little pockets of Salmon and York Gum bushland.

It was a photographers dream come true, and I even learnt a thing or two about flying...

 
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