I find the hardest part of starting a new post is the opening sentence. You want something interesting to grab the attention of the reader. Unlike this beginning, which is absolute crap and just a subterfuge, as I can’t think of a decent opening line.
As you know, I’ve ended up on WordPress. To the outsider, it appears I’ve switched and then lapsed into a coma. Where are the new posts? Has he given up? Actually, that’s a silly question, as I’ve given up long ago.
No, although it appears I’m just spending my time lying back on the couch covered in baby oil, I’m actually working on the blog like a bastard. As you know, some things looked a bit clunky during the migration from Blogger. So, being a pedantic prick, I’ve decided each post needs to be corrected and the photos re-uploaded to a generic resolution and dimensions. Did you understand what that last sentence meant? I’ll try again.
EVERY STINKIN’ PHOTOGRAPH.
There you go. So far I’m working backwards and I’ve done about 80 posts so far. Oh, but there’s officially 298, so it might take a few more weeks. I’ve also made the images non-clickable, so all you clicking addicts will have to move elsewhere. I’m still not convinced of the reasons for this, but everything I’ve read says it’s best they’re done that way. Mind you, these are articles written by people who appear to be self-proclaimed experts. I really need to write a few posts myself, where I declare I’m an expert at something and as long as I make out I know what I’m talking about, then surely that’s enough?
Anyway, the other part of updating photos is admiring the crap which is part and parcel of a lot of old posts (unlike this magnificent piece). WordPress has a word count and I noticed one old entry had 4500 words in it. Is this possible? Again, ‘experts’ reckon a post should be under 1500. True, 4500 sounds a bit too much, but I felt a little disappointed. I hoped I’d have at least one post which topped 5000. That might be my next aim and the bonus is it can be used as an aid to insomniacs. It beats counting sheep I guess. Oh, I said beats counting sheep, not beating off to sheep. There’s an important distinction there.
Also, a few other things. I used to have a Feedburner feed, but it seems to be derelict. Wouldn’t that come across automatically? Obviously not. The thing is, if you’re going to follow the blog, it’s best to subscribe via email. Mind you, as long as the subscription works. I’ve got no idea. I keep getting emails asking me to confirm I’m following this blog. Huh? Aren’t I the bloke doing it? I then click on the email to confirm I’m following it and it says gleefully, ‘subscription already confirmed!’ Hang on, I didn’t actually request to follow my own blog anyway.
Maybe it means something else? Is this actual proof of an alternate universe? Running laterally with two unbearded men writing a fiasco blog? Then again, maybe we’re the same, but look completely different? He might be good looking and have an enormous ding-a-ling? So many potential angles to this different universe. The bottom line to this is I like the writing and photo taking business and that’s it. Everything else is like having Christian Szell as your dentist.
Anyway, enough of that guff, as I’ve hit 400 words already and haven’t even started what this post is meant to be about.
Steavenson Falls, Marysville is 122 metres in height and with five drops, it’s a beauty. Especially after heavy winter rain. There are two things regarding this post though. One is I keep spelling Steavenson incorrectly. The random ‘a’ throws me out every time. Secondly, this wasn’t meant to be a stand alone post. Last summer I did the Keppel Lookout/Steavenson Falls circuit, but due to the dislike of the waterfall photos, I went back, just to take more pictures for the post.
Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. This double visit approach for the one post sounds insane, which it clearly is, as I live out west and it takes me decades to get to Marysville. The thing is, I did the two trips and the second had enough stuff in it to warrant it’s own entry. Next up will be the spiel about the complete circuit and really, conditions couldn’t be more different on both trips. The full walk I did in summer and nearly had heatstroke, whilst this was done in the middle of winter.
So here we are. I headed to Marysville with the full arsenal of photographic crap. Heavy duty tripod, multiple filters and 235 spare camera batteries. I really did have a lot of stuff and upon arrival, it took me about 20 minutes to get all my things together. There’s nothing worse than heading out for a strictly photos only shoot, carrying everything somewhere, setting up and then realising a vital piece has been forgotten and is sitting lonely in the car.
“Right, I’ve got the tripod, ND400 neutral density filter, ND8 filter, polariser, remote release cable, waterproof cover if it starts raining, spare batteries, spare memory card, headlamp, torch, phone for wi-fi connection, lens hood, lens cleaning cloth, lens cleaning fluid. I think I’ve got it all. Blast! I forgot the camera!”
On this occasion I filled a backpack with photographic goodies and set off with camera (!) and tripod. Mind you, the collating of all the equipment had me puffed, so it wasn’t long before I had to stop for a quick breather. Unfortunately, I was still in the carpark.
Yeah, not the finest of endurance efforts, but it did give me a chance to warm up the camera on the world’s smallest waterfall. What do you think the results were like? I’ll show you at the end.
After some intense photo taking and facing incredulous looks from bystanders, the majority of which were right next to me, still seated in their cars, I headed off to the actual falls.
There are a couple of viewing platforms and I made my way to the closest (obviously). Upon arrival, I observed multiple tripod people all aiming for the perfect shot, all eyeing off each others equipment (photographic) and generally concentrating fiercely.
More or less, I had to wait my turn. Maybe Parks should install a ticketing system? You know, like at a deli? I like to take my photos quick, but there were a couple of photographers who were in for the long haul. Not being able to get a shot initially, I warmed up with waterfall off-cuts.
Eventually, my turn came and I quickly set up. Mind you, there was a bit of tripod angst, which I’ll cover in a minute. Mainly though, it was caused by the platform being metal grate, so the tripod legs were never completely stable. Here you go then. The bottom of Steavenson Falls. It looks quite nice, doesn’t it?
My work done in that particular spot, I moved on to the traditional ‘head on shot’, combining the rocks below the waterfall. This though, is where it got a little tricky.
Setting up, I took a couple of photos downstream…
…but things changed, when I turned around to aim for the expansive ‘river and waterfall combo’ photograph.
I was on a bridge over Steavenson River and like the lookouts, it had a metal grate floor. This is no problem, but it is for time-lapse photography, as the actual ground vibrated when someone walked on it. Using a filter, some of these photos were over 20 seconds and I tried to time them for when no one was walking past. The trouble is, those moments were fleeting. I got a couple of shots, but upon perusal with my portable Hubble telescope (Coke bottle glasses) I could see a smidgeon of blur. With these sort of photos, they’re either sharp or if not, then they should be binned.
So there I was. Timing photos amongst the crowds. I had all day though, so I was in no rush, but I was feeling differently after an hour of being there. Mainly due to the following saga.
As a question, how many photos would get taken each day in the world? There are 7 billion people, so as I sit here, I will have a guess by saying at least a billion a day. Too many? Think about it though. I’m talking all photos with phones etc. It has to be near that? These ponderings will make sense in a minute.
A group of five people arrived on my vibrating bridge and it began.
“Sam, can you get a photo of me?”
“Okay, no worries, now can you get a photo with me to the side and the waterfall in the background?”
“Great, no can you get a photo of me in front of the waterfall?”
“Right, now can you get a photo from behind of me looking at the waterfall?”
“That’s good, now can I get a photo with you, Bob and Nancy.”
“Okay, now Bob, can you take a photo of me and Stephen.”
“Now Stephen, maybe you take a photo of me and Bob”
“Now Tim, I’ll take a photo of Bob, Stephen and Nancy.”
“Right, Nancy, can you get a photo of only Bob.”
“Okay Bob, maybe one of you looking at the waterfall and I’ll get it from behind”.
Can you see where I’m going with this? You do realise I’ve only covered a minuscule proportion of their photo taking? There were five of them and they all wanted various variations of the same thing. This group went at it for about 20 minutes and bloody hell, if there are a billion photos taken per day, then I reckon this group accounted for at least half of them.
I was exhausted watching and it’s amazing I’m not still in Marysville, standing on the bridge, covered in spider webs. Maybe I’m missing something here, but I don’t tend to take photos of myself? If I think about it, I’ve lost about five years of me, as there are no pictures, unless someone else has taken one. I don’t have any mirrors either, so what do I look like? I’ve no idea. I believe I’m still alive though, because if I slap my face, it hurts.
Anyway, after waiting a century, they finally moved off and I really had to make it snappy, as I couldn’t afford to wait longer, as it would have been getting dark. As it is, I waited all that time, just for this…
Blimey, it seems like a lot of pain, but hey, at least those two photos are sharp, which is the main thing.
Is that it? Oh no. Are you kidding? I was only warming up, as I now wanted to get photos from the very top of the waterfall. It meant a bit of climbing though, but I slung the tripod over my shoulder like it was a mortar tube and began the slog to the heavens.
Do you realise I had to stop a few times for breathers? Yet as I did so, some kids, plus a few adults, ran past me. Yes, they were running up the hill. I can’t think of a reason why, other than being stricken by waterfall watching fever? They wanted to see it at the top and they wanted it now.
Then again, I wish I could have run with them, but make no mistake. If I tried to emulate the running approach, I’d be dead with a massive coronary detonation. You’d feel my heart explode as it’d register on the Richter Scale.
I guess having to stop frequently meant I could take more pictures. Here’s one. Sure, the trees look like they’re about to fall over, but blame the wide angle lens distortion and right now, I can’t be bothered trying to correct it.
Finally though, I made it to the top and again, had to wait my turn with my massive tripod (photographic. How long do you reckon can I run with this joke?).
Setting up the camera though, I wasn’t really happy with the spots available. A bit too much infrastructure and people were cluttering the scene, so I spied a small, rough path, which brought me out on the rocks near the water. No one else was there, so I thought it was a perfect spot. Mind you, don’t for a second think I wasn’t concentrating like a lunatic. My shoes didn’t go near any wet rocks, as for sure I knew what would happen if I did.
I started out with a quick shot of the vigorous flow…
…but then found I was suddenly joined with a kid. He’d seen where I’d walked and come down and was now standing next to me. Then there was another, plus one more. What’s going on? I was on a little postage stamp-sized dry rock, surrounded by small children who all wanted to play in the water.
Where were the parents? Oh, they were there, but didn’t seem to mind, as they stood on the solid walkway, whilst I was down there like a chump wondering if their kids were about to plummet over the edge.
I began to think the parents didn’t actually like their children and were secretly hoping they’d get washed away. Suddenly feeling a duty of care I had to pipe up. Kneeling down I looked this kid in the eye and said,
“No, go back to the path. You walk on these rocks and you’ll fall over and the water will take you over the edge. You’ll be washed down 100 metres head-first to the rocks below and your head will be dashed open and your brains will be smeared across a vast area. Then your lifeless body will be smashed and battered by the river water, until your clothes are torn off. The combination of water and rocks will then tear your limbs from your body.”
He paused, then said, “What are you taking photos of? The water?”
Under the circumstances, the photos came out just how I wanted them.
Including a few, right over the edge shots.
You know what? That’s it. The kids survived, I made it back to the path and the day was done. I’d got what I wanted, but somehow over 3 hours of photo taking produced about 20 photos. Then again, if no one was around, I’d probably have been finished in 30 minutes.
I began the downhill wander and enjoyed gravity being my friend, as I was back to the car within five minutes. Throwing everything in the boot, I then began the two hour drive back home.
Did I really write 2500 words about a waterfall? You bet I did. Next up will be the entire circuit and believe it or not, but I’ve just realised it’s been a year since I did the Mallacoota to Wonbyn, Wilderness Coast walk. Do you realise I haven’t even processed the photos for the trip? Maybe I should pull the finger out and get it done. Mind you, I’ve got over 200 posts to revitalise. I’m already feeling the RSI…
Oh, remember the carpark shot from earlier on? Here’s the result.