Thursday, 19 February 2015

Hunter Valley Safari - Stanhope, Glen William and, Morpeth.


.......And some roadside stops in between!

When I go on a safari, up until now, I have never really had a plan of attack.  I just drive and stop, drive and stop.

This time I wanted to be a little bit more organised; I wanted a plan of attack so I wasn't wandering aimlessly and counting on pot luck to find something interesting.  I sat down on Google Maps and stared at it for a while, wondering what could be the lynch pin to my next safari.  Seeing as I was going exploring around the Hunter Valley, why not make the Hunter River my point of reference?

Using the map in conjunction with street view, I was able to identify some interesting items straight away and, the street view was a great way to conduct a quick recon, rather than waste time out in the field.

I was able to con my son Lachlan into coming with me.  Who am I kidding?  He loves his photography as well so there was no conning involved.  While you're here; check out his work!  We started off with a big breakfast & coffee at The Lotus Cafe  The Junction, which was great!  An excellent way of starting the days travel! 

I decided the first point to visit was the bridge over the Hunter River on Elderslie Road at Stanhope (yes, there is a locality called Stanhope in the Hunter Valley, not to be confused with Stanhope in Victoria).  The street view showed it to be a wonderful looking bridge of iron construction, only wide enough for one car to cross at a time.  The Elderslie Bridge was built in 1892 and the opening was apparently a grand affair!  Read about it in this article from the Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser newspaper on 14th April 1892.

As we left the bridge, we came upon a farmer mowing a quite large paddock.  He came over for a quick chat.  Turns out he had already spent the morning mowing and now was raking the hay into long lines up and down.  Once that was done he still had to bale the hay; he hoped to get it done by nightfall!  Farmers are the salt of the Earth aren't they?

From the Elderslie Bridge to a small rattling single lane bridge that crosses the Williams River at Glen William on the Pine Brush Road.  Enroute of course, we came across some lovely rural barns and sheds and, even stopped to give our regards to a small herd of cattle seeking the cool in the shade of some trees.  The Williams River rises in Chichester State Forest in the Barringtion Tops.  Winding its' way south it joins the Hunter River just west of Raymond Terrace.  There is a bit of conjecture as to whom the river is named after but that research will have to take place another day.

From Glen Williams over to Morpeth where on the map I had noticed a country road (Brisbane Fields Road) running right next to the Hunter River.  My intention there had been to get some long exposure shots from the river bank but the bank at that location was steep and very overgrown with grass; there was no place to set up tripod down at the river level.  Never mind!  As we drove down that road, there appeared some great looking barns and sheds!  I love 'em... they're so......rural, rustic and proud looking!

I have shot a lot of these photos using bracketed exposures - +/-2 EV and then merged them in Nik HDR Efex Pro 2.  Once merged I opened the HDR in Lightroom 5 for some further editing and then into Photoshop Elements for watermarking and any final editing such as Dodge & Burn.  I am familiar with the Adjustment Brush in LR5 but I find that using the Dodge and Burn tools in PSE is easier than LR5 as I can see the result immediately as I apply the brush.

Some of the other photos were edited in Nik Color Efex Pro 4 using my favourite preset the Detail Extractor.  A few slight tweaks there and then open in LR5 and PSE for any final small edits.

Hope you are all well, especially my Queensland friends currently battening down the hatches for Cyclone Marcia.  Big category 5 Cyclone heading down the east coast and expected to landfall at St Lawrence.



The photos on this post are for sale,  contact me  if you are interested.

All photos on this blog and also on my corresponding Google + account are Copyright © Life with Jordy Photography All Rights Reserved and may not be used without permission.


Storm Coming - Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia.

The Big Country - Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia.

Bridge over the Hunter River - Elderslie Road, Stanhope, NSW, Australia.

Mowing the Grass #2 - Elderslie Road, Stanhope, NSW, Australia.

Elderslie Bridge in B&W - Stanhope, NSW, Australia.

An Inquisitive Bunch - Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia.

Bridge over the Williams River - Pine Brush Road, Glen William, NSW, Australia.

Single lane bridge - Williams River, Glen William, NSW, Australia.

Barns - Brisbane Fields Road, Morpeth, NSW, Australia.