Australian Nature Photography: New South Wales & The Blue Mountains

Updated: Sep 18

We had been hoping to go back to Australia this year, but that obviously hasn't been possible. However, it did get me thinking about our last trip there, to New South Wales and the Blue Mountains, in 2017. As a result I took a look through my photos from our previous visit, and thought they'd make a nice blog post as a collection together. I've reprocessed most of them since I originally shared them, and I also found a few uncut gems that I'd overlooked the first time around - so there's some new ones in here too. I've put the landscapes at the top, followed by some classic Australian wildlife.

I'm going to keep the text to a minimum as I'd rather this post was just a collection of images. I want them to form a kind of flowing mural, portraying the feel of the vast landscapes and characterful wildlife we encountered in NSW. For more detail on the photos, locations, logistics, etc, check out my original blog posts. Anyway, I think there are some really nice shots in here. Hope you enjoy them too.

"Lookout" View Points

We were based in the Blue Mountains, which is a beautiful region of mountains and eucalyptus rainforest. It's very tourist-friendly, and there are loads of "Look-Outs", as they call them, which offer breath-taking views out across the canyons and forest. I made a map of my favourites here. This first set of landscapes are all grand views from these tourist view points.

First Rays of light, illuminating the misty Grose Valley. From Govett's Leap, Blackheath.
Grose Valley Light Rays
From Govetts Leap. Landscape Photography, Blue Mountains National Park, New South Wales.
View Through the Eucalyptus
View of the sunrise, over Grose Valley, from Govett's Leap lookout, Blackheath.
Grose Valley Sunrise
The canyon walls of Grose Valley, from Govett's Leap, NSW.
Govett's Leap Cliffs
Early light at Govett's Leap, Blackheath. Blue Mountains National Park, New South Wales.
Grose Valley Dawn
The first soft light of dawn, over the Grose Valley, from Govett's Leap, Blackheath.
Grose Valley - First Light
Looking down the Grose Valley. Blue Mountains National Park, New South Wales.
Sunrise from Govett's Leap
A wide-aspect panorama image from Lincoln's Rock, at sunset.
Lincolns Rock Panorama
Three Sisters and Jamison Valley, from Eagle Hawk Lookout
Three Sisters and Jamison Valley
From Govett's Leap, Blackheath.
Grose Valley Portrait
Layers of blue mountains, from Lincolns Rock.
Blue Mountain Layers

Trees & Rainforest

The vast majority of the trees in NSW are eucalyptus, or "gum trees", as they're known colloquially. It's the evaporation of the eucalyptus oil from these trees, which mixes with the morning sunlight and humid air to create the "Blue Mountains" effect, that gives the area its name and is illustrated in the two landscape photos above. Gum trees are a family consisting of several hundred sub-species, many of which are only subtly different from the next. They have an appealing grey-green leaf colour, and are so dense in places, that I was able to create whole texture boards of "treescapes".

One gum tree gets the light, down on the floor of Glenbrook Gorge.
Glenbrook Gum
Close-up of a very large gum tree, in NSW, Australia
Gum Tree Portrait
These trees inhabit the forest floor of the so-called 'Grand Canyon'.
Canyon Forest Trees
The texture and colour of a eucalyptus forest. Blue Mountains National Park, New South Wales.
Eucalyptus Trees
One tile in a jigsaw puzzle of gum trees that make up the subtropical rainforest.
Eucalyptus Treescape
Early morning mist hangs over the subtropical rainforest near Leura, in the Blue Mountains.
Misty Blue Mountains Trees
A red waratah flower, the state flower of New South Wales, blooming in the October spring.
Waratah Bloom
Gum trees in the mist. Govett's Leap.
Twisted Gums
The green leaves of this tree have recently sprouted, in the New South Wales springtime.
Green and Grey
A misty morning near Evans Lookout, in the Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia.
Misty Blue Mountains Rain Forest #1
Eucalyptus rain forest from the Grand Canyon hiking trail, near Govetts Leap, NSW, Australia.
Misty Blue Mountains Rain Forest #2

Wildlife

Australia has some truly iconic wildlife, and it was a fantastic experience to be able to get so close to much of it. As usual I was playing around with different lighting effects, to get something a little different from the standard portraits whenever possible. All of these were taken in the wild, and I'd love a chance to go back to try more like this.

The iconic shape of a kangaroo is instantly recognisable.
Kangaroo Outline
Grey Kangaroo, photographed in low light. Wild in New South Wales, Australia.
Side-Lit Kangaroo
Portrait of an Eastern Grey Kangaroo (Macropus giganteus) in high-key.
Hello Roo
A wild Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo.<br/>Fine art nature photography. Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia.
Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo
Kookaburra, wild in New South Wales, Australia.
Kookaburra Square
Portrait of a wombat, against the iconic green and gold of the Australian bush at sunset.
Wombat on Green & Gold
Portrait-orientated photo of a wombat. Nature photography, Bendeela, Kangaroo Valley, New South Wales, Australia.
Wombat in Portrait
A wombat stops to scratch, shortly after emerging from its burrow for the evening.
Scratching Wombat (B&W)
A wombat, out for a walk for the evening, shortly after emerging from it's burrow for the evening.
Wandering Wombat

I think there's a good handful there that I hadn't shared before, which is nice. Plus many others which I think look better now than when I first shared them. I have a tendency to go back and tinker with old photos when I have some down time, as my style and taste evolves over time. It's also very easy to overlook a good photo initially, in preference for one which resonates with the recent emotion of being there. Years on, I judge them with with fresh eyes, on a more graphical basis, and so my preferences often change as a result. So it's always worth revisiting photos from previous years.

If you'd like to see more photos from this trip, you can find my original four-part Australia-trip series here, which also contains more information about the subjects and locations I photographed.

And of course, most of these photos are available in print as wall art. If there's one you're after which isn't in one of my main print galleries, just get in touch.

-

George



 

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Red Deer Roaring, photographed in black and white

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