Issue #20 - August-September 2022 - Gallery
Roving-Eye Gallery update and newsletter #20 for August-September 2022
Hello to everyone and thank you to the new subscribers.. welcome aboard!
With the latest update just uploaded head to What's New - September 2022 | Roving-Eye.com and you can scroll back month by month for an easy catch up for previous months too!
This newsletter combines both August and September since August was fairly light on for new images due to weather and not worth a separate newsletter given September was expected to be a major one.. and it was!
In September a trip to the Whitsundays was made and along the way there was plenty to see and photograph!
It’s always a risk committing to accommodation costs and a trip itinerary with unknown weather come the time but there is no other way to do it so you tip things as much in your favour as you can by picking the best time of the year for the region of interest since Australia is so vast you must factor in the seasons like that.
I had several major goals I wanted to capture there.. firstly the insane colours and patterns of Whitehaven Beach, secondly the large wild crocodiles up the Proserpine River and thirdly the underwater and in the air vistas of Hardy Reef far out to sea.
The first goal achieved was to go up the Proserpine River to get the crocodiles early in the week because there was overcast weather and strong winds precluding any trip to the more idyllic locations which had to wait for a few days until the wind abated.
I had taken safeguards for the crocodile run with some medieval weaponry on the side of the ski and a healthy respect for the potential danger I was placing myself in by keeping moving forward in gear even while standing and shooting images of the large crocs at eye level on the muddy banks either side!
The channel reduced in width to just 20-30m wide for the most part and I could judge the size of the larger crocs by comparing my ski, which is 4m long and seeing a number were well past that so call it an easy 5m or 15 feet. If any croc slid into the water on my approach then my policy was just keep going and not wait to see where they might pop up!
I had a tinge of fear being in such confines with them being so large and close and for my first ever time like that and also on my own.. but the fear keeps you focused and it was well worth it as I snagged a great set of images to add to the portfolio so I’m super happy with that outcome!
Despite the lurking inherent danger that’s not to say you can’t have a little fun on the way though.. if you want to see what a Roman Centurion looks like deep in crocodile country then head over to my video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hDcc0fVu6g !
My other major goal, Whitehaven Beach, is a location that just has to be seen to be believed. While I have set my goals to find places most people *don’t* go a global icon like Whitehaven really does merit a full on effort to make sure i have my own take on it and a set of images to proudly display.
It almost didn’t come off though!
With the forecast continuing to look promising as each day went on I did other “fill in” places while waiting for my chance to pounce.
In the meantime with the weekend arriving and good weather and almost smooth seas at last I decided to maximise the opportunity for perfect conditions to head out to Hardy Reef which is a very decent 80km out to sea from Airlie Beach!
Long story short.. I didn’t make it due to mechanical breakdown 70km out and with only 10km to go! Sometimes stuff happens and this did without warning.
I try and anticipate most reasonable scenarios and on board I had 2 VHF radios, 3 GPS and 3 Satellite beacons as well as other accessories such as flares, spare food,water etc.
I never factor my phone in any of this planning. All equipment is ruggedised and designed for outdoor and marine use.. it needs to work no matter what the environment.
Why so much and why so many things? Redundancy.
It’s possible for even rugged devices you might need to rely on to fail so you don’t want that to be the single thing that is your last hope and you should have an alternate to use for the really important things like calling for help for whatever level of situation you may find yourself in.
Additionally I organise my safety gear in 2 distinct allocations.. attached to me personally and on-board with the ski. (I also do the same when on the motorbike)
Why that way?
In case you lose the ski and it sinks or you become separated and unable to rejoin so you need enough on you to survive and call for help. So on me I have a handheld VHF, personal sat tracker as well as PLB and flares and water in my PFD and an outdoors rated GPS watch to give co-ordinates in any conditions should I need to.
As it was the weekend the rescue base was manned (I had noted that) plus I had also noted the working channels of the commercial boats so when the mechanical failure left me without power 70km out my first course of action was to go straight to the more powerful onboard VHF which raised the rescue base with a good clear signal to request a tow back to port, gave my GPS position for them to set an initial course for and with my onboard AIS (a beacon itself) that comes up on a typical rescue craft navigation display they would always be able to find me if for example I had become medically incapacitated and unable to talk on the radio.
So I had multiple fallbacks and multiple options at each level to make sure I’m well and truly covered for a range of potential scenarios.The rescue crew praised me for being so well prepared and making their job easier since not everyone is like that as just the day before they had spent an hour looking for someone just in the bay at Airlie who had no idea where they were when they called for help.
As well as the boat crew I made sure to go up to the radio room on return and thank them in person for their service since I know what it’s like giving volunteer hours in that role and it’s much appreciated when you’re on the other side when the time comes!
My motto with such adventures I do on my own is “..it’s not so much the fact of taking risks, as managing the risks you take”. and my preparation and big investment in safety gear promptly saved the day and I had even deeper levels to call on if the situation escalated.
Despite the mechanical letdown the trip was a resounding success as I had enough days left to book a seat on a commercial boat to get to Whitehaven and snag the ideal shots I was after on a perfect sunny day too so I was very happy with that!
The only goal that eluded me was the underwater and aerial imagery I was after at the reef.. so there’s a little “unfinished business” there so if not there I hope another opportunity comes along somewhere sometime to fill in that particular corner of the portfolio!
I have also been developing a strong side interest in industrial photography too, mainly looking at where the location of heavy industry is adjacent to natural beauty.. a contrast too strong to ignore and so I am recording these locations too as I go and will expand on that some more in a future newsletter!
In the meantime the next major trip, and last for 2022, is imminent which is a big loop from Port Macquarie deep into SA and back up through Birdsville to capture historic water levels of Lake Eyre and the Channel country where I have seen some amazing images from the photographers of the region and I want to get some of that too!
Just like the ski trip I will have a battery of safety gear at hand as I never assume anything and despite the exposure to risk being on my own so much I find it very satisfying to work out the best way to “get there and back” and bring back images of stunning locations to share of this most amazing country.
Please jump onto the gallery link given above and see for yourself all the things I talked about plus those I couldn’t fit in to this newsletter like the large numbers of volcanic formations that can be found if you go looking!
A4 and A3 2023 calendars are coming!
The Port Macquarie A4 and A3 calendars have been ordered. This is a one-time print run so secure your order today or you might miss out!
For 2023 a new A3 calendar will be launched called “Australia Wide” covering the diversity of the Australian landscape from the snow to mighty rivers to the tropics and deserts and all points in between!
Again this will be a limited edition one-time print run and the order will be lodged on return from this next trip when the final few images will go to complete it.
Jump onto this page to pre-order today! 2023 Calendars | Roving-Eye.com
As you can see it’s been a busy year so with just one major trip left to do I look forward to bringing you the sights of the interior in the next newsletter!
Take care and thank you for reading this far and sharing the journey!