Lake Maroon

March 29, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Do you ever feel the need to get out of the city?  To get away from the rat race?  To just go for a drive and sit in the middle of nowhere by yourself?

I get it quite often.  I get irritable.  I get cranky.  But I spend just one night out in the bush (or somewhere similar) by myself and my camera/s, and a couple of beers and all becomes right in the world again.

It got to this point a couple of weeks ago.  I was doing some big hours through the week.  I'd been out on a couple of shoots, but they hadn't really left me satisfied (refer my earlier blog post about Wellington Point).

I'd been in to the city for sunrise earlier in the day and got a couple of really nice images.  I'll share them with you in another post later.  After coming home and starting to work my way through them on the computer, I strayed from Lightroom and Photoshop and found myself looking at Google Maps and The Photographer's Ephemeris for possible locations for a bit of night photography.  Now, it wasn't the most ideal time for any type of astrophotography, being the night after the full moon, but I had to get away and roll out my swag.  I decided on a place called Lake Maroon, which is a bit under 2 hours away from my house, through Peak Crossing and then Boonah.  I filled up the fridge, packed up my camera gear and threw my swag on the back of the ute.

I arrived rather early in the afternoon, so it enabled me to have a good look around, finding some compositions for sunset and maybe some stars later.  It had been a few years since I had been here, so it was good to reacquaint myself with the area.

Finding a nice spot down by the edge of the lake, I set up a couple of tripods, readying myself for the lowering sun.  I also had my new camp chair on board, which is actually more like a reclining lounge chair, so I set that baby up as well, grabbed a beer and really started to relax.  A few clouds started to roll in just before sunrise, which was really nice of them.  

Getting ready for Sunset

Unfortunately, being an astrophotographer and a landscape photographer, I have a 'love/hate' relationship with clouds.  Great for sunrises and sunsets, but not so good for shots of the stars.  It was these clouds that would send me to my swag a lot earlier than expected later on in the evening.

I'd also recently just found an ND400 Neutral Density filter (thanks to a clean up of my office!) that I wanted to give a good run for some milky long exposures, so this was set up permanently on one of my cameras.  I have to admit, I'm a bit of a fan of this type of photography, and will definitely not forget about it again.

While I had my other cameras set up waiting for the sun to set, I positioned my GoPro up on the dam wall to take a time-lapse of the sunset.  I already had it in my mind to get some time-lapse footage of the stars later in the night to put together a little clip.  Check it out at the bottom of this post....

As I mentioned earlier, the clouds foiled my night time plans, so off to the swag I went.  I hoped that the high clouds would still be around in the morning for sunrise (crosses fingers).

But no, it was not to be.  When I woke at 4am, there was barely a cloud in the sky, and a pretty bland sunrise was on the cards.

Sunrise was so-so, but it really didn't matter.  

Pre-dawn at the LakeI love the blue of the pre-dawn.

Maroon SunriseThat long exposure loveliness....

My reset button had been pushed!


Here's the time-lapse I mentioned earlier....



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