Colourful ones at that. The thought of sitting out in the dark, like really dark, like no moon dark and tripping over crabs kinda dark.. in spots away from people is not always on the top of my list of things to do – except for the away from people thing 🙂 however it is growing on me, maybe this year I will make more of an effort to get out and capture more the great night sky we have in this part of the world.

The weather was great, pleasantly warm and no clouds and great for the beach or pumping yabbies down the river, yep my arms are still sore :). But all this cloud free weather is not so great for colourful sunsets or sunrise however at the right time of the month, which it was, the moon is a late riser and its a perfect time to get out and see the stars. Chinamans beach is the north most accessible beach from the bombing range which extends for 20 kms or so before you reach Yamba and Iluka, This means looking south guarantees very little light pollution apart from the odd fishing trawler out to sea or the occasional fa/18 sortie on some training session 😉 the latter is pretty hard to miss and luckily fairly rare 🙂 I do also find it interesting that the whole range is located in the area called Bundjalung National Park but you cant get into most of it 🙂

Onto the stars, its amazing to see how much the colour the stars have and star trails are a great way to bring this out, by slightly underexposing the sky and stars means you retain the colour, in this case only the brightest star was over exposed, ie blinking on the highlights display.

This set of trail images is made up of about 30 images each with a shutter speed of 86 seconds @f2.8 (14mm) and ISO 400 with a separate single image for the foreground. The foreground image is only 30 seconds and was lit using a LED torch. The trail images are merged via layers in Photoshop by simply using 'lighten' as the blend mode.

I would have gone for a few hours more, but the promise of 6am wake up call from tickles and wallaby that besides scaring the shit outta me was taking way too much interest in me whilst munching the grass nearby.

Goanna Claws

So, apparently the story has it .. and bear with me here, this could get pretty loose 😉 and is about 10th hand (bit like chinese whispers!)…. there was a dude who called on the Goanna (Dirawong) to protect a bird, so the goanna chased the snake all around the lands of the Bundjalung, through Woodburn and towards Evanshead thus creating the river. Near Evanshead the snake bit the goanna on the head, the goanna then had to eat some herbs as a anti-venom ? note, that goanna's are actually immune to snake venom and often eat snakes (yay for the goanna) so this part of the story actually makes alot of sense.

Anyway, so then the snake turns around, which creates the little islands in the river (called snake island) after which the goanna then chases him out to sea. The goanna (Dirawong) now sits on the coast guarding against the snake and hence the name and shape of the headland (Diarwong / goanna head).

Thats gerry's abbreviated version 😉

So, this is all well and good, but me thinks that Goanna needs a wake up call since I seen waaayy too many snakes on that goanna headland 😉

Awesome history, i wonder why we get taught about stupid british british history rather than interesting stuff like that 😉 .. well it was the case when I went to school.

Exif love:
D750 coupled with 16-35mm f4 @ 16mm Aperture: f/18 and Shutter Speed: 1/1.6s
ISO 100
out front – Hoya CPL and Lee Graduated 0.9x Filter

The Spirit of the Bundjalung People

Its interesting how alot of areas here in Oz have their own history, sadly there is a pretty common theme to this history and it involves the traditional owners of the land and their subsequent displacement, sometimes quite bloody. I recently did some research into this area to discover the culture and stories behind the land.

The local traditional owners of this land are known as the Bundjalung People, of which the National Park takes its name, in the middle of the 18th century there was a massacre of about 100 women and children in this area. It is said that you can still hear the sounds of the ghosts and see the lights of the firesticks on the river.

Whilst that's a pretty spooky thought (and i hope i never see it cause that would freak me out 🙁 plus i need to concentrate on not getting eaten by snakes, face slapped by spiders and not falling on my ass, all of which takes alot of concentration 🙂 ). Hence i think its better to see these spirits in the more beautiful and positive things that are around the area, like the wonderful seascapes, flora and fauna and in the case of this morning, the rainbow that lit up the morning from the point.

So, here's to you the Bundjalung People, and what its worth, I am sorry for the shit that was heaped on your people by the white settlers.

The rainbow was a full arc (faded in and out over the 10 minutes it was there), however I really like the way the foreground pool illuminated with the soft light and the glow in the clouds complimented the rainbow. It was a constant battle with the rain and wiping the filter, however I did finally get a few shots that i was happy with. This particular one is a stitched vertical panorama of 2 frames. I just needed that extra little bit of frame to give the pool and rainbow some breathing space.

Exif love:
D750 coupled with 16-35mm f4 @ 16mm Aperture: f/14 and Shutter Speed: 4s
ISO 100
out front – Hoya CPL, Lee Graduated 0.9x Filter, rainbow and lots of rain