I've made a few roadtrips lately, trying to take advantage of free time and some nice winter weather to get some footage with the drone and some shots from the ground with the Panasonic Lumix GH5 as well. In the last week, I've taken a short trip down to Franklin on the Huon River on a spectacular Friday afternoon, and then today, a Wednesday, I took a bigger roadtrip with a friend up to Meadowbank Lake in the Southern Midlands via New Norfolk and a few other places on the road. On this occasion we set of in the morning, with my thinking being that we might catch a bit of the end of the jerry on the Derwent River over Bridgewater and New Norfolk. As it turned out, we probably got more fog than we counted on, but it yielded some great results.
I've previously posted some pictures of Franklin as a part of collection of photos I got around the Huon Valley. It's a small but picturesque town about 10 minutes further down the Huon River from Huonville and there are always plenty of boats moored around the harbour and along the river, including the restored ketch, the Yukon, which takes visitors on tours down the river, and I've managed to capture it a little bit in some of my drone video, of which I have made a little compilation below :
Of course, being such a still and mild winter's day, conditions were ideally suited for some drone photography and you could really get views for miles down the river as you can see from these panoramic pictures I've created here.
There was a nice layer of cloud sitting over the Derwent River at Bridgewater, the mid-morning remains of the "Bridgewater Jerry", but with a sunny day projected, we just expected to see the occasional whisp of fog as we travelled further up river to New Norfolk. What was got was dense fog for most of the highway up to New Norfolk. The fog was particularly thick around the river at New Norfolk, though it seemed to descend further upon the whole town while we were there.
We made a pitstop to get a few photos to capture the brooding, eerie atmosphere brought by the dense fog along the river banks. At times the fog cleared somewhat, but this was only momentary, as a further cloud would swiftly blow down the river shrouding the river again in another wave of seemingly even thicker fog.
It would be fair to say that it was a fair bit colder than we had anticipated and the pictures definitely reflect pretty accurately how cold it felt at the time ! At the same time,it was beautifully still, meaning it was possible to capture some eerie reflections on the water coupled with the effect of the fog created some really nice possibilities for images.
Midlands fog and spiders webs
After a quick, cold stop in foggy New Norfolk, we travelled further north, towards Hamilton. The fog didn't reall relent for most of the journey and there was numerous points where I wanted to pull over and photograph leafless trees poking their gnarled fingers out of the whispy fog or old oast houses and farm buildings, looking like location sets from Twin Peaks. But it wasn't until Gretna that I made a quick stop to jump out and run up the stairs to the small war memorial that overlooks the valley. Of course, there weren't the sweeping views you might normally get, but I was hoping to get photos from above of the river bathed in fog.
We stopped again at the turn off down Hollow Tree Road as there looked to be a pretty stunning view above the fog with hilltops poking through. It was also beautifully still and a great opportunity to fly the drone above the cloud and fog. Below is a photo of the turn off onto Hollow Tree Rd where we stopped...yeah,it was just a little bit foggy, though the fog started to clear as we were there.
I was certainly not disappointed with the images and video with the drone above the cloud, but Craige discovered an interesting little patch filled with spider webs, some still decorated with pearls of dew twinkling in the late morning light, now that the sun had come out.
Probably the highlight of the roadtrip was Meadowbank Lake, where we could have spent hours but unfortunately my drain ran out of battery and I thought at the time that I'd left my third battery at home ( I found it later down a side pocket..doh!).
Initially one side of the lake was totally invisible due to very thick fog, and the other was also quite foggy, but there was enough visibility to take the drone up and overlook the bridge and causeway. The benefit of the fog was that it filtered the midday sun, creating a softer far more pleasant light.
However, as we stayed around the fog lifted revealing the true beauty of the lake which was like a giant mirror to the sky. There were so many other interesting details and compositions around the lake shore that I would be very keen to go back and do some more video and photography. But here are a few examples, including some remains of blood and guts from what looks like some kind of fishing expedition by the small jetty.