Somersby and the almost RB Meet

Last Saturday morning, Tanya and I made a return trip to Somersby Falls in the Brisbane Waters National Park just north of Sydney. We hoped to capture some good flow after all the rain we’ve had before we head up to Dorrigo for a week of waterfall shooting.

We got there just after dawn, with no-one else around. Time was of the essence because Somersby Falls are popular and easily accessible for the hordes. For an allegedly Summer’s day, the light was fantastic. A deadbeat sunrise made worse by low cloud cover, no wind, and very muggy humidity. Tanya stayed shooting at the bottom falls, and after shooting at the top falls I went down further to where the track “ends”:

Click on image for MUCH larger view at 500px.

Before too long other photographers arrived. One was a nimble twentysomething with a tiny compact on a tiny tripod, and two old geezers. One of these geezers was an affable bloke with a ponytail and gumboots – obviously a local – and he gave me the information I was seeking – confirmation that the track didn’t “end” at this spot, contrary to the large sign, and guidance on the route to the falls further down Floods Creek (great name!) where you can shoot from behind the drop.

The other bloke was wearing a bright orange shirt – obviously for the benefit of any necessary rescue helicopter – and was vaguely familiar. I thought he looked like that bloke Michael Matthews on RB, but I wasn’t sure. The guy with the ponytail could have been Wazza (Warren Patten), but then again he could have been any dude.

Later that night, Sharon Kavanagh uploaded a photograph taken at the same spot as the above shot of mine, only a few hours later. She also confirmed my suspicions because she actually met Michael and Wazza at that spot on their way back up from the falls further down. It turns out that Warren Booth was also there that day.

So, 6 RBers at the same spot on the same day. An almost RB meet. Next time I’ll give Wazza a head’s up we’re heading up.

Here’s a few more shots I took that morning before the light turned to glare and the pregnancy shoot at the foot of the top falls interrupted some IR work I was doing right at the end. All shots were taken with the Canon EOS 5D Mark II and either the TS-E 24mm f3.5L Tilt+Shift lens, the TS-E 45mm f2.8 Tilt+Shift lens, or the TS-E 90mm f2.8 Tilt+Shift lens, with the Hoya ND x400 Filter. These Tilt+Shift lenses are all great primes, and this was good practice for Dorrigo.

Click on image for MUCH larger view at 500px.

And of course, I couldn’t resist doing some Tilt work with some of the shots. The results don’t rock everyone’s boat, I can dig it, but I still think the right natural composition can be enhanced with some tilting.



  • Manon Boily
    Manon Boilyover 2 years ago

    wow! this is absolutely beautiful. what a great photoshoot!

  • Thanks Manon. The light meant everything as it’s normally too glarey in summer by 9.30am.

    – Peter Hill

  • Adriana Glackin
    Adriana Glackinover 2 years ago

    Very nice – and see, I do like the whole tilt thing :) Stay safe whilst in Dorrigo :)

  • Thanks Adriana, we’ll be fine, so long as we can GET to Dorrigo. The back way up the Nulla Nulla and Bellbrook looks like being our chosen route, but Aunty Clarice in Kempsey will give us the lowdown when we stop in on Sunday as she lives next door to an SES dude.

    – Peter Hill

  • Normf
    Normfover 2 years ago

    Well done Peter, luv all these shots! Your referance to Tilt work?

  • Normf
    Normfover 2 years ago

    Those lens are serious gear, Haven’t seen them used in landscape before!

  • I now shoot landscapes with the 3 Tilt+Shift lenses and the EF 16-35mm.

    Some of the shots above are at 14.9mm focal length. This is achieved by using the Shift function on the TS-E 24mm to take 3 separate images. The advantage of doing this, especially on the full-frame 5D2, is absolutely zero distortion given the lens is moving not the camera.

    I normally only also use the Tilt function when there is a line of interest in the shot, especially a horizontal line starting from foreground and going to background. Diagonal lines are accommodated by also rotating the lens.

    – Peter Hill

  • Adriana Glackin
    Adriana Glackinover 2 years ago

    Yes, have been wondering if you’d be able to make it there. Any road past Bellbrook is well worth taking. Have a drink and pie at the pub for me :)

  • I always stop at the Bellbrook Hotel, if only to raise a glass to my descendants on the hallway wall, those that went to the Great War. Above Bellbrook the road is dirt, and narrow, so we’ll need a very current update on its condition!

    – Peter Hill

  • bazcelt
    bazceltover 2 years ago

    Great works Peter, love that place, and definite worth a meet up with Wazza.

  • Kym Howard
    Kym Howardover 2 years ago

    I have been enjoying Michael Matthews Images as well as well asother members images………Amazing that you were all there.

  • Robert Elliott
    Robert Elliottover 2 years ago

    wonderful photos Peter, and the day just goes to prove that it’s a small bloody world!!

  • Barbara Burkhardt
    Barbara Burkhardtover 2 years ago

    LOL “If you go down to the woods today
    You’re sure of a big surprise.
    If you go down to the woods today
    You’d better go in disguise.”

    I intend checking out our falls up here – Thanks for the inspirational work Peter!!

  • Lorraine Creagh
    Lorraine Creaghover 2 years ago

    Lovely shots there Peter.

    I’ve had the pleasure of spending a lovely long weekend with Warren and Sharon. Lovely people…very relaxed and helpful.