Snow gums at Mount Hotham, Victoria - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014

Hiking in Mount Hotham…Day 1…

During the recent Melbourne Cup weekend, Melinda and I decided to escape the city and head up to Mount Hotham in the Victorian Alps for a few days of peaceful hiking. The ski season having finished a few weeks earlier we were able to secure a good deal on accommodation at The General, which is a lovely pub with 4 luxury apartments attached at the back. Certainly having our lodging a mere 15 paces from the bar was no hardship, particularly toward the end of a long day of hiking as visions of pizza, chicken parma’s and fine wine begin to crowd your thoughts…

Mount Hotham is a 5 and a half hour drive from Melbourne, and we arrived as planned in time for a drink and dinner on the pub deck overlooking the beautiful sunset below…

The view from The General Pub on Mount Hotham © Michael Evans Photographer 2014 - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
A multi-image panorama from the outside deck at the General pub… © Michael Evans Photographer 2014

We researched several hikes in the region prior to arriving, and were prepared for the possibility of (hopefully) still having the odd snow shower, however on our first morning it simply rained constantly, and so we curled up with our books and waited. By lunchtime the weather had cleared enough to head out and start exploring, and so naturally I grabbed my camera and a couple of lenses and started on our first walk. I was keen to capture the beautiful landscape and alpine snow gums in all types of weather and hence all different types of light, from the diffused high key feel that a grey sky imparts, to the dramatic light that often accompanies stormy skies.

Snow gums at Mount Hotham, Victoria - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
© Michael Evans Photographer 2014

While capturing this B & W image below, I had visualised the potential of the scene, and so was very careful in ensuring the optimum exposure in order to capture as full a dynamic range as possible… I have also processed out a colour version of this scene, and may well post it in a subsequent entry as I am unsure which I prefer…

Snow gums at Mount Hotham, Victoria - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
© Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Snow gums at Mount Hotham, Victoria - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
The snow gums with their ‘Chewbacca’ moss coat… © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Snow gums at Mount Hotham, Victoria - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
© Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Snow gums at Mount Hotham, Victoria - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
© Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Snow gums at Mount Hotham, Victoria - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
© Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Snow gums at Mount Hotham, Victoria - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
© Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Snow gums at Mount Hotham, Victoria - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
© Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Snow gums at Mount Hotham, Victoria - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
I loved the soft pastel light in this image as the sun flitted behind the clouds… © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Snow gums at Mount Hotham, Victoria - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
© Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Snow gums at Mount Hotham, Victoria - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
A few paces further on the trail and the sun bathed the scene in it’s warm glow… © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Snow gums at Mount Hotham, Victoria - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
© Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Snow gums at Mount Hotham, Victoria - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
A drenched landscape… © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Snow gums at Mount Hotham, Victoria - © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
Mel walking through the fabulous Alpine landscape…if you have not seen snow gums before it really does feel almost like an alien planet… © Michael Evans Photographer 2014

On this first day we only manged to hike for about 9 kms, given that half the day was lost to torrential rain. It was a cold and wet afternoon following the trail, however there is such an intense feeling of calm and yet satisfaction from such hikes; the wonderful smell of the damp forest assails the nostrils while the cool wind and rich green both clears and pacifies the mind…

To be continued…

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