Tonight I’m bringing you some shots from a recent weekend away in the Hunter Valley.

Believe it or not Lina and I do find time to do other things when we are together and can actually travel without a camera in hand, although that almost never happens!

Here’s a handy guide on how to be a landscape photographer and still enjoy a holiday like everyone elseā€¦

Start by setting your alarm for something nice and early, say 4:30am. Yes, there is a 4 in the morning too! I’m still amazed at how many people I speak to who have NEVER been up that early! If this is you, go and set your alarm right now and follow the rest of the steps below. You will thank me.

Once you have dragged yourself from your warm comfy bed, don’t eat breakfast, instead drive straight to your desired photographic location, ours was Pokolbin, prime NSW wine country. Enjoy the quiet country roads, they are yours and yours only, for now.

Select a photogenic spot and wait for the sun to rise.  When the sun begins to rise above the horizon and you realise your selected location is as good as hoped, get back in the car and continue to drive looking for someplace where the light is doing what you want it to. 

When you see that place, be prepared to hit the brakes and swerve onto the side of the road and leap from the car. Leave the car running because I promise by the time you have a camera on your tripod and dialled in your settings it will have changed again!

Once you are finished chasing the light, simply drive back to you hotel room, tuck yourself back in, it will be something like 6:15am, and return quietly to the land of nod. And don’t feel bad, because if you do this on Sunday morning like we did, when you do re-awaken, it will still only be 8am and you can enjoy the rest of your day at the same time as the rest of the regular humans.

Also, in case anyone was wondering why my fairly ordinary car features in so many of my photos, the reason is plain and simple- it’s as much a part of my photography kit as any of my lenses. It takes me to every location I ever shoot, and brings me back again safely. It’s heated seats keep me warm in the wee hours of the morning and the stereo plays my favourite music to get me in the mood. And every now and again, it helps me add a point of interest or a subject to a photo that would otherwise lack one. It can bring a sense of scale to a landscape or help to put you the view in my shoes, a reminder that this isn’t some picture perfect post card I’m trying to show you, because that isn’t what I’m about. I’m trying to share with you an experience and bring a little snapshot of my life into you living room, morning/evening commute or email inbox, however it may be that you are reading this right now.
My final two shots are taken in Newcastle on the return from our Hunter escape.