The mountains were calling — do you need any other reason than that? The allure of Mount Hotham was more than enough to entice South Coast photographer, Jon Harris, away from Gerringong for a weekend of early mornings and burning thighs. 


Mornings On Mount Hotham

Mountain light is constantly changing. The contours of the landscape generate its own weather, often resulting in conditions windier than the Khyber Pass! With the clouds scudding around in this wind, and a bit of patience, you don’t have to wait long for the light to change and an entirely new landscape to fill your viewfinder.

The Many Faces Of Mount Hotham Jon Harris mountains, sunrise

Settings: f/5.6, 1/160s, ISO100 @85mm

‘Traditional’ landscapes are often shot with an uber wide angle lens — anywhere from 12-35mm. Screw traditions. I’ve been shooting lately with an 85mm f/1.4 lens — not your expected bit of kit, but awesome for isolating those epic bits of view.

The Many Faces Of Mount Hotham Jon Harris mountains, sunrise

Settings: f/7.1, 1/200s, ISO100 @85mm

Sunrise and sunset are the obvious winners for epic landscape shots, no matter where you are. But the tricky part is reading the sky and the conditions to determine which part of the sky will light up. Or, more importantly, if it’s going to be an absolute fizzer, in which case you can be  busy getting the campfire going and checking that the beer is still cold.

The Many Faces Of Mount Hotham Jon Harris mountains, sunrise

Settings: f/11, 1/40s, ISO50 @35mm

Early mornings are worth getting up for in Hotham. Even if the weather is absolute crap, it’s still the best part of the day! Luckily for me, Hotham put on a bit of show this morning.

The Many Faces Of Mount Hotham Jon Harris mountains, sunrise

Settings: f/11, 1/125s, ISO1600 @16mm

Another reason to love the mountains — what would be a cold, dreary morning in the valley below is a fairly breathtaking sight from up on high! Still cold though!

The Many Faces Of Mount Hotham Jon Harris mountains, sunrise

Settings: f/4, 1/50s, ISO100 @85mm

Gotta Earn Those Shots — Hiking Time

Just a stone’s throw from Mt Hotham is one of Victoria’s epic hikes, Mt Feathertop. In fact, it’s so iconic that it tops the WAE list of Top 5 Mountains To Climb In Victoria!

The Many Faces Of Mount Hotham Jon Harris mountains, hiking, tents

Settings: f/4, 1/800s, ISO100 @24mm

Summer attempts at Mt Feathertop will seldom be solo affair… be prepared to have a chat with all the other Explorers out there.

The Many Faces Of Mount Hotham Jon Harris mountains, hiking, group

Settings: f/4, 1/4000s, ISO100 @105mm

Sunsets And Sundowners

Don’t feel like roughing it? Summer is a great time to enjoy the comforts of one of Mount Hotham’s many ski lodges — bit easier on the bank account than during winter, and the crowds are much better too! Getting into nature is the bomb, but sometimes it’s nice to sit back in the hot tub with a cold one and watch the mountains do their thing.

The Many Faces Of Mount Hotham Jon Harris mountains, hut, views

Settings: f/4.5, 1/60s, ISO1000 @16mm

No caption required here — except maybe ‘isn’t nature bloody amazing???’

The Many Faces Of Mount Hotham Jon Harris mountains, sunset, clouds

Settings: f/11, 0.4s, ISO400 @35mm

Naturally in the true Explorer spirit, don’t be afraid to ditch the ‘gram and go find your own inspiration! Instagram can be great, but it’s also nice to find your own little corner that hasn’t been ‘grammed to death…

The Many Faces Of Mount Hotham Jon Harris mountains, sunset, trees

Settings: f/11, 1/50s, ISO400 @16mm

When you’ve captured those epic, all-encompassing wide-angle landscapes of this epic mountain playground, don’t forget to pay attention to the details. Stop, sit and breathe, and be grateful for every little moment you’re alive on this beautiful planet.

Feature image — Settings: f/5, 1/200s, ISO3200 @35mm

 


 

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