Memories Of Teddy's Lookout, Australia


The view from Teddy's Lookout down onto the St. George River, just outside of Lorne, along Australia's Great Ocean Road.


This photo, made from Teddy’s Lookout along Australia’s Great Ocean Road, is one of the oldest images in my portfolio. I guess it was made in the early 90’s.

Having originally printed it in the darkroom as a 16" x 16" print I decided to dig out an old and not terribly high quality scan made from the original color negative and put some life back into it on the desktop.

I plan to get a much better scan, providing a sharper and more highly detailed image, in the not too distant future.

It was a favorite image, back in the day, and I can still remember the thrill I experienced when making it.

Driving through the tourist town of Lorne, on Victoria’s Great Ocean Road, I headed for Teddy’s Lookout which is a short drive from town.

Teddy’s Lookout - Third Time Lucky

It was the third time I’d visited the lookout in as many weeks. Despite the picturesque location, the first two visits were uninspiring.

In each case the light was flat and the tide had come in too far for an interesting image.

I wanted desperately to make a good photo, so I returned for a third attempt.

It’s a 2-hour drive, each way, from Melbourne when the traffic is light. And it really seems to be these days.

In fact heavy traffic contributed to my lack of success the first two times when I arrived at the lookout just as the light had begun to fade.

But I’m nothing if not determined and the scene that awaited me, during my third attempt, was indeed beautiful.

This time the tide, unique viewpoint and light were all working in my favor.

The warm end of day light illuminated the sand and foliage, while the cool skylight reflected onto the surface of the road and water.

Surfer, Bells Beach, Australia

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Teddy’s Lookout and the Human Element

I just needed one other element to bring the image together in a cohesive manner.

I noticed a group of people exploring the shallow pools of water on the edge of the St. George River.

I kept a close eye on them and waited, hoping they’d add a sense of cohesion and harmony to the image.

My patience was rewarded when the people came together to gather around a small, circular pool the shape of which had been emphasized by a stone being dropped into the water.

The image was made as follows:

  • Hasselblad 500C camera

  • Hasselblad 150 mm f/4 Sonnar lens

  • Kodak Professional Ektacolor Gold 160 film

I originally printed my own RA-4 color enlargements on Kodak Ektacolor Glossy Paper. Back then I was working at Kodak in Coburg, Australia and I made good use of an Autopan processing machine.

Thankfully the days of rocking chemical filled trays in a darkroom were well and truly gone for me.

The spectacular Great Ocean Road offers a classic driving experience as illustrated here as the road passes over the St. George River near Lorne.

Returning to Teddy’s Lookout

This second image from Teddy’s Lookout was made back in 2009 while running a landscape photography workshop along the Great Ocean Road.

By this stage I’d well and truly converted to an all digital workflow.

I made the photo with a Canon 5D Mark II camera and Canon 24 mm f/1.4 wide-angle lens.

The rectangular format of the sensor and the classic wide-angle focal length allowed me to make an image that better explored the sweeping hillsides and the snake-like nature of the road as it winds its way around the coast.

I applied a heavy warm/cool split tone to add mood and provide separation between the brighter sand and grass and the darker tones of the surrounding trees.

Summer Time At Teddy’s Lookout

It’s great to re-visit Teddy’s Lookout through these old photos. I think each photo tells a quite different story.

The color image explores the joy of the moment, of play and of being in nature.

The black and white image speaks to me of a watchful, brooding presence within the landscape and the excitement of driving through it.

It’s been ages since I last ventured along Australia’s Great Ocean Road.

Now that the weather is finally improving in my neck of the woods I think I’II make it a priority to do so and I’m looking forward to making several trips over the next few months.

I hope to include Teddy’s Lookout as part of that exploration. It will be interesting to see what story the landscape presents this time around.

Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru