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Recently I saw a comment that the Three Sisters was the most spectacular sight in the Blue Mountains, and it made me drag out this old shot from my archives. Granted the view is "nice", but Echo Point, where this shot was taken, is designed purely for the tourists. One reason why the council can charge $5 for half an hour's parking. In the background is Mt Solitary, and in-between is the Jamison Valley.

The most spectacular sights in the Blue Mountains require a little more effort to get to than stepping off a bus and milling with the hordes. A year ago, for example, I was deep in the Valley of The Waters after heavy rain, watching a waterfall pour out of the cliff-face above and beside me, right under Queen Victoria Lookout, and dropping several hundred metres to the valley floor below me. A few hours later it was gone.

Anyway, about this photo. I stopped by Echo Point just after dawn on my way down to Bridal Veil Falls on the off chance of mist. There was none. Before I turned around to get back into the car, I could hear a cockatoo having an almighty scream. When these guys let loose, it's a colossal sound. They wake me up most mornings, usually about 10 of them. (Thousands came to the coast during the drought a few years back and many stayed.) Intrigued, I ventured to the railing and there was this girl at the lower lookout, presumably a backpacker from a nearby hostel. And 2 cockatoos. Whilst one waited off to the left, the other sat on the railing screaming at the girl, who was intently ignoring it.

It seemed like ages before she turned and looked at the cockatoo, during which time I got my camera ready to shoot as soon as she did. I had a manual focus lens on. It wasn't the screaming that finally did it, it was the fact the cockatoo was edging closer to her at the same time. Finally she turned and looked at the bird and I got my shot. Then I realised I had the bloody aperture wide open. Doh!

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