Camberwell Camera Club – Maldon Weekend Away Oct 2015.

Camberwell Camera Club members ventured to Maldon in the goldfields to dig for photographic gold in our October weekend away.

After establishing our base camp at the caravan park we headed off on a reconnaissance mission to an abandoned dredge and dragline on the edge of town. What an amazing place. This site would be perfect for night time photography under a half moon.

After an enjoyable BBQ dinner we headed to Mt Tarrengower for some great sunset views over the Grampians in the distance. We enjoyed the changing shadows and colours as the sun slowly sank behind the Grampians.

The dredge and dragline were next and they didn’t disappoint. Wonderful rust and silver colours emerged as the moonlight turned night into day while the long exposure shots showed excellent star trails. It was an evening to remember.

No rest for the wicked though. We were up bright and early for the sunrise from the tower on Mt Tarrengower. The rolling hills and mist filled valleys toward Mt Macedon in the distance provided classic rolling hills and mist filled valley photographs. When the sun emerged the trees created wonderful shadows on the mist.

Following breakfast we undertook a walking and photographic tour of Maldon. There are many fine buildings dating back to the 1850’s that are well preserved and still in use today.

A tour of Carman’s mine by candlelight was next which tested our low light photography skills. A tour of other abandoned mine sites was next, followed by a visit to the cemetery as the sun was starting to sink low in the sky.

Wolf unleashed his drone, with GoPro attached, above the cemetery to capture the lengthening shadows of the tombstones. When the drone returned to base the GoPro was missing. Disaster! A search party was quickly arranged and eagle eyed Bev found it among the long grass and graves. Wolf has happy to get his GoPro back from the dead.

Sunset was near so it was back to Mt Tarrengower to watch the sun disappear behind the Grampians. A young couple sitting on a blanket enjoying a romantic sunset were unfortunate to have a group of photographers arrive to disrupt their evening. However, as the photographers, we were fortunate to find a young couple sitting on a blanket enjoying the sunset as they added great human interest to our sunset shots.

Dinner in town and discussion way into the night back at the caravan park ended a memorable day.

Next morning we headed to the railway station to enjoy the sounds and smells of a steam train. We positioned ourselves at various vantage points as the train headed to Castlemaine and later returned to Maldon. We were allowed on board the engine and could see first hand the controls and the coal being loaded into the firebox.

A trip to the Rock of Ages lookout was next. The lookout was strewn with weathered granite boulders and provided great views over the cemetery. As we were about to leave we heard a rumble in the distance that gradually got closer. To our surprise a convoy of vintage tractors emerged from behind the boulders. The tractors were on a tour around the district and were driven by some real characters. We enjoyed a chat with them while we photographed the unusual sight.

After that unexpected bonus, club members headed home with memories of a great weekend and memory cards full of wonderful photos waiting to be explored.

…Ian Spence

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