Warburton Photography Weekend. Feb/March 2015

Club members converged on Warburton from 27-Feb to 1-Mar 2015 for our legendary weekend of fun and photography.  The Warburton Caravan Park, on the banks of the Upper Yarra River, was our home base and proved to be an excellent location.

The weekend started with the traditional Friday afternoon gathering for some fine wining and dining.  The mood was relaxed as everyone looked forward to the weekend adventure.  The guest presentations by club members were in everyone thoughts.  When will Ken walk the tightrope between 2 balloons floating above the camp? Where was the bonfire Wolf was going to jump through? Could Donna really balance a bubble on her finger and where was that flying fox?  Only time would tell.  Wolf’s drone, fresh from its flight around the Eiffel Tower and French military installations, kept us entertained in the mean time.

We greeted the rising sun on Saturday morning from the top of Mt Donna Buang. From the top of the tower, we could see the lights of Melbourne slowly dim as the rising sun created a fiery line across the horizon.  The outline of the rolling hills in the morning light made for an interesting sight as did the nearby trees and the tower itself.

The Rainforest Gallery was impressive and included a platform to walk through the treetops as well as a path along the forest floor.  The lighting was good and many interesting images were taken including a number of portraits that took advantage of the filtered light.  The many cyclists riding up Mt Donna Buang allowed us to get some action cycling shots as a bonus.

Next it was off to the Upper Yarra Reservoir, where the low water line created interesting patterns and colours on the rock that was now uncovered.  Lunch beckoned at the Reefton Hotel where we enjoyed some fine fare and the company of 40 bikies.  The row of bikes lined up outside the hotel was nearly as impressive as the line up of our cameras on the table during lunch!

Following lunch we headed off on a spin through the forest.  The line of cars heading along the dirt roads gathering dust looked like a scene from the Dakar Rally while the forest trees were impressive.  Cement Creek was next for a walk through the forest and then on to The Redwood Forest which is an amazing plantation of North American Redwoods.  The strands of trees together with the sun low in the sky made for some amazing images.

Back now to base camp for some refreshment and a chat about a very successful day.  The planned visit to the Redwood Forest by moonlight was unfortunately cancelled due to the wild storm that ripped through town.  The wild storm provided great viewing from the caravan park’s undercover eating area and allowed a few of the adventurous club members to capture some interesting after dark photos.

The morning was very atmospheric with mist drifting around the nearby hills and water dripping from the trees around the caravan park.  The member’s presentations continued with discussion on meerkats, remote image capture and photobooks.  Still no sign of Ken walking the tightrope between balloons, Wolf jumping through the bonfire or that flying fox but Donna came to the rescue with an awesome session on fun with bubbles.  Fellow campers were fascinated to watch a bunch of adults prancing around the camp and lying on the ground to take photos of bubbles as they floated by.  What a great success!  We’ll be doing this one at future weekends away.

Coffee beckoned so we headed into town for a caffeine hit before hitting the Redwood Forest again for some more amazing photos.  It is a very special place. Next was the Warburton Market for some quiet shopping and then lunch to celebrate another successful weekend away before heading home to recover.

Please enjoy some of our images from the weekend.


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Hamid- Seagull


Phillip Island photography adventure.

Over 20 club members ventured to Phillip Island in early March 2014 for a weekend of fun and photography.

After a hearty dinner on the Friday evening we ventured down to the beach for sunset.  The sky was clear, so the sunset images were not particularly colourful, but the but sun provided great silhouettes of trees and photographers as it set in the west.

Sue-The Mob

Sue- The Mob

As the sky got darker it was time for a lesson on night sky photography.  Plenty of challenges lay ahead for those new to taking images of the night sky: focus, white balance, aperture, shutter speed, ISO, tripods, shutter release cables and torches. We all quickly learnt that using your camera in the dark is much harder than during the day.  However, persistence payed off as impressive images of the night sky started appearing on many LCD screens.

Brian_Super Nova

Brian_Super Nova

Lesson learnt and it was off to the south side of the island for some serious night sky photography.  Another variable then came into play.  The wind can make any photography difficult, let alone in the dark, but in challenging conditions some great images of Pyramid Rock under a starry sky were produced.

Some members also captured impressive images of light trails using lights and burning steel wool.  It was a successful evening of photography.

Saturday morning dawned bright and clear.  The sunrise images of the jetty and boats at Rhyll were excellent.  The early risers were well rewarded.

Wolf_Rhyll Sunrise

Wolf_Rhyll Sunrise

Back then to base camp for breakfast and a panorama / HDR workshop conducted by Barney.  The challenge was laid out, could we match it with Barney's images.

The afternoon was spent at the surf beach and Cape Woolamai where there was plenty of surfing action, waves and majestic rocks to keep a photographer happy for hours.

We then retired to base camp for a boisterous dinner before once again heading to the beach for the sunset.  Despite great promise, the sunset was a bit of a fizzer.  Never mind, we enjoyed each others company as the sun sank in the west.  The sky then clouded over, it was not going to be a night of shooting stars.

Many of us headed to Smith's Beach for the sunrise on Sunday.  We were well rewarded with an impressive seascape of the sunrise over Cape Woolamai with jagged rocks on the beach in the foreground.

Bev_Jim's Grevillia

Bev_Jim's Grevillia

Breakfast at base camp was followed by a presentation of wonderful macro images from Bev.   Some residents of the caravan park also popped in for a look.  They were impressed.  We then headed off home via various locations including the bird hides, pelicans at San Remo and Kilcunda Bridge well satisfied with a successful weekend that had us looking forward to the next weekend away.

Ian Spence



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