Bright Weekend Reports
Bright Weekend© Tom Matthews
Today we're excited to be able to provide not one, but two, reports from the Williamstown Camera Club trip to Bright, April 21 & 22, 2012. The first is from Tom Matthews. The second report comes from our president David Male. If members have any photos from the weekend they'd like to include in the gallery, please send them through.
I had a text from Brian and Thelma to let me know that the group was meeting at the Chalet on top of Buffalo at 5.30am Saturday morning for the first shoot but that would mean leaving home at around 1.30am and that was never going to happen so I thought that if I left at 4.45am in the morning I could possibly time my arrival to meet the rising sun and hopefully catch the morning mist that may happen to lie between the valleys.
Surprise, surprise, pea soup fog all the way to the Broadford turn off so speed was not an issue and my timing was going to be off but when I came into Porepunkah... lo and behold, the sun was shining brightly thru the trees that line the winery on my left so I had to do a U turn back to try and capture what I had seen.
I arrived in Bright at 9.00am and caught up with Graeme who was doing a bit of shopping... we decided to have a look around the local home made, home grown sort of market on the banks of the Ovens River (that everyone else decided to do as well) and take a few snaps and after that we just went our own way until the group all met at 2.30pm.
I think there were about 30 in total that followed Christian, the photographer engaged by the club to pass on his expertise and knowledge, to local areas that would be photographically challenging and rewarding.
Because of the size of our group and because of the amount of visitors to the area it made it extremely hard to find somewhere that could accommodate to feed us all so Saturday night found us dining at one of the Pizza restaurants that Irene had found in the main street and it turned out that it was a fabulous meal and a great venue with lots of laughter and stories told.
Sunday morning... RAIN, wet, dark and miserable but did that stop us? ...only some, the rest of us toddled off again following Christian to the bottom of Mt. Hotham to catch flowing water then to Boytonâ€™s ever colorful winery for the opportunity to photograph... well, wine stuff actually, this was color at its best, wet leaves accentuated the colors and the mist on the mountains was an added bonus to put the icing on the cake.
Some went back to Bright for a lunch time Barbieâ€¦I decided to part company so to all of my dear photography friends, thank you for a fabulous weekend, canâ€™t wait for the next one and the colors of Bright and surrounding areas were truly outstanding and may I suggest a return visit next year... please.
Bright Weekend Photography Trip
Some came early on Friday morning by caravan, fresh and ready to go. Others arrived late on Friday night, cold and hungry and ready for bed. Some more arrivals on Saturday, including one who only came for a day trip! All in all, 28 keen photographers including some spice (plural for spouse) plus a niece and a god-daughter.
Saturday morning, pitch dark, we meet at the Woolies carpark then off to Mt Buffalo for a sunrise shoot. We wind our way up through the clouds to the famous old green railway chalet. We are on top of the world as we look down on the clouds as they meander and cascade along valleys and over spurs. The suns first rays graze the top of the ranges casting long shadows and lighting up the granite cliffs.
It is 6.30am and 9 keen photographers disperse from the carpark carrying a range of cameras, lenses and tripods in an attempt to find the best vantage points to capture the light. We find the best spots just past the â€˜no entryâ€™ signs! The views are so spectacular it is difficult to know where to start. Part of the enjoyment is to just sit and look and soak it all in.
We return for some hot brekky â€“ baked eggs, pancakes, coffee â€“ all the nutritional stuff.
2pm Saturday ... official meeting time for all. Christian Jemison â€“ our local professional photographer and guide (from â€˜Punkahâ€™, thatâ€™s Porepunkah to you non-attendees) â€“ provides us with a rundown of the upcoming programme. His enthusiasm is apparent and over the time we share together, Christian continuously displays a wonderful depth of knowledge regarding the local environment, flora, community, history, etc as well as photographic support. He proves to be an excellent host.
Over the next 3.5 hours we trip around to local sites to capture all the colours that the season has to offer in the Buckland Valley. The arborium, local lanes, poplar stands and more, until we arrive at Boyntons Winery to catch the last light of the day. A lovely finish to day one. The weather has been stunning.
7pm Saturday ... we have a group dinner at a local BYO pizza / pasta place. Good food at a very reasonable price. A pleasantly noisy night made more so by celebrating Anneâ€™s birthday with one of Margâ€™s famous cakes. We canâ€™t tell you how old Anne is, but she has just entered her 7th decade! (sorry Anne)
At this time, most of us go to bed. But not John and Kratis â€“ 2 more hours of night shots capturing shadows and silhouettes and who knows what else? We are waiting for them to fess up. There was a rumour about setting up a tripod in the middle of the Ovens River. The water is close to freezing.
8am Sunday and it is a different day â€“ 14 degrees and wet, wet, wet. We stand huddled under a verandah for half an hour until we decide to brave it. 19 hopeful photographers head off to Eurobin Falls and, on arrival, the rain stops on command. Great timing.
Now for a little confession ... whilst we are at this location we took our traditional group photo. Unfortunately not everyone is present but we always seem to miss someone. Anyway, we setup and took the shots as per our usual process - one at a time until everyone is included. There seemed to be a bit more sillyness than usual (which all adds to the fun and probably reflects the level of enjoyment had by all). The relevance of this is that there is a lot of movement and action during the shoot. Now for the confession. We are using my camera for the shoot. The photos I took before the group shot were of running water. F22. 0.8 sec. Good for nice â€˜milkyâ€™ textured running water! Guess what my settings were during the group shot? Nice milky textured running people!! Oh well, we continue to learn.
We finish up at the winery again for a visit to the barrel room and some black and white photo opportunities. And a coffee. And some wine tasting.
Irene has organised a wonderful BBQ under a shelter back in Bright as the weather is still threatening. No-one seems to want to go home and we exchange positive memories of the past 48 hours. We farewell Christian and then go our own ways.
Neil, who is a keen fisherman, heads off to Harrietville to catch some fresh trout at the fish farm (which is really like a fish market without the freezer). Brian and Anne head off to Dinner Plain. And Tony and Marg stay over in the caravan.
The rest of us head back to Melbourne and drive into two serious hail storms. These storms act as a curtain to signify the end to another great weekend.