Breakaway River Photographic Adventure

Camberwell Camera Club’s weekend adventure to Breakaway River.

In early March, 13 club members and a few very supportive spouses enjoyed a weekend of photography, fine weather, fine wine and great company at Breakaway River, Acheron, near Alexandra. We based ourselves at the Breakaway Twin Rivers Caravan Park which was a great location by the river with a fabulous trestle bridge nearby. The residents must have wondered what such a weird mob were up to wandering around at all hours carrying cameras and tripods.

The weekend started on the Friday evening with a team BBQ. Great company and great discussion as we all looked forward to a weekend of photography with some like minded people. The sky was clear, so the sunset over the river was a little disappointing but it augured well for a great evening of shooting stars.

Phil Hart’s inspirational talk earlier in the week gave us plenty of motivation to aim for the sky and match his shots. Alas, it was not so easy. There were a few challenges: focus, shutter speed, ISO, camera shake and adjusting camera settings in the dark to name a few. Some shots were ok but we knew we could do better. The coach gave us an inspirational half time pep talk. We would learn from our mistakes.

Saturday dawned fine, not a cloud in the sky so sunrise shots were less than inspirational. Still, there were a few friendly cows to photograph and the birds came to life as the sun appeared in the sky.

Barney was not able to appear in person, so Ian gave a presentation on his experience with HDR and Panoramas, watched over eerily by an avatar of Barney. Those amazing photos of Barney’s are not so hard to do after all!

Bec kindly made the trip for the day to provide some words of wisdom on shooting portraits. A very good discussion followed by a practical session allowed us to hone our skills. Photographers are always more at home behind the camera than in front of it, but a few brave club members stepped forward to be our subjects.

A trip to a nearby avenue of trees provided us with some amazing old gnarly subjects, including one huge tree that was tilted over at a 45 degree angle.

Snob’s Falls was next with stairs allowing us to get up close and personal with a surprisingly active series of waterfalls that provided a great view as the water plunged into the valley below.

Then back to base camp for Bob’s very informative session on lenses. It is no wonder the vast array of lenses seems daunting and confusing. Because it is daunting and confusing. Bob did a great job to de-mystify lens speak and we left with a much greater understanding than when we started. But, as with all things photographic, the more you know the more there is to know.

Following dinner, we headed off to photograph the Cathedral Range at sunset. We chose several vantage points allowing us to shoot different perspectives of this impressive range. The red rocks were illuminated by the setting sun, providing us with some stunning images.

Then, as the night sky appeared before us, was our chance to improve on the previous night’s efforts. Yes, things clicked into place and some great shots emerged including meteorite trails and a comet. Very impressive. A roadside location for the early shots provided interesting lighting on nearby trees from passing cars and by the end the star trails were working a treat. Job well done and the coach was happy.

Sunday morning dawned bright and clear again. So with a less than impressive sunrise, some members chose to sleep in! It is those mornings that you hope the keen photographers are rewarded with an extraordinary shot, a UFO landing nearby or something similar. Alas, not to be. Still the cows, birds and trees were still there as obliging as ever.

Next stop was Eildon Dam with the dam wall providing some interesting perspectives. Riders in a cycling event must have thought the local press was on hand as the cyclists waved and smiled at us all snapping them as they rode past.

Then, finally, it was on to the Cathedral Range via Rubicon Valley for a pleasant walk among the trees.

A truly great weekend, enjoyed by all, has us looking forward to the next camera club adventure.

…Ian Spence

One Response to “Breakaway River Photographic Adventure”
  1. A great summary of a wonderful weekend away! Thanks for your fabulous work organising the event Ian!

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