Weekend Wanderings – A Mallee Workshop
Recently while I was in the Mallee I had the opportunity to teach a workshop to some people up there. The workshop was focused on Landscape and Night photography. I do love teaching and to be able to teach a workshop in a place like that was just amazing. There are some things that I need to work on when I am doing them, but I am happy with how they are run, and people do seem to enjoy them, at least that is what they tell me. The workshop was based around a town called Nyah West, which is sort of north of Swan Hill, a town or small city in the northern part of the state of Victoria.
Nyah West isn’t the vibrant town it once was, still, I was shocked to see a sheep wandering up and around the main street. It was having a lovely time eating the grass that is in front of some of the old shops.
We did go to the old house, but it was very warm and I didn’t take too many photos myself. I was helping other people and showing them how to do things on their camera. I have to admit I was also very worried about snakes, which turned out to be justified. This time of the year, and for the next few months snakes are going to be a real problem in places like this. For those that aren’t aware, most of the snakes we have in Australia are poisonous, and if they bite you, you will die, unless you get to hospital very quickly. I just found a site, a cheery thought really, check out the poisonous snakes, Facts and Figures: World’s Most Venomous Snakes. Thank goodness they all sleep in the winter. Though the two we see the most are the brown snakes and tiger snakes.
The conditions out at the salt pans. It wasn’t as hot there as it had been at the old house. It was a very bright sun, and since it was behind the lakes it meant we had to take photos into the sun, so getting shadows of the dead trees seemed a logical thing to do. The trees were lots of odd shapes. The salt pans were precarious, and we really had to watch where we were going, if you weren’t careful you would start sinking.
It had always been the plan to photograph the sunset here. It was going to be the ideal setting, the salt pan, the dead trees, even some water, what more could we ask for, well maybe some clouds! By the time sunset rolled around there wasn’t a cloud to be seen in any direction. It was disappointing at the time, but still the colours were quite amazing. I have enhanced them here, but often I find the camera doesn’t always pick up what you see. Now that I look at the images, I don’t mind that there weren’t any clouds, I like the tones and the starkness. Maybe if there had been clouds, you would have looked at those more than the trees in the water.
After dark, after dinner at the Nyah West Pub, we headed out the road again to do some milky way shots. I did enjoy that too, and it was by far one of the best classes on night photography I have done. I found a good formula that worked for me, and I think I would like to try it again. The above image was the last one we took for the night. I showed a photo the other day of someone shining a touch to light up the milky way, and this is the person that did it. I asked her to just stand in the road and we lit her up. The light we used was a little too strong, so I had to work on that, but I don’t mind the results. Playing with the light turned out to be a lot of fun.
I am hoping to do more workshops up in the Mallee, and I am starting to see that perhaps a lot of people would benefit from a more basic introduction to your DSLR, a class I do down here all the time, so I am going to plan another trip and do a workshop on that. I have some more photos and will put them into a gallery for you now. The weekend has started here, and plans are afoot to go out and take more photos. My daughter is very close to getting all her hours up, so she is also keep to go with me to get more driving. I hope you have photography planned this weekend.