Struggling with inspiration during the dark days of winter?

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If the dark and gloomy days impact you anything like me, then my fellow Southern Hemishperians (is that even a title?) are probably struggling for inspiration too.

Shorter days, lack of decent sun light and huddling in the chilly evenings drives one to shut down. Not consciously but the results are still the same, a sucking dry of desire to achieve those personal aspirations you may be harbouring, sometimes even hidden from all but your closest confidants. Perhaps a book languishes as a smoldering thought, pictures taken in summer sit idly awaiting post-processing or even just that spot of gardening that continues to elude you.

After nearly a month of flopping about in the dull-drums, I thoroughly recommend a quick injection of mother nature to shake free those cobwebs and inspire you onwards through the dark days and evenings – a touch of tawny port won’t go astray either.

How do you re-charge during these dark days of winter?

Adelaide garden 3 low A grevillea begins to bloom in the garden – beating the winter gloom.

Zoo 20 lowRespite to be found in a local sub-tropical location at the botanical gardens – great for recharging your batteries.

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An idyllic creek – let your cares wash away with the burbling brook.

 

 

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Follow the rails…

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A kid shrieks from the rear of the car, “Train! A STEAM train!”.

Do you remember the days when you were that kid? When did your wonderment of the world cease to be for you? Was it about the same time the stress of the world knocked heavily on your door?

Throw it all in the trash can for just a few hours and renew yourself with a childhood like energy level of fun. With steam trains in town this weekend, our family took the chance for a bit of time out and for a change, the adults clocked out as well.

Chasing the train down a side street, we chugged along in time at about 40kph as my wife snapped off camera shots. All the while, kids squealed (including the teenagers) at the puffing steam giant of the rails whilst I navigated and hurled excited advice. “Fire! Fire! get that shot..I WILL watch the road…Great..look kids….wahooooo!”

Running out of road did not mean running out of fun.

Off to the Bendigo station for some close up  shots before retiring to a nearby park for another hour or so. Boy did those triple dip slides cop a flogging in order to get all our energy out, adults included. Capping the day off was a no stress sausage sizzle / BBQ that rolled from a late lunch right through to dinner.

Remember the last time you were a kid for just a few hours and how the troubles of the world melted away…Go now, be a kid again before you come off the rails for good!

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Copies of these pics in HD are @ my redbubble site.

 

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The toy effect…

IMG_7469 Exploring creativity is fun. With a few days in Melbourne, I have been diving in camera first.

Whilst exploring the city, I captured some scenes that really came to life when I applied a tilt zoom’ post processing effect. This ‘on camera’ feature lends the scene a toy like feeling. At Southern Cross station, I came across a Y class shunter working hard to prepare regional train sets whilst metro trains go about their daily grind.

Melbourne is famous for it’s urban tram network, weaving itself across nearly every city block before branching out into the suburbs in every direction. During the day, I managed to talk my way onto a balcony 4 stories up in the middle of the Melbourne CBD. Normally the vantage point is closed to the public as it is supposed to only accessed by staff for cleaning. From this slightly elicit vantage point, I grabbed these two snaps of Melbourne trams which also lent themselves to the ’tilt zoom’ toy effect.

Have you managed to gain access to ‘off-limit’ zones in a city near you?

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Working the goldfields

Rich in history, the central Victorian goldfields has many hidden gems.

This monstrous old dredge can be found only a few kilometers north of Maldon. It sits in a dry swap, rusting  further into history, it is a relic of golden dreams. The days of surface miners finding gold nuggets the size of ones fist was surpassed in the 1920s with underground mining or heavy industrial surface equipment such as this dredge.

At the site, just a few meters from the main road, no marker explains the age nor purpose of the equipment however net research uncovers that the dredge was used circa 1960 until the mid 1980s.

The dredge is accompanied by a dragline.

The scene is a stark reminder of changing times from which one can draw inspiration for the shenanigans of wilder, steam-punk themed periods.

Do you have any steam-punk inspiring relics near you? Please let us know…

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Armaments factory @ Bendigo, Victoria, Australia

Armament factory, Bendigo.

I recently had the privilege of being allowed to photograph ‘certain areas’ within the  Armaments factory located at Bendigo, Victoria.

Built in the mid 1940s and located in Bendigo, Victoria, the armaments factory started with WWII production before moving into general heavy engineering. At the time of photography (Apr 2014), the site was owned by Thales Australia and primarily produces military grade armoured vehicles, specifically Bushmaster and Hawkei. In 2007, the facilities were inducted into the Business Victoria ‘Manufacturing Hall of Fame’.

Hidden away in some nooks, machinery dating back to the 1940s can still be found. Some look like their operators just vanished, leaving tools awaiting the return of their craftsman.

As with all heavy industries, safety is a driving priority and this facility clearly strives to maintain a safe working environment for its’ workers.

This historical and still producing facility is located next to the ‘Chinese Joss house‘ which holds significant ties to the Victorian gold rush and Chinese miners that worked the fields during the height of the rush, 1850 > 1900.

Do you have any historical factories around near you or even know a worker?

If you are interested in purchasing one of my high-res pictures, please drop by my redbubble site @ http://www.redbubble.com/people/shaynetwright

Inside shop 9 – the floorboards are 95% original and were laid in the 1940s

Safety first – potentially dangerous items are coloured in warning yellow

Work safely, your family and friends want to see you again.

Older machinery can still be found in dis-used nooks

Some machinery looks like it was abandoned mid-shift

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