‘Rust in Peace for your work day is done’, these thoughts drift through my mind as I reflect on our days outing for the Australia Day long weekend.
Exploring the backroads of Central Victoria whilst helping out a farming friend, basically looking after his sheep / crop whilst he takes the family for a week or so of holidays, lead us down some not so well travelled back roads. To the locals, these dirt tracks are home and considered just a means of travel – as is human nature to become ho-hum with regular surrounds. To me, these roads uncovered a relatively secret local history of +100 year old post office, a small graveyard of classic cars and earlier in the week we also hit the historic inland port of Echuca.
In hindsight, this journey into local history provided me and my family with a timely break from the harsh reality of retuning from holidays to my day job and a well earned breather from the developments being undertaken in my latest venture that also sprung from this blog – Trains of War.
Our first stop on the explorational journey was earlier in the week at the historic port of Echuca. The famous Echuca steam-paddle wharf was the fartherest inland port within Australia during her formative years. This historical wharf is on the Murray river and during flood season the river can rise high enough that the steam boats actually dock at the very top of the wharf.
The Murray River was the inland highway for Victoria and New South Wales before roads pushed inland.
On the Australia Day long weekend Saturday, our local tourist drive took us approximately 20~24km North-West of Bendigo in Central Victoria, Australia. Our first stop was the historic Campbells forest post office is located approximately 23km NW of Bendigo, Victoria. It was established in 1876, the post office formally served the district until 1974. Despite no care takers, the location still serves as a post office drop off point for local farmers for the weekend newspapers.
For those whom might be interested in visiting this site, the location is ‘LOT 4 Campbells Forest Wes Rd, Campbells Forest VIC 3556‘.
From a photographers perspective, the overhead summer lighting proved to be a difficult challenge however with the help of some post-processing via Lightroom, the historic site polishes up nicely.
The second half of the day saw us checking over our friends farm and through this, we stumbled upon a classic car graveyard. Like a lot of farmers, once some machinery dies it is simply moved behind one of the sheds. Here is were we found a handful of old Plymouths rusting in peace.
With the quantity of classic machinery on hand at the farm, I have at least another dozen or so pictures that are of suitable quality to completely process. These three car pictures are but a sample of what lies in stall which I hope to bring to this blog over the next week or so. My creative skills for these pictures were exercised both in the field and at home. The compositions were toyed with due to the harsh afternoon sun, tweaked as I checked the histograms on my camera display before recomposing to try and knock out some really sharp peaks. Once home, these final pictures under went a mild batch of cleanup before HDRing and finally some healing on the ‘Plymouth #1 rust in peace‘ to remove a lens flair that was smack bang in the middle of shot.
So all in all, I found the weekend to be a great motivator for both rural exploration and photographic skill-set expansion. As for the effects of summer, upon returning home we were able to capture photographic evidence just how hot it was. The baby Galah, seen below, was found sitting on the pool cleaning ‘snake’ in an effort to escape the 36 C / 97 F heat.
If you have any questions or comments about either the locations or techniques, please leave a comment and I will get back to you.
If you really enjoyed the pictures and are looking for some hi-res versions, please click the picture below.