I made this photo on January 26, 2014 near the small town of Byaduk in the Western District of Victoria, Australia. Byaduk is the first town you pass through on the drive between my hometown, Hamilton, and the beautiful seaside town of Port Fairy.
The Lone Surfer Rides Again
I’d travelled down from Melbourne to play a gig in Port Fairy on January 25 with a band I’d played in 31 years ago. Yikes! The Swinging Hi-Tones remain Australia’s premier inland surf band. Our songs, which are instrumentals, are self-penned originals. We throw in one or two standards for live gigs. As we’d only played/practiced on four occasions over the last 31 years we were all a little nervous. And with good reason: we made loads of mistakes and I completely messaged up one of our songs. Still, there were enough positive signs for us to decide to continue on and play/record on a more regular basis.
In fact I only started playing guitar again around six months ago when I joined a bunch of other players in Melbourne to form the Chicken Pickin Turkey Jerkers - can you guess which part of that name I contributed?
Special thanks to those whom attended the gig. Your support was greatly appreciated. Despite our nerves and the fact that we were playing in the middle of the afternoon, the first of six bands on the bill, we noticed the genuine interest and attention you paid us during our performance. You applause and encouragement was greatly appreciated. You guys are awesome.
Not only was the gig a good experience, the drive down was really interesting. It had been many years since I’d made that drive and I decided to do it again the following day, this time exploring some of the backroads on the way.
Cars and Photography
Unfortunately the following day was a stinker and the stony paths I explored were not ideal for my current car: a Mazda 3. My previous two cars, a Subaru Forester and LandRover Discovery, were much better suited to this kind of exploration but, with a current focus on overseas travel, the decision to move down to a small snappy car for city driving was the right one. I’d like my next car to be another AWD, ideally one that doesn’t burn fossil fuels. I’m prepared to wait.
Australia Day Photo
It ends up that the above photo was made on Australia Day. Any relationship between the photo and notions of what it is to be Australian and the mythology associated with ‘the real Australia’ are purely coincidental. To be frank the 26 of January is probably more important to me as the day before my birthday rather than the day Captain Cook disembarked onto the shore at Botany Bay and claimed this land for the English Sovereign. I’m very happy to have been born and live the life of an Australian. And I would not be who or where I am without that event having taken place. But much that followed on from that day in 1770 has had catastrophic consequences to this country’s indigenous peoples and our natural environment. When I was an employee I was grateful for the holiday, but I’m no flag waver.
The photo itself was challenging. In addition to the heat the wind was blowing and I had to show considerable patience to be able to make the image at the relatively average shutter speed of 1/160 second. I wanted the foreground grasses to be as sharp as possible so I opted for an aperture of f22. It worked out fine and I like the playoff between the warm foreground grasses and the cool blue of the sky. As far as the windmill is concerned I find such subject matter as emotive as the next person, whether they be monarchist or republican. I guess I’m more of a brown coat.
Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru