Castlemaine Weekend 2017
Castlemaine Weekend 2017 © Karen Malbon
We went to Castlemaine seeking gold. Our gold was not the precious metal discovered in the 1880s by miners digging, blasting and panning. Our gold was found in the light, the buildings, the people and the landscape of the historic goldfields town.
Most members arrived in time for dinner on Friday night at the Cumberland Hotel. Some very keen photographers had an early night so that they could wake before dawn and others opted to have a few more drinks and a sleep in. The early birds were rewarded with a misty sunrise at Cairn Curran Reservoir and sprawling canola fields during the golden hour on the return journey.
At 1pm on Saturday we gathered in the Botanical Gardens to meet up with those that drove to Castlemaine that day. We swapped stories of how we spent our free time of the morning exploring the town, the market, the billy-cart races and the cuisine at The Mill. Macro lenses got a workout in the gardens and so did our members posing for drone shots and our unique group photo.
In convoy we visited Pennyweight Flat Children’s Cemetery, Forest Creek Gold Diggings and Chewton. Our car was unable to find the Garfield Wheel but I am sure it was photographed multiple times so we will eventually get to see what it looks like. A change in programming had us heading out to Cairn Curran Reservoir for sunset with stops along the way to photograph elm trees and canola fields. A few members exhibited great balance on fence posts to get a higher perspective of the golden canola. A warm, clear, cloudless day did not provide a spectacular sunset but lovely images were still made. We made it back to the Railway Hotel at 8pm, just in time time to order dinner.
At first light, some of us gathered above the town at the Old Castlemaine Gaol. The golden light bathed the stone wall of the gaol and provided a canvas for some fun shadow play. Thankfully breakfast at the gaol was not like the old days and fuelled us for the historical walking tour of the town led by a very knowledgable local, David. David kept a brisk pace but was soon slowed by the gaggle of photographers he was leading. David did get us back to the railway station in time for a group of us to board the steam train to Maldon and for others to photograph it.
Gold medals are awarded to Nola and the committee for organising a wonderful social weekend of photography.
What other members had to say:
" I enjoy the weekends away as we get to spend time with and learn about other club members. There are planned activities in which we have the opportunity to photograph in different settings and learn from other members. On Sunday we travelled on the Steam Train from Castlemaine to Maldon and back again. We have the choice to get up at 5am to experience the start of the day with a sunrise shoot and also later in the day the sunset shoot." - Jennifer Empey
" This week end was , as usual, very well organised with all sort of opportunities for different types of photos: Street, Architecture, Cars and Billy Carts, Steam Train, Nature, Sun Rise and Sun Set…etc. Excellent breakfasts and diners to satisfy the gourmets. The organisers had even ordered a beautiful sunny weather! But what is the best of the week ends away with the WCC? The members! We have so much fun together as well as helping and encouraging each other!” - Françoise Muller-Robbie
" Great weekend, with great weather. A few new members attended. With people going to sunrises, walking all day and then going to sunsets, we ended the day with a welcome trip to the local pub for a meal and some beverages to wash the dust away. They were long days but very amusing and fun days. After speaking to some new members I've got some ideas on things people new to photography would like to learn; I think we can put some of the suggestions to good use in the coming year." - Darren Malthouse
Click on the video below to see our group photo come together. Thanks to Neil for capturing our Crazy Castlemaine Crew!