Dayna's Blog

Holidays, walks and who knows what


Drive-by Photography (Inverloch) – May 2013

On Sunday we drove Stephen’s mum to Inverloch, a small beachside town about 2hrs south east from Melbourne, for a Devonshire afternoon tea at the RACV Inverloch Resort. It was her surprise mother’s day outing, postponed from last weekend.

Well, that was the plan. That changed when we were met with this:


When I called to make a reservation (thinking one would be needed) did anyone mention, ‘By the way, the view will be almost completely obstructed by a giant white tent right outside the window on that day’ – I think not.

Here’s the view from the driveway as we departed:


So we had a late lunch at the pub back in town instead. At least it was warm by the gas fire.

Although bereft of (the usual) walking photos or (the hoped for) magnificent vistas to share, don’t think my camera returned home unused.

The challenges of performing decent photography from a moving car are many – although, please let me stress, I’m never in the drivers’ seat when the camera’s in my hand.

The main challenges I find are:

– Glare from the dashboard or light, generally from your clothes, reflecting on the inside of the cars’ windows. Rental cars are terrible for dashboard glare.

Reflection from clothes Reflection from dash
– Bugs/dust/rain on the glass, not to mention getting your timing right with the windscreen wipers

Rain Bugs
– Trees, bushes, guard rails, sign posts, electricity/phone poles and overhead wires all hinder a good shot

– Bumps and dips in the road – and the more you zoom, the worse it gets.

I’ve had plenty of practice at drive-by photography – not that I’m claiming to be perfect at it! – there are still many missed shots. My camera beeps often, as I point and focus, but less often is the shutter sound heard. Stephen will often hear a quiet ‘meh’ of disgust or resignation as I fail to get the shot I was hoping for.

Our drive on Sunday brought an additional challenge… photography from the back seat of the MINI. (We couldn’t very well ask Stephen’s mum to clamber into the back, despite her offer to sit there!)

Usually, the majority of my drive-by photos are taken through the windscreen. That’s a lot trickier to do from the back seat. And the side windows are smaller and fixed, so if they get dirty you can’t wind them down to get a clear shot. On the up-side, I did have unimpeded access to the window on the other side of the car (quite an unusual occurrence, you’ll understand) and still had the roof window in the back for interesting clouds.

Here are some of my better shots of the day:

I’m sure Stephen will be disappointed if I don’t at least mention the Kilcunda Bridge (trestle bridge photo above) – but I’ll save a better description for when we do that walk. It’s a rail trail (an easy grade), but not a circuit (so not particularly convenient) which is the main reason why we haven’t walked it yet.

The pirate mini-golf photo isn’t particularly brilliant, but I wanted to include it as it’s something different to the usual windmills and things I usually associat with putt putt.

One very brief stop we made was at the carpark at Eagle’s Nest (aka Eagle’s Rest) – a prominent rocky outcrop on the way out of town – where I took a photo of the pirate caves. One day we might even make it down to that beach. There’s another access road to that beach. We won’t have to swim or climb around the cliffs.


So that was our day. Not particularly eventful, but a nice drive all the same.

: )


National Rhododendron Garden, Olinda – May 2013

Still in pursuit of trees with leaves changing colour to photograph, Stephen suggested that we visit the National Rhododendron Garden at Olinda in the Dandenong Ranges east of Melbourne. He was tipped-off by a post on Parks Victoria’s facebook page.

The Dandenongs are a popular place to visit of a weekend, and with the weather so fine and unseasonably warm on Saturday we weren’t the only ones up there. (I can only imagine it would have been much worse on Sunday, being Mother’s Day!)

The gardens are well sign posted, so easy to find. Fortunately we found a car park once we arrived. The mountain ash around the car park are stunning by themselves, even though (being eucalypts) they don’t change colour.

It’s easy to walk in the entrance (which, unusually for a Victorian Park, is through a gift shop) and get awed by the view and forget to keep walking. Luckily Stephen was there to prompt me to move on. There is a lot more to see.

Even though I’m categorising this (for now at least) as a weekend ‘walk’, I didn’t think of it as a walk, per se – more just a photo opportunity! We followed the main loop track and probably only walked about 2km – give or take. There’s a map on the Parks Victoria page (linked above).

We will have to go back in spring when the Rhododendrons are in flower – that looks beautiful, too.


Mt Macedon – May 2013

Mt Macedon is under an hours drive west of Melbourne. It’s stands quite high above the surrounding plains and the memorial at the top is guaranteed to be at least several degrees cooler than Melbourne or even the towns near the base of the range. Today for example the maximum temperature reached in Melbourne was 14.5oC. When we reached Macedon (the township at the base of the mountain) it was 9.5oC. At the top of the mountain, it was colder again. Nice in the sun, but even so, foggy breath no problems! Northface jackets and beanies required today!

Incidentally, this is a walk that we’ve done before. We chose this walk today because we were hoping to get some nice photos of autumn leaves.

We joined the track up the mountain on Bawden Road. The road has been widened there just enough to allow a couple of cars to park without causing a traffic hazard. It’s a pretty steep walk through Macedon Regional Park up to the summit where the memorial cross is. The track is not wide, and quite eroded in parts. Some parts get quite slippery in wet weather, too.

From the summit we walked along to Cameron’s picnic area for lunch before heading back. The a walking track extends another 10km or so along the range, but we’ll keep that for another day.

Here’s my map and stats – you’ll see that my start and finish points are different. This is because my watch couldn’t connect to enough satellites to fix my location until I was halfway up the mountain. It certainly wasn’t a fast-paced walk, but it was a cardio work-out on the way up, so hopefully it evens out.