Tuesday, 30 December 2014

A Rural Safari

Well, what does any self respecting photographer do when the girls of the family go out shopping? 

He gets his gear out and goes on Safari!

This time I wanted to explore some rural settings.  Newcastle has some beautiful beaches and Lake Macquarie is wonderful for its' small bays full of sailing boats but, I hadn't been into the country on safari for some time.

Driving out to small towns like Hinton, Paterson & Clarencetown, I found a wealth of subjects!  

Hinton and Paterson are situated on the Paterson River and Clarencetown is situated on the Williams River.  These rivers both rise on the slopes of the Barrington Tops and join into the Hunter River which, in turn, flows into the sea at Newcastle.  All three of these areas offer some wonderful photo opportunities and have that unique country atmosphere that I love so much.  I also shot some film while on location but they won't be available until I finish that roll.  Can't wait to see them!

I was not aware that before the building of roads in the Newcastle and Hunter Valley region, the rivers were the main transport thoroughfare and also that shipping is what kept Newcastle going.  So much so that Clarencetown actually had a shipyard that built ocean going paddle steamers. This would account for the Hinton Bridge having a movable section in the middle (as you will see in the photo below) for the shipping that would ply the river.  

These rivers are tidal rivers (which surprised me).  I guesstimate that it would be about 28 kms from Hinton via the Paterson and Hunter Rivers to the Hunter River Estuary at Newcastle.  Hinton is very close to the confluence of the Paterson and Hunter Rivers and is very prone to flooding.   

Paterson Plains started out as 3 farms granted to convicts on an area known as 'Old Banks'.  The convicts were given the land grant providing they supply the Government with 500 Cedar Logs.  In a few years time the area had expanded to 8 farms; 6 owned by convicts.  Because of the abundance of the Cedar in the area, the Paterson River was locally known as the 'Cedar Arm' . The Old Banks was also the location of a military outpost responsible for the capture of escaped convicts and for law and order in the area.  Paterson was to become an important tidal river port with timber mills and its own shipbuilding yards.  In the 1850s the river trade began to stall with the building of roads and in 1911 with the arrival of rail, the rail bridge was built directly over the old river wharf.  The last of the paddle steamers was to visit Paterson in the 1930s. 

Something I found out today was that a famous Paddle Steamer built in Clarencetown William the Fourth, is being rebuilt and is when completed will be moored at the Honeysuckle Maritime Precinct on Port Hunter in Newcastle.  It will be available as a floating display, onboard functions and special occasion charters, although it will not be steam driven. 

What I did for some of these photos was to shoot a bracketed exposure +/- 2EV and then merge them in NIK HDR Efex Pro 2.  By doing this it has added to the detail of the subject quite nicely!  The other programme I used for editing is NIK Colour Efex Pro 4.  I was able to adjust the colour to the level I wanted.  I also found that using the Structure slider in Colour Efex Pro 4 brings out some great detail and sharpness also.  At the start of the safari, it was a clear blue sky so my Grad ND2 filter came in handy for the right exposure levels.  As you can see in one of the photos, the weather changed quickly and cut short my safari; I drove home in heavy rain and thunderstorms!

So much to see and so little time to see it!  I hate it when my real job gets in the way of what I like to do most!

Wishing you all the best for 2015!


The photos on this post are for sale contact me if you are interested.

All photos on this blog are Copyright Life with Jordy Photography and may not be used without permission.

Green Fields and Blue Skies.  Clarencetown, NSW, Australia.

One lane bridge over the Williams River.  Clarencetown, NSW, Australia.

The Rail Bridge over the Paterson River.  Paterson, NSW, Australia.

Rural Buildings.  Hinton, NSW, Australia.

Vista from the Cemetery.  Hinton, NSW, Australia.

Bridge over the Paterson River.   Hinton, NSW, Australia.