Back in January I visited a friend on his farm near Parawa on the southern edge of the Fleurieu Peninsula. After departing in the late afternoon I took the local gravel roads down to Tunkalilla Beach for a quick sticky-beak before heading back to Adelaide. It’s a rather quiet spot well away from the path of the typical day-tripper. It is a known location though for hang glider and paraglider enthusiasts. Rolling hills rise to an elevation of several hundred metres immediately behind the beach, turning sea breezes into ideal updrafts for soaring.
On my arrival there were four paragliders in the air so I proceeded to capture the action with a macro lens (as you do!). Why a macro lens you ask? Shortly before arriving at Tunkalilla, I’d put my early 1980’s Pentax M 100mm macro lens on the camera, having stopped to photograph some of the roadside flora. It was also the only longish lens I had with me, so that’s what got pressed into use. Despite manual focus and manual exposure control (and terrible flat and dull lighting from lots of mid-level cloud), I managed to grab some half decent images, which I share with you in this post.
After finally finishing the Malaysia holiday series of posts, I’ve taken the opportunity this week to catch up on visits to some of the WordPress blogs I follow.
One of these is High Street Photos X100 authored by another Adelaide photographer Andy Kidd. Andy takes most of his photos with a Fuji X100 camera, hence the X100 in his blog title. He has recently published several posts of photos taken in the area around Rapid Bay and Second Valley. Looking at his posts has prompted me to revisit some photos I took at Second Valley about 18 months ago.
Second Valley is 80 kilometres (50 miles) or so south of Adelaide on the coast of Gulf St Vincent. Size-wise, there’s not much there except a handful of holiday houses, a caravan park and a small jetty. The surrounding area is quite attractive: the coastline is backed by steep hills and Second Valley is located where a small creek flows out of the hills into the sea.
I drove down there in the autumn of 2013 to take photos of some geological formations for use in my son’s Year 12 geology assignment. He’d been down that way some time earlier on a school tour but had apparently missed photographing certain formations he now wanted to reference. So dad to the rescue. He chose to stay home to do some maths home work, so armed with my camera and a quick briefing of what I was looking for, off I went.
The day was drizzly rainy with leaden skies, so I wasn’t expecting too much in the way of interesting photos. But I just happened upon some quite dramatic lighting as you will shortly see.
Second Valley is on the road that leads down to Cape Jervois. After passing through Yankalilla and Normanville, the road runs along the coast for a few miles before turning back inland. This is the view looking south at the point where the road turns left to head back into the hills. Second Valley is one of the little coves in the distance while Rapid Bay is just this side of the far headland. Dreary drizzly conditions and the hazy look at top left is the rain falling on the nearby hill tops.
Back in March I posted a photo essay of the SteamRanger historic railway featuring photos of the largest of the steam engines currently in service, the Duke of Edinburgh. You can find that post here.
SteamRanger is a volunteer run society operating a number of tourist railway services on the now isolated Mt Barker to Victor Harbor broad gauge line. The Cockle Train service runs along the Goolwa to Victor Harbor section of the track, along the edge of the Southern Ocean, for a distance of around 12 miles. Cockles, a local shellfish prolific near the mouth of the Murray River, provide the name for this service that runs regularly on weekends and school holidays. This section of line is the oldest in South Australia and was established in 1854 as a horse drawn railway to move freight from Goolwa (the lowest river port on the Murray-Darling river system) to nearby ocean ports (initially Port Elliott and later Victor Harbor). The railway allowed the mouth of the Murray River to be bypassed as it was unsafe for navigation, being shallow and directly facing the treacherous Southern Ocean swell. The line was rebuilt for steam in 1856.
A number of different rolling stock units are used to operate the service. Last weekend I drove down to Goolwa and followed the Sunday morning train from Goolwa to Victor Harbor and back. This service was operated by a former South Australian Railways 500 class diesel locomotive, No 507.
The 500 class was introduced in the 1960’s as shunters in marshalling yards across the State, replacing steam locomotives used to that time. Ultimately, as trains became longer and heavier, they became obsolete. Most were scrapped in the 1990’s, but a few remain in service. I can recall seeing these locos working in Adelaide’s Mile End good yards in the 1960’s and 70’s, along with the last few steam tank engines.
The 500 class was built locally at South Australian Railways’ Islington workshop. They were diesel-electric with English Electric 500hp motors, and a mix of standard and broad gauge examples were produced. SteamRanger uses No 507 to run the the Cockle Train on quieter services where the cost of running steam is too high.
We commence the pictures at Goolwa station shortly before the train set off for Victor Harbor. Continue reading →
Was down at Sellicks Beach recently, taking my woofa for a run off the leash. He doesn’t take kindly to other dogs, so I take him to some of Adelaide’s less frequented beaches (and generally on a so-so weather day to further ensure I can get some beach to myself).
The beach wasn’t too attractive on this visit, being somewhat scoured out by recent winter storms and with a heap of sea-grass piled up on it. So the camera didn’t get pressed into use. It did remind me though that I took some shots on a trip down that way last winter which I’ll share now in this post.
Sellicks Beach is the point where the southern Mt Lofty Ranges meet the sea, and the hills often generate light showers as clouds roll in off the sea. This was one such day, but with the photographic bonus that the beach itself remained bathed in sunlight. And rather than my usual Tamron 17-50mm lens, I plonked on a Pentax DA 55-300mm telephoto zoom to seek a somewhat different look.
The mid South Coast beaches allow cars to be driven on to selected sections of beach, and in summer time, are popular spots to set up for the day.
A few month’ back, I found myself armed with a camera down on Adelaide’s South Coast region. I was finishing up a couple of hours of filming, taking photos of nothing in particular when I heard a steam engine whistle in the distance. And just happened to be in the exact spot for a great photo. Some days just want to turn out well!
The train concerned is the Cockle Train, run by the SteamRanger Historical Society. The volunteer run society operates a number of services on a now isolated section of the former Mt Barker to Victor Harbor broad gauge line. The Cockle Train runs from Goolwa to Victor Harbor, along the edge of the Southern Ocean, for a distance of around 12 miles. Cockles, a local shellfish prolific near the mouth of the Murray River, provide the name for this service that runs regularly on weekends and school holidays. A number of different rolling stock units are used to operate the service, including some heritage rail cars. This day I struck lucky, as the Duke of Edinburgh, the largest of the SteamRanger locos currently in service was pulling the Cockle Train.
Enough of the intro, onto the photos. All shot with a Pentax K-x dSLR with a Tamron 17-50 lens mounted, and with a UV filter and Hoya CPL on the front to combat the extremely strong sun and high UV (we’d hit 45C (113F) two days earlier in Adelaide).
First, the obligatory occ health and safety advisory…