I decided to go for a drive on my own today… at my own pace this time.
I drove through the back roads of Victoria’s ruggedly beautiful volcanic plains which were once host to the 1850’s gold rush in Australia.
There are few things more peaceful than listening to classical music as one leisurely drives through isolated rural pastures with rolling hills and barely a sole to be seen.
I can drive for hours and I could not feel more relaxed even lying on a beach on the French Riviera.
But perhaps best of all is having my Panasonic GH-1 with 14-140mm lens and my Olympus E-510 with ZD 50-200mm lens sitting on the seat next to me, just begging me to stop the car and stretch my legs a bit to try to capture those wonderful feelings where one is alone, yet does not feel lonely – sheer bliss of getting away from the stresses of the world – and the madness of Christmas shopping!
The day was far from a perfect day for a photographer, but I have learnt to try to make the most of whatever nature throws me.
It is early Summer and the hay fields have been cut. This depression was once a thermal lake created by the surrounding volcanoes and was once home to palm trees, crocodiles and gold-bearing rivers. The gold has since been mined in deep leads, and the climate has changed, while the volcanic activity has ceased some 10-30,000 years ago.
And I keep driving never knowing what will be around the next bend as the sunlight plays across the fields:
Perhaps there will be an old gold mining relic such as this one:
Or just another nice vista:
Whatever, it is, photography has taught me to search for the beauty in all things and to see the world in a different light. Does it really matter if others like my work or not? Of course not, but what matters is that I lived for that moment in time.
The Olympus E510 with ZD 50-200mm lens comes in handy for when I need a bit more zoom (400mm in 35mm terms) as I avoid trespassing on private property, yet many subjects of interest are some distance from the road. It also comes in handy when I need more shallow depth of field.
Here’s another photographer’s blog (Craig Mod) on how much he loved the Panasonic GF-1 and 20mm f/1.7 lens for hiking the Himalayas, leaving his Nikon gear at home.