ABC Open Weekend Workshops

ABC Open Producer for Tropical North, Dan Battley, setting up to take a group photo of all the people who dragged themselves out of bed for the Sunday Sunrise photo outing.

So I’m a little bit late with writing this post. It’s been a busy couple of weeks, with multiple trips around the place and a few health issues that I’m glad to finally have under control and treated (the trips mostly relating to the health issues, so no pics). Now it’s time to catch up on posting and get a few drafts polished off an published to make up for the weeks of absence…

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago Stacey and I were doing our usual thing of sitting around on a Friday after work trying to decide what we were going to get up to for the weekend. I had planned to go on a big drive out to the middle of nowhere (as I like to do), but Stace found that the Clermont Camera Social Club, in conjunction with ABC Open, was running a workshop on Time Lapse photography at the local library on Saturday morning, a slideshow presentation of the club’s photos on the Saturday night, and (at the time) four workshops on the following Sunday, covering sunrise, day time, sunset and after dark.

I’ve thought about joining the Clermont Camera Social Club since I moved up here, but the biggest problem for me was the “Social” bit… those who know me in real life will know I’m quite the hermit – I have a few good friends, and tend to keep to myself if possible. In my life I’ve had a few too many run ins with people over my beliefs, values and appearance to be a particularly outgoing person. But I figured there’s time to change that right?

So, Saturday morning we packed up our cameras and headed down to the library.

I’ll have a bit more to say about the time lapse workshop in a future post, so for now I’ll just say that it was run by the ABC Open producers from Tropical North, Dan Battley, and Capricornia, Lisa Clarke. In attendance was quite a few members of the Camera Social Club, Stacey and myself, and it was quite informative and entertaining. As was the evening slideshow, even if everything didn’t go to plan

Suffice to say it was great to see all the fantastic photos taken by members of the Club.

During the workshop and the Saturday night get together it was decided that instead of doing 4 workshops on Sunday, they’d skip the day time one (mostly due to the heat I think) and do 3 longer ones: sunrise at Hood’s Lagoon, sunset at Lake Theresa and long exposure night photography and light painting at Clermont Cemetery after dark.

Morning light on Hood’s Lagoon. I’m not a fan of this place. As an additional note, you can see the Jeep in the distance.

And so, Sunday morning at some ungodly hour, Stace and I made our way to Hood’s Lagoon. We were running late of course, but what can you do? Hood’s Lagoon is one of those places that just does not in any way inspire me. Thanks to some poor infrastructure/development choices in the past, it now needs a significant amount of re-mediation work (namely aeration and an increase to its inflow of fresh water). But the light was pretty, and even though I spent most of my time shooting my coffee bottle, Stace and the other participants as opposed to the actual Lagoon, I still got some good shots.

Stace and I then spent most of the rest of the day sheltering in the comfort of our air conditioned lounge room, and in the early evening headed out to Lake Theresa for the Sunset Workshop. As it happens we were late again, and unfortunately other than Lisa, Dan, Stacey and myself, only one other member of the club showed up. Especially unfortunate because we were lucky enough to have some absolutely fantastic clouds around the setting sun, lovely reflections off the lake’s surface, and, in my case, and particularly co-operative little spider…

A little spider (genus Tetragnatha I suspect), waiting for the last of the afternoon light to fade away before commencing building her web for the night, with the twilight sky reflecting off Lake Theresa in the background.

After coming in from the Lake, we had enough time to clear our memory cards, have a quick dinner, and grab our tripods before we headed to the cemetery for a night photography outing. I guess I should begin this by saying that I hate cemeteries. Not for any superstitious reasons or anything, being an atheist and not believing in an afterlife simply adds up to make cemeteries a somewhat depressing place for me. The people buried in cemeteries are gone, their memories are gone, their stories are gone, and, no matter who they were, or what their lives were like, the world is a sadder place for not having everyone’s story recorded for future generations. A depressing thought I know, but given recent events in my own life, not entirely surprising. Anyway, inspiration was lacking to say the least, and I had enough trouble keeping myself composed, let alone planning shots. I did however towards the end of the evening shoot a few frames for my first attempt at time lapse, which turned out to be a limited success.

My only somewhat successful shot from the night workshop, the moon shining over an old grave marker, which I painted with my bike headlight during the exposure. To the right of the cross thingy you can also see Taurus (the triangle of stars) and Jupiter (which is the bright star below Taurus).

Here’s the rest of my pics from the weekend:

All in all, it was an inspiring weekend. I was quite happy with my shots (in particular the spider one, of course), and I did learn quite a bit. It was also a great introduction to a number of the more active members of the Clermont Camera Social Club – I did end up officially joining the group, and I look forward to further activities like this in the future. The weekend was also a good introduction to the ABC Open idea, something I’d never even heard of until this weekend, but something I’ll pay attention to in the future.

And now I think I need to go and get some sleep. I have work tomorrow (dammit).

Shannon Walters

An amateur photographer who also spends time making chainmaille and doing too many other things to mention.


  1. Excellent photos man, really like the spider one, also the sun bouncing off Stacey’s hair, and the palm tree. I agree, the lake looks like an ill-managed shit hole.

    I found your thoughts on cemeteries interesting, mostly because I’ve sort of gone the other way. With a few deaths of family and friends these past few years, I’ve finally had reason to go into them. What I’ve discovered is that some, especially older ones, are intriguing to me, and full of history. Cara and I now make a point of exploring them whenever we happen to be walking by. There is a little one right on top of a high hill here in Bracken RIdge, and many names of people on the grave are names of nearby suburbs and streets. The Carseldine family for example.

    Of course, there are a few problems – a lot of religious paraphernalia indeed, but also, I can’t help but wonder about all the people who could not afford a fancy grave back in the day.

    • Cheers dude. The spider one just made my whole day. Stacey’s hair colour really looks great in the morning and afternoon light, I have an extraordinary number of photos of her during our outings. The palm tree one I thought had a real post card feel to it, which is what I was hoping for.

      The Lagoon could be a lot better. Prior to amalgamation I’ve been told there was big plans for rejuvenation (aeration, correction of its inflows, circulation, stocking with fish, etc), but after the amalgamation it seems like most of the budget goes to Moranbah (our biggest town) and the other dedicated mining only towns (last year Dysart got a $5million dollar recreation center, for example), whereas Clermont (which currently only has one mine, and is more pastoral than the other major towns) seems to be getting neglected. As it is at the moment the lagoon only gets flushed out once every 5 or 6 years when we get a major flood of Sandy Creek, and the only inflows come straight off the town’s streets, with all the associated pollution. And it’s such a pity, because it could be such a beautiful place.

      Cemeteries and I have had a bit of a complex relationship throughout my life. I love the historical aspects, and it is always enlightening to see that so many landmark/street/landform names tend to come from residents of days gone by (although in Isaac it seems as though a lot of the names come from families that are still here, which is interesting in itself, but a topic for another time). But at the same time I can’t help but feel a colossal sense of loss when visiting them. I think I’ll write up a post about it to explain it in more detail, this comment is already getting a bit long.

      Touching on your last point regarding people who couldn’t afford a fancy grave – Clermont Cemetery is the site of a mass grave for victims of the 1916 flood, and from what I’ve been able to find in my research, there’s not even a consensus on how many people are buried there, or who they are.

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