On Monday June 27th 2022 five keen MCC members took to the road on a 5 day North Coast photography excursion. Unfortunately, just before Taree traffic came to a standstill for the next 1.5 hours due to a traffic accident.
Accommodation was at the Crescent Head Caravan park a short walk to the photographic Nobby’s Head, the country club and pub. Cloud cover was just a little too much for that perfect sunset shot. We did manage to get a couple of Milky Way shots before those clouds came back again. After a huge meal at the country club we agreed on an early night for all after that long drive.
On Tuesday, before the local lorikeets had time to twitter, the 5 of us were taking photos of a cloudy sunrise. After breakfast we explored the pedestrian bridge near our cabins, and photographed a trio of every judge’s favourite bird “the pelican”. Someone decided we should take a short cut to the beach through the dense bush with lots of twigs, tree roots and vines making it more of an effort than first anticipated.
Simone was keen to explore a “hidden” cave below the cliffs, while those of us with old knees and ankles decided to give it a miss. It was worth her efforts because Simone got a top shot! Again, cloud cover spoiled our sunset, so we took photos of the thousands of black pebbles, rocks and boulders around the beach. While negotiating the stairs up from the water’s edge, Anna broke a strut on her tripod resulting in a wonky tripod until President Vic applied some gaffa tape. Twilight brought the rain so we decided the local pub would help drown our sorrow
The local pub was extremely busy and some of members had to wait longer than others for their meals but enjoyed a vinous entree while waiting. On the way back to the cabin Anna’s ankle rolled and like her tripod needed some gaffa tape to help her hobble around for the rest of the trip. She insists she was NOT one of those who had a liquid entree ha!!
Wednesday our last morning at Crescent Head. The group split up, some trying for a sunrise and others finding silhouettes of the locals climbing up and down Nobby’s Head and there were plenty of surfers, fisherman and dolphins to photograph. Erith made a new friend with an old surfie!
After breakfast we headed off to South West Rocks passing many old quaint rustic sheds along the way but too many fences and bad light. Who said photography was easy?? We took a diversion via Smoky Cape Lighthouse and there was excitement amongst a few members when they saw whales offshore, but not one whale would breach for that shot! N.B. paparazzi were disappointed!!
We stopped off at the Trial Bay Gaol to check it out and then on to a lunch time special at the Riverside Tavern with the local pensioners ($20 for steak, chips, salad and a beer/wine)! Then we checked into the Horseshoe Bay Caravan Park, located right near the beach. After a brief rest the group scouted around for possible spots for a sunset and sunrise shots. Again the weather was against us and after a few shots at the local beach we decided to stay at home for the night.
Erith & Simone were able to find a local pizza place and brought back two pizzas for the group to consume with a couple or three bottles of wine!! There were lots of laughs and stories to share.
One of the best experiences on Camera Club getaways is not only trying to get those terrific shots but it’s an excellent way to get to know more about your fellow members and to share experiences and help with hints for camera settings, compositions etc.
Thursday again up and about at 5.45am, this time we enjoyed our first good sunrise. The location was near the local surf lifesaving club, with interesting Granite rock formations and fishermen silhouetted against the sunrise.
After breakfast we headed out to Trial Bay Gaol which we all enjoyed exploring and learning about its history. We even created a getaway photo in the prison cell. Lots of laughs and posing to get that shot! As we were leaving a FA18 screamed past us on its rounds around the coast. Had to be quick to get that shot! Again, who said taking photos was easy!
That evening we decided to return to the Smoky Cape Lighthouse for a sunset and possible Milky Way shot. There were beautiful pillowy colourful clouds surrounding the lighthouse opposite the sunset so we snapped away but it was too cloudy for a M.W. While waiting for the clouds to clear we could hear the whales singing as they wended their way north. A cherished moment.
We returned to our cabins and cheese and biscuits for supper with the odd glass or two of wine!! Another early start tomorrow.
Friday our last day, again the clouds spoiled the sunrise but the lighting was beautiful. We returned to our cabins, had breakfast packed our bags and headed back to the Northern Beaches.
A special thanks to Erith for organising our North Coast adventure, to Vic for all your help and Simone for the constant questions you answered. Val as usual you did a great job driving.
Next time there is a trip organised for MCC (i.e. Parkes Sept) I would strongly suggest you lock it in. Even though it’s exhausting, its educational, with lots of fun and laughs and a terrific way of getting to know your fellow passionate photographers.
Lois Lane (aka Anna).