Araluen Botanical Park visit with Gem Camera Club

Well it’s been a while since my last post, all my spare time the last couple of weeks has been in training for today’s City to Surf. I went into the day quite worried (it’s been about 10 years since my last long distance run) with how under prepared I was, not knowing what was ahead of me as it was my first time. All said and done when i got to the end my only disappointment was that I still had energy left, and should/could have pushed myself alot harder. Now a tense wait to see if I cracked the 1hr time for the 12 kms. Not a great time but as I had only been able to train a few times a week at distances of 6km I will be happy if that time was reached. With proper training next year, starting closer to the front of the group (to avoid being held up by the 1000’s of people who should have been in the slower groups) and knowledge of the course I hope to smash the time I did today.

Now to the camera stuff. I’m part of a camera club and have been for about 2 years now. It is a great tool to improve, learn and push yourself further with your photography. I’m a member of the Gem Camera Club which is based in Kalamunda. It is quite a small club with 20 or so members, but is full of great photographers. It really is priceless for a youngster like me to be around the members who have been shooting photos for much longer then I have been around.

We occasionally have a fun day out as a club, and one of these days is a Photo Rally. We go to the set location, and are given a list of subjects. We then have a 1 shot limit for each subject. This really makes you stop and really think about everything going on. You need to check composition thouroughly, make sure the right parts of the image is in focus, most importantly watch your exposure-which is often changing constantly throughout the set up. I shoot using manual setting, and fell victim to this changing light. I had the exposure right, then a young child ran right through the shot. I waited for him to exit the frame, then took the shot. During that time a cloud had came over and left me with a underexposed image 😦 silly silly me.

For this rally we went to Araluen which is located in Roleystone. It is spectacular most of the year but in Spring it really comes alive. Countless wildflowers are found through the native bushland but it is the stunning Tulips that Araluen is known for. With many varieties of Tulips and a few small streams it really is a beautiful location.

These are 2 compositions of a small waterfall found while walking up the gully. After the rally I returned here as I quite liked what was on offer. With the vertical composition I really liked the water sparkling and leading up to the falls. I took another shot with a longer exposure but I liked the composition with sharper water.

With the 2nd image I wanted to capture more of the log. I loved the water
running underneath it, and even though it was in shade it still managed to show some texture and detail. Ferns and greenery always get me going with water shots so I wanted to get a bit more of that too. In looking back I wish I had pinned down the clump of grasses in the foreground though! Especially the big fat thing….

Anyway I hope you enjoy. I do have a Tulip shot coming but I couldn’t be bothered retaking any after the rally was done. Bad I know but we’d had a big night the night before, I was happy to just be there haha. So that’s why there isn’t a Tulip shot in this post. I have to wait for this image to come back.

Thanks 🙂 p.s, sorry for so much writing…guess i’m making up for not having a post for a while 🙂

You can view more of my Darling Ranges posts here

If you’re interested in purchasing a Darling Ranges image please visit my site


9 responses to “Araluen Botanical Park visit with Gem Camera Club

  1. Hi Stephen,
    I’ve never been to Araluen before so was pleased when I saw your post. Is it possible to enter the park early – say around 6. I was thinking there may be a gate??
    Anyway, the camera club that you belong to sounds like fun and a great opportunity to pick up info from semi pros.
    Looking forward to more posts from Araluen soon.

  2. Hi Jayne
    It is well worth a visit hey. I don’t think they are open that early. I think it’s 9 or 10 am?? I’m sure if you asked them they may be able to work something out though, there must be gardeners etc who are on the grounds before the actual gates open.

    Yeah the club really is fantastic, glad I joined that’s for sure 🙂

  3. Hi Stephen,
    I like the exposure of the second waterfall image better but feel the scene is a little busy/junky in the left of frame below the tree fern…The first image is a better composition of the place (IMO) so combine the two – hehe

    nice work and good to read about your club and day out.


  4. Haha thanks Tony.
    I do have a image of the top with a exposure of the 2nd…tada. 🙂 I will chuck it up when I get a sec for you to see. I still did like it but didn’t mind the quicker water action.
    Thanks for your comment

  5. Congratulations on completing the City to Surf. Good effort.

    I like the composition of the first image though the second image seems far sharper. I am hoping to get to Araluen possibly this weekend, was it busy when you were there?

  6. Thanks Luke, it was fun doing it.

    Yeah it was incredibly busy! Allow an hour to get from Kelmscott to inside the gates. Unless you get there for when the gates open when it was apparently quieter(i wasn’t up that early :p). But the closer it got to lunch the busier it was. Still a very good day though.

  7. Congrats as well on the city to surf mate .
    I like the composition on the first image as well but like the flow of water in the second image 🙂

  8. Congratulation on your Blog and thanks for the help today i will be on the Computer for a while i think very good links

  9. That’s ok Anton, they are well worth a look.

    Thanks Kirk, got my time now.
    1hr 2:53. Just missed out on the hr. Got stuck behind people who walked the first Km, which as it turns out cost me. Next year will make sure i’m ahead of them 🙂

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