Since opening 212m Photographic Gallery & Studio in Ballarat almost 12 months ago I have had a number of people ask, "Do you have any photographs of Buninyong", to which my usual response is "No. I have not driven that far south."
For those of you who don't know where or what a 'Buninyong' is, it is the site of the first inland town proclaimed in Victoria and was where gold was first discovered in the area, leading to the large Ballarat gold rush of the 1850's. It is situated approximately 10km south of Ballarat and this time of year grey nomads like me tend to head north, not south. Hence my standard reply.
A couple of weeks ago, that all changed. I had planned a photo shoot with Ellen Eustice (E for short), a budding young freelance photographer in Ballarat, around Lake Wendouree. Unfortunately the conditions weren't favourable for Lake Wendouree due to the presence of a strong wind (read 'freezing gale') blowing from somewhere south of my location (either the Antarctic or, could it be, Buninyong).
I was prepared for the worst. Thick coat, scarf, woollen hat, woollen gloves, camera, solid tripod, but no E. She had slept through a number of alarms and her home was just a dark silhouette in the pre-dawn light. Best to leave the young sound asleep than face the terror they could unleash upon a premature waking.
Decision made. With camera in tow I decided to locate the source of the wind and took that long drive south to Buninyong. If not to find the source itself, then to eliminate Buninyong as a possible suspect.
Although I only spent an hour or so capturing images in the central area of Buninyong I was pleasantly surprised by its man-made and natural charm. The wind calmed a little as the early hours of morning progressed and I was lucky enough to get some good cloud cover and sunrise colour filling the sky. At the end of my shoot I was also lucky enough to enjoy a well-earned latte at Espresso Depot in the main street.
At least now, when asked if I have any photographs of Buninyong I can reply, "Yeah, sure do".