For the Australia Day weekend, we decided to take a trip to Mudgee for a few days.
Mudgee is a large regional town in the central west of New South Wales, and it is a three-to-four-hour drive from Sydney.
The main purpose of the trip, other than getting away for a few days, was wine and wineries; but naturally, I packed my default photography rig, with the intention of capturing some of the sights of Mudgee at twilight.
We based ourselves at the Cobb & Co Court Boutique Hotel, where our deluxe queen room provided fantastic accommodation, as seen in this image of the separate lounge in our room:
Cobb & Co Court Boutique Hotel – Deluxe Queen Room Lounge
After dinner and a nice bottle of Mudgee red, we took a two-minute walk down Market Street to St Mary of the Presentation Catholic Church, which I had spotted and trial-photographed earlier in the day, and identified as my primary photographic subject for later that evening.
During the ‘blergh hour’ (my name for the scungy, drab light in between golden hour and evening twilight), I set up my camera and tripod, and composed the view I wanted to capture. It was just a matter of time before the light would be right.
As it was Australia Day, the streets were practically empty, except for us and three late-teenage or early twenty-something boys who graced us with their presence as they continued upon their mission to become inebriated.
After a few laughs and a photo I captured of the lads standing in front of the church, they departed in search of more alcohol and a good time, and I set about capturing my image.
Here is the result:
St Mary of the Presentation Catholic Church, Mudgee
I found my new Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM lens to be an excellent lens for capturing this scene, as the leading line of the path draws the eye towards the imposing spire of the church a short distance away.
Very soon after photographing the church, I turned around 180 degrees and crossed the road onto the roundabout at the intersection of Market Street and Church Street. On this roundabout is Mudgee‘s clock tower, a central feature of the town.
I found it difficult to photograph the clock tower with my 14mm lens, as it was just too wide — something I am not generally known to say or experience!
There was too much visual pollution due to street lights, the street itself and other unsightly subject matter; I just wanted the clock tower in a nice, clean image, or at least with pleasing surroundings. I switched lenses, opting for my Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM, which I have not used since mid-2014!
Here is the image I captured as the evening twilight became more rich and intense:
Mudgee Clock Tower
After capturing this image, we headed back across the road to St Mary of the Presentation Catholic Church, where I shot some quirky angles of the stonework, looking up towards the royal blue sky. (I have not processed any of those images at the time of writing.)
After a few more shots around Mudgee, we headed back to our hotel as the evening twilight gave way to the darkness of night.
The next day was all about wine, but we did venture out after dinner for another twilight photoshoot, which I found frustratingly difficult, as I could not achieve a pleasing composition.
The subjects I wanted to photograph looked great with my own eyes, but through my lenses, a combination of proximity and surrounding subject matter resulted in no pleasing compositions. I did capture a few images, but by and large, I was not content.
Never the less, it was a great few days away, and we came away with more than just a few pleasing images.