2016 YRPS Weekend Trip to Clunes

On Friday Sept 30, members and spouses descended on the small historic town of Clunes, about 30 km north of Ballarat. Eileen booked out the entire motel - like the town, the motel was only small, too! Attending were Eileen and Bob Earle, Ray and Helen Pleming, Russell and Denise Brand, Bill and Jeanie Millar, Ellen and Rob Hayes, Alex and Pam Richardson, and the single man (for the weekend) was Rob Wagner.

After settling in and a few welcoming drinks in the motel's lounge room, we were picked up at the door by the National Hotel's minibus and driven, like royalty, to the hotel's dining room for a beautiful country cooked meal. It was great to catch up with others and find out a bit more about their backgrounds and interests. These sort of events are ideal for getting to know people in a relaxed environment beyond the usual club meetings.

Saturday morning began with breakfast at the local bakery, then several groups went off their different ways photographing around the historic Clunes township or driving into neighbouring Creswick to visit the alpacas and the woollen mills. By afternoon, some of us gravitated back to the motel to barrack for the Bulldogs. 

The evening was spent in the company of Neil Newitt, the town's photographer. Neil discussed his career as a photographer and photo editor for The Age and SMH (Fairfax) over many years. He presented a fabulous collection of his best work with the newspapers, accompanied by fascinating back stories behind the images. The wine was flowing, the two log fires were creating a very cosy environment, and Neil's wife, Linda plied us with a selection of dips, pasta and pizza during the evening. 

Neil also took time to critique images shot that day by our members, offering some insightful suggestions on how to improve our composition and techniques. In the end, he picked some placegetters, with 1st Place to Russell Brand, 2nd Place to Alex Richardson and a Highly Commended to Rob Wagner. We also picked Neil's brains for tips on how to restore old photographs, amongst other topics! It was a lovely evening and all present had a wonderful time.
Sunday morning dawned and found the entire group at a local gourmet cafe for breakfast. A fitting way to end a lovely weekend away.