A Visit to Alfred Nicholas Gardens - Friday 22 and Sunday 24 April

For the first time, I believe, we have given members an opportunity to attend a club outing on either a weekday or weekend. Going by the attendance for both days, it was very successful. 

Friday - The gardens open at 10am but you can enter earlier (if anyone is interested). The day started out a little overcast with slight precipitation but warmed up very quickly.
There weren’t many people walking around, just some senior walkers, not including us, so we were able to shoot the boat house in relative peace and quite. We spent around two hours or so wandering around the gardens. A couple of the members had ventured on to Burnham Beeches for coffee and light refreshment. The rest slowly made their way up the 700-metre hill, headed towards the smell and thought of a hot coffee. Stefanie and Dianne were still exploring the gardens.
By 1.00 pm, we were still nattering around the table, Russell decided to head off to another garden in the area while the rest headed home. The general feeling was that it was great outing and it was good to get out on a weekday. 


Sunday - We arrived there at 9am only to find the car park full, and it was only going to get worse. Most of the vehicles were owned by early morning joggers and walkers.  We set up a picnic table next to the car for coffee and cake. By 10am, joggers were leaving but sightseers were arriving. Sharon arrived as we were about to enter the gardens, good timing.
Well it was a very multicultural outing and very busy. One photographer left muttering quite loudly and shaking his head – “that’s a waste of time”. When I asked him for what? “Too many bloody people.”

It was nearly impossible to take a shot without capturing someone in the image, though people were very courteous and mindful that you were taking a photo. The majority of people there had cameras or iPhones on sticks. The Peninsula and Geelong area camera clubs were there at the same time. If you were after portrait type shots it would have been a great day. Next time, my lens selection might be different.

The reflections around the lake and boathouse were great and the water falls, new since I last visited. It provided an opportunity to attempt some long exposure and bracketed shots, for an attempt at HDR. Unfortunately, the bridges were closed again, so no access to the island. Never going to get that classic boathouse shot, the one you see in all the advertising material. Some great fungi shots to be had - you just had to keep your eyes open.