Dights Falls, Yarra River, Abbotsford, Melbourne

Here’s something I haven’t done for a while. A rapid fire post, that will be short on words, but heavy on photos. I think the blog needs a few of these to break up the traditional slabs of weighty tome. I’m not getting carried away with writing until the new site is up and running. As I tap away right now, it’s being built. I think. Anyway, this keeps the blog ticking over and I guess you could class this entry as a stop-gap. Then again, maybe filler is the right word? Mm…

I can’t even say there’s a walking aspect with this one. Sure, technically I used my legs in order to take the photos, but I think I only covered 400 metres. I didn’t even fall over, which is quite amazing. I know you think I’m spending my time at home, lying on the couch staring at the ceiling, but that’s not the case at all.

The endless tinkering of the house continues and unusual tradesmen keep coming and going. Including the plasterer who has an interesting technique. Usually these blokes don’t want someone looking over their shoulder whilst they’re working. Not this bloke. Wherever I walked, he followed me, endlessly chatting. It was hard work trying to enter the Gent’s without him joining me. Just to talk. I assume.

Anyway, I’ve passed Dights Falls on the Yarra River about a million times over the years and every time I’ve seen it, I think I should come back with camera and tripod to take some proper photos. The thing is, most times there’s barely been any water flowing, but with the damp winter upon us, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to lug all my camera gear and see what I could come up with. Actually, the falls are in Abbotsford, but I find it hard to write that word with Abbot in it. For some reason I feel like power spewing every time I see that combination of letters.

It really should have been a simple task, but somehow I stuffed up a little. In order to take long shutter exposures in the daytime, I needed filters. You know, those ones that block the light, so I can run a 20 second exposure. Can you see where this is going? There I was, bag packed with everything I could possibly need and about the only thing I’d forgotten was a Bamix. When I got there though, guess what I’d forgotten? Yep, the filters. I’m not sure how this is possible, as they’re a vital piece of equipment.

After abusing myself and then God (why wouldn’t you?) I tossed up whether to leave and come back another day. That idea seemed frustrating, so I opted for another alternative where I wouldn’t need the filters. I’d put the camera on f22, ISO100 and wait until it was almost dark. Yeah, slightly frustrating considering I was there at 3 pm. It is winter though, so all I had to do was wait a few hours until the light faded.

I wandered over to a nearby seat and after sitting for about 0.7 of a second I suddenly felt a bit stir crazy. There’s only so much that kept me entertained on the phone before I wanted to hurl it into the river. To pass the time I even attempted to sing a song in my head through its entirety. I came to the conclusion this is impossible. I’d get a couple of verses in and then I’d feel like slipping into a coma. If you’re wondering, I’m talking actual songs and not something half-baked liked ‘Happy Birthday’.

In the end, light finally began to dim and it was time to spring into action. Water was flowing at a pretty steady rate. Sure, the weir is man-made, but it looks quite good when it’s almost dark and after I’d left the shutter open for a while.


Some stranded timber was a nice addition…


…not to mention others who’d successfully tumbled over the edge.


It was all pretty mellow and remarkably simple. Focus, set a required shutter time and then stand back and do nothing until the shot was done.


I tried to mix it up a little by concentrating on some rocks…


…and then moved lower to the water for an arty-wanker style photo.


In no time at all, it was quite dark and I must admit, bone chillingly cold. It’s funny how only a few weeks ago I was Western Australia and feeling like being close to death from heat exhaustion. By the waters edge, I could barely move my fingers from the frigid conditions.


Whilst stumbling around on the rocks, I noticed some bloke appearing nearby. In the dark he sat down and started tapping away feverishly on a laptop. I’m not sure what was going on there, as it seemed a weird spot to crank up a computer. What do I know though? I still can’t work out how Ritchie Blackmore went from certified rock God, complete with a K-Tel chest wig…


…to wearing these.


It’s one of life’s great mysteries.

Anyway, with darkness well and truly upon me, not to mention an even colder chill (yeah, I know those two words shouldn’t go together), it was time to head off and leave laptop man in the dark. Light was so dim, it took nearly two minutes to get this final photo. Downstream from the falls, complete with bicycle lights passing on the path.


…and there you have it. Forgetting the filters wasn’t so traumatic after all. Somehow I made it back to the car in the dark without falling into the river. Dights Falls, Yarra River is only small, but it’s a nice sight when flowing and only a short stroll from urban Abbotsford.

What’s next? Maybe the makeover will be done soon? Or not.