Architecture, Landscapes, Melbourne, Photography, Water, Weekend Wanderings

Weekend Wanderings – Sometimes a Massive Fail

The idea of doing these weekend posts of place to go and photograph Melbourne, or Victoria, have been really well received, and you seem to be enjoying them.  One of the problems I am having with them, is what if I can’t get out and take photos, or what if when I do, the weather is bad, or the images aren’t very good?  So today, I get to find out what you think about that.

I haven’t been able to get out and take photos.  I am starting to realise that I will have to make more of an effort, though, it just isn’t always possible.  So I have been through all my archives and I found some photos that I have never shown before, well except for one photo.  This one.

Dwight Falls 1This image was taken in an old pump shed at Dwight Falls.  The falls is part of the Yarra River, which is the main river travelling through Melbourne.  It is near Abbotsford and the Eastern Freeway, in fact you can see the freeway in one of the photos.  I don’t really know why there is a falls there, though, it is not a huge one, it is very small.  Not really a water fall at all.

I have seen some beautiful photos of this area, but I had never photographed it before.  Last year when a friend from Sydney came down, we went there to take some photos of it.  It was overcast and a really horrible day, so I never showed the photos because they weren’t great.  They still aren’t great, but I guess it shows how sometimes, things don’t always go right for us photographers.

Dwight Falls 2One of the first things we realised when we got there, was how big the river was.  It isn’t normally this big, and doesn’t normally flow this fast.  We had had a lot of rain and the river was so full, I had never seen it this full before.  Dwight Falls, you might be able to see in there, is very small and the usual sort of photo you would get here wasn’t possible.

Dwight Falls 3This was taken further up river, and you can see how wide it is.  Believe me, it isn’t normally that big.  We spoke to some people who lived in the area and they were saying that it isn’t normally up that high.

Dwight Falls 4This is looking further up river through a tree in the river.  I am sure the tree is normally out of the water, but there were many trees in the water along the edge.  It was quite strange.

Dwight Falls 5This is an offshoot of the river.  I don’t know where it goes, and I don’t know if there is normally this much water in it.  There was a lot of work going on in the area as well, I don’t know what they were doing.  The overpasses you can see are for the Eastern Freeway.

Dwight Falls 6The Pump Shed again.  You can see, and tell, that it is no longer used, and it now covered in graffiti, though not the street art type.  You have to climb up a structure to get in here, it isn’t really obvious how to get down there.

Dwight Falls 7The view out of the pump shed, a lot of mud.  In the distance you can see part of the work that was going on.  I hope that normally there is a lot more water in there.  The water that is in there would have been from all the rain.

They aren’t great photos, and I wish every time I went out to take photos they were great, but it doesn’t always happen.  Sometimes you can fix them up on the computer, and sometimes, well, you just have to look at them and say, nothing is going to help.  Put it down to experience and plan another trip.

If you want to go somewhere like Dwight Falls, probably best to go on a good day, or a nice day.  Perhaps sun out, or perhaps sunset.   It would have been better to go on a day when the river wasn’t full to almost overflowing.  Dwight Falls is a quiet place, in my mind, and good for times when the river is also quiet.

I suppose the reason behind this post is to show that it doesn’t always work and no matter how much planning you do, you can’t always get what you want.  I don’t really like these photos at all.  It was disappointing and I haven’t been back since, though I should find a day with nice weather and visit it again.


  1. I actually like these pictures. The pump shed looks eerie and like the perfect setting for a whodunnit.

  2. There is a misconception that professional photographers always take wonderful images. All they have to do is turn up and with one shot will take a fantastic image, but that isn’t the case. Good photographs come from hard work and potentially going back to the same location several times.
    If I can get one good shot each time I go out shooting I am happy. More than that and it is a wonderful day. But there are plenty of times when I can come back with nothing, and that is photography.
    You might not like any of the shots, but I’m sure you would do better next time you go back there!

    • I would pick a better time to go Colin, that’s for sure. You are right, you can’t get good ones all the time. These were done a spare of the moment type of thing, so I shouldn’t be too disappointed. Thank you.

    • I couldn’t agree more Colin. I haven’t had my camera out of the bag for, well…I’m not sure how long! When that happens I usually just do my daily posts with older photos, because I have a lot anyway. The one thing that helps me get my camera out every day, or week, is a word prompted photo challenge. But those can be exhausting – trying to get a spectacular photo every day.

      Leanne, the photos remind me of what it has looked like around here lately. So much rain everything is wet and muddy. It makes it difficult to do outdoor photos, especially with the overcast, gray, flat light.

      • I have thought about doing those challenges, but I want to be able to do my own work, so I stay away from them. I think part of the reason for the post yesterday was also to show that it does happen, it happens to all of us. I don’t have trouble working out what to photograph, but I do have trouble always being able to get out, if that makes sense. I have a bit list of places I want to go, but I have had a daughter who has had problems, so lots of appointments and that makes it hard.
        It is so early in the morning here, I don’t know if I am making any sense, I hope I am, thank you for your comment.

  3. Sometimes nature wants to be itself, not always postcard perfect…I enjoy trying to catch whatever she offers me…sometimes I’m not happy with the results, as I seem to understand you weren’t here…but other’s who don’t have our expectations can enjoy the other faces of nature, which we may not have taken out of our archives! I liked these very much in particular the second and the forth.:-)

    • That is a great point, I know some will like these, I think part of my problem with them is that they aren’t the type of thing I normally photograph. I usually go for other sorts of things, so that could also explain why I don’t feel any connection.

  4. Your photos show exactly how it was that day and nobody would have done it better, so I guess the photos makes perfect justice of the motives and the light they captured:-)

  5. This is interesting Leanne because I have found myself often saying that the weather prevented me taking photos or there weren’t any interesting pix to be found where and when I was at the time. But looking at the pix produced by many of the photographers I follow I’ve come to realise that really it is that I don’t ‘see’ the picture, though I hope I’m getting a little better at it. I think when I was a keen photographer in the past I was looking all the time for ‘technical’ excellence – ‘correct’ exposure, good tonal scale, sharp focus, etc, etc, but one of the things that has been really good for me over the past year of trying ‘to get back into film’ has been following photo blogs and seeing that many of the pictures having most impact were not ‘technically excellent’. The field where this is demonstrated much of the time is so-called ‘street photography. Of course there are then the photographers who manage to have great impact with pix which are just about technically perfect all the time – the most obvious example I can think of is Steve McCurry.

    • That is very true, I think though, for me the problem is that I don’t normally take this type of photo, and perhaps there is just no connection there for me. I know what you are saying though. I am always about the composition, that is what is important for me. Thanks

  6. I see nothing wrong with showing older photos Leanne. The purpose is to show what’s around your area so it doesn’t matter if they weren’t taken today. Also I think that for this purpose the photos don’t have to be perfect. They give readers ideas for places to go. Stop stressing, you’re doing a great job!

    • That is so true, thank you, sometimes it just isn’t possible. I have plans in this next week to get some, but it didn’t happen this last week, no doubt it will happen again another time. Thank you Carol, I appreciate this.

  7. I’m still at the beginning and try to make one usable photo every day. It soothes my nerves, that it is obvious not just my problem that there are 100 other photos for the trash.
    Sorry for my bad English.😉 RG

    • We all have that trouble. I have thousands and thousands of images that will never go on my blog. I think it is part of being a photographer. :)

  8. In my opinion, photos, like life and nature, is sometimes gray and blah. But to me two things are interesting – that you saw something not usually happening (the river water level) and WYSIWYG!

  9. There’s an honesty in your photographs, coupled with a style all of your own. That’s what I really like about them. The art of reality, overcast day or otherwise. It’s not so much the subject that makes them work as the fact that your soul has somehow gotten into them, if that makes sense. (It does to me, but my first coffee of the morning hasn’t quite kicked in yet.) I get the impression that you could be given a soulless motorway service station to photograph and still be able to turn it into a masterpiece.

    • That sounds like a challenge. Thank you Brian, I don’t know about these, I think for me, there is no connection, it isn’t something I usually photograph, so maybe that is what the problem is for me. I like what you are saying though, like it a lot. Thank you.

  10. Sometimes, the photos we consider ‘bad’ are a great learning tool – not just in an “I won’t do THAT again!” way, but they can give good insight into ways to do it next time…a different place to stand, something that would be a better focal point…
    I hope that makes sense…it’s early here, and I’m not 100% awake:)

    • It makes perfect sense, thank you. I think everything you have said is so true. For me that day it was the weather, I am starting to learn to read the weather a lot more and get better at it.

  11. Great post. Like many who also commented, the pump shed looks like an awesome location!

    Not every place you go and photograph is always perfect but sometimes you can produce a fantastic photograph showing the imperfections of where you are.

    I see it as more of a challenge working with less than perfect conditions, it pushes you to find things you wouldn’t normally. You see too many identical images of so many identical places, why not show them in a different light ; )

    • I like that idea, finding the imperfections, I might take that on board, thank you Daniel. You are right, it can be more of a challenge and it is good to challenge ourselves. I must remember to that the next I go somewhere where I need I don’t find inspiration.

  12. i actually liked the last picture- the low water mark and the bridge drew me in. Maybe I woulda’ cropped the wall out at the bottom and cheated a bit , the others reminded me of the weather in scotland, bleak and cold. keep snappin’

    • I thought about cropping that bit, but I liked that you could tell I was behind something, maybe if I ever wanted to do the image again I could do that. It really was a bleak day.

  13. artscottnet says

    I enjoyed these photos… there’s a beauty in adverse conditions that you’ll never get on the sunniest of days… it’s not as fun, though😉 The best day to you

    • That’s great to hear, I was shooting very quickly, and I hadn’t really given any thought to how I would photograph this place, I also think the height of the river threw me. I should have looked harder. Thank you.

  14. I don’t think the subject of a photo always has to be beautiful to be significant…I like these shots, and while not beautiful they are still fantastic… Happy Mother’s Day Leanne…

    • That is good to hear Heather. It is interesting to see how full the river was. When is Mothers day where you are Heather, thank you.

  15. Wonderful photos. They send a different message. They are beautiful in their own eerie way, something that is difficult to capture in any style.

  16. I think river ‘falls’ can also be used for places where there are rocks and rapids that would interfere with boat traffic on the river, instead of just the vertical drops that are more spectacular.

    • When I first read this comment, I read river fails, haha, it is too early here. My brain is saying you should still be asleep. This river doesn’t have much of those and where they are, it is either blocked off so you can’t get to them, or the river is so over grown you just can’t get close. I think part of the reason is because Platypus live in the rocky areas, so the people looking after the river want you to stay away and the leave the Platypus alone. Where I photographed this, I think they have put some cement thing across which is why it looks like a line, but I’m not totally sure. Thank you.

    • You can’t really tell what it is from the outside, it just looks like a brick structure. It wasn’t really creepy, though I think if I was there on my own, I’m not sure I would go into it. Haha. Thank you.

  17. I guess it depends on what you’re trying to capture, what mood you want to create…the shot of the raging river looks pretty good to me…it speaks of nature, of energy, of over abundance, of destruction. The quiet gray emptiness of the shots taken at the old pump house tell a story of change, abandonment, neglect, loss!!! I like photos that provoke emotion, many of these do.

    • It is always interesting to see what people like in photos. I am fairly sure for me, it is because it a subject matter that I don’t normally do, it is too much nature for me, and I suspect that has more to do with why I don’t connect with them. Though, I can understand why others do. Thank you.

  18. The second photo speaks to me, and I guess that’s all we can hope a good photo will do….but your ideas and expectations of a ‘good’ photo might be very different from mine. Something you saw and captured might touch and resonate with something within me, but not you:-)
    However I often get frustrated by poor light days, and just don’t even try to go and get some images….but sometimes something unexpected will jump out and say ‘ take me’ , so I’m getting better at just seeing what happens without too much pressure or expectation.

  19. I enjoy your photos, Leanne. I happened upon your old blog…posts from last year… and I can tell you really focus on composition more than you used to. What I love most about your photos is the dark shadowy contrasts I see in so many. That seems to be missing is these river pictures, but they are still lovely to view.

    • That is an interesting thing to say, I thought I always concentrated on composition, but I am processing the images a lot differently now, so wondered whether that is what you actually meant. My images now are becoming quite dark, and the ones of the river, aren’t, that is very true, I think that is because I didn’t connect with them, and wasn’t really sure about them, but it has been wonderful to see how many people have enjoyed them despite my reservations. Thanks

      • yes, the processing is what I meant. Are the darker images a result of doing more HDR processing or some other type? Either way, keep it up – I love it!

      • Actually most of the images are straight images, I think only about 3 were HDR’s, I would have to go back and take a look to see which ones were. thank you.

  20. Love the photos, thru the lense of your camera I am visiting so many places in your country, and I thank you for that. To tell you the truth reading the description of each one of them make me think I am watching a movie!

    • What a beautiful thing to say, thank you, that is wonderful. I do worry that I write too much, so thank you.

  21. These photographs are beautiful. I love the rich color and contrast of the first photograph. You have a great sense of composition and it strengthens your images more than you realize. I see many different uses of texture and leading lines that add depth and interest to your pictures. I especially like the shot of the pump shed.

    • Thank you, that is so nice of you to say, composition has, so I’ve been told, always been one of my strengths. It is great to hear that people like the image, I don’t mind the ones of the pump shed. Thank you again.

  22. I don’t go out to take pictures every day like you do. I even miss some of the pretty days. I think your pictures are nice, but I know what you mean about beautiful days. I don’t know, but I just think it is not as inspiring, but you just never know until you snap the pictures, right?? I bet you are also pleasantly surprised sometimes. :)

    • Oh Marsha, I don’t go out every day, I only go out about, I don’t know, 3 times a week. I do get excited sometimes, I will be out taking photos and I think, I might have something there. I think I got some today that I am excited about, but you won’t see them until Saturday. As you said, sometimes, the images are just not as inspiring.

  23. You do well to get out as much as you do, but I see nothing wrong with using photos you’ve taken previolsly – not posted or re-processed. It’s your blog. I take more photos than I post, even if I’m not posting images regularly because sometimes I come across something interesting but can’t use it right away, and also find it handy to have a store of photos as I only use my own on my posts.

    • I agree EllaDee, I try to keep a store of images as well, not always possible, and sometimes, things just happen and I can’t get out, then I start to run out, which is what is happening right now. I need to get out and do a heap of images, plans are under way, so I hope to get a heap soon.

  24. Still worth seeing these views, and there’s lots of great artistry in these photos. Thank you for posting this series!

  25. shoot 2 themes in one weekend walk, and save the unpublished theme for a bad weekend, no one is to know….8-)

  26. what a brutal roughness – … was out on a roughness mission too – will be posted during the week. A bit feed up with all pretty flowers just now and prettiness. But I found out when I worked in the rail yard that there is beauty in the roughness too, just as you have done here. Second last shot has my votes.

    • We are losing all our prettiness at the moment, getting ready for winter. It was some rough and wet conditions when those photos were taken. The pump shed is an interesting structure.

      • I think there is a beauty hidden somewhere … in nearly everything we pass by, it’s only for us to stop for a while .. and look around. That is something I do so soon as I have the camera with me .. I see the world very differently with the camera in my hand.
        I forget that you are getting into your winter now.

      • Yes, it is coming, some very cold early mornings already, no fog yet, but I am sure it will come.
        You are right about the beauty everywhere, but I am not into scenery like that, I do think that was my biggest problem with the images, they just weren’t the type of thing that I like to photograph.

      • I’m not much into sunsets …. and landscape … I rather take photos of fields … clouds and … forgotten objects.
        I think that has to … do with your dark side – behind that camera. You want to make something out something that most people don’t even look at.

      • I like to add a lot more drama to my images, especially when there is none there. I like to convey some sort of mood.

  27. You came, you saw, you snapped. Sometimes it seems your problem is the expectations you raise can be too high, next time turn left instead of right and see where life takes you. You control the direction of your camera, life chances take you to the next place of opportunity.

    • Interesting idea, but sometimes, it is okay to just okay somewhere, take photos and realise it wasn’t really a subject matter that really interested you, which was the case here. It is not really a subject that I photograph, but I was glad to see that many people did enjoy it.

      • This point raises its own questions as to the reasons for your blog. I try to tell a story with words and pictures, subsquently whatever conditions allow become integral to that story. I like your photography and the varied choices of subject matter but somehow feel your preoccupation with producing the perfect picture, either in camera or by editing, causes the subject to become secondary to the purpose.

      • Well that is interesting, aren’t we all striving for the perfect image, whether we get it or not is something completely different. Just because I don’t like some images I have done doesn’t mean the subject matter isn’t important, it just means it is a subject matter that I have little interest in, does that really matter? I am not really sure what you are getting at here, I find the comment a little condescending, sorry. It is my blog, and I do it for myself and if I can help people along the way then great, but ultimately it is about my photography, be that good or bad. The subject is important, and so is the composition, so is the exposure and so is so many other things that are all part of an image. No one thing is more important than another.

      • Sorry for any misunderstanding, not trying to be clever just noting my reaction to your intelligent offerings in this crazy communication cluttered world. You’re only half a planet away, seems next door to me.

      • Funny how the internet can do that. Seems so many people, who now seem so close, but in reality they aren’t.

  28. I have a different view of it. Those pictures taken in less favourable weather have a mood to them that it would take infinite patience to create artificially from a ‘perfect’ shot, if it could be done at all. They convey the conditions, and one relates.

    • That is an interesting point of view. They do convey something, and are a good record of that, but I just don’t connect with them, I think it is the subject matter. It is not something I normally photograph, but I like what you are saying.

  29. Though you didn’t get what you thought you would, Leanne, it is, nonetheless, a fine cataloging of the place…something to study and look back on the next time you visit. The area is really gorgeous and somewhat wild-looking…lots of potential there. And sun would be nice, or as you suggest, toward sunset…something really exquisite would come of that time of day image-wise.

    • I like that word, cataloging, which describes these images well. It is a funny thing, I do think my problem is that it isn’t something I normally shoot, and while I was there I took photos, but I don’t connect with them at all, if you know what I mean. There just wasn’t anything there that really interested me, so I have never bothered going back.
      Funny you describe it as wild looking, can you believe it is only about 5km’s from the city.

      • Really? That’s pretty amazing!

        But I feel the same…sometimes there just seems to be nothing that ‘grabs’ me, and the next time, I and my camera just can’t stop! Is it something in the air, or the water, that makes one run away, then come running back when these things finally seem ‘perfect’?

      • I don’t know, it is something that is quite strange, though I have never felt the need to go back, so I don’t know, maybe one day.

      • There are so many other places to take photos, that I aren’t too worried if I am or not.

      • So many places…that’s my dilemma! I only use public transportation, and it takes just under an hour to get downtown, so I have to do those places on a ‘very high energy’ day, or I’d get wiped out by the long ride!

        When I do go downtown, I shoot things very quickly, Leanne…in a good space I can click off a hundred shots in less than half an hour…then spend hours sorting them out. Good thing I also have a great photographic memory, too!

      • I have that problem too, it is nothing for me to say 3 or 4 hundred images when I go out. It is a lot of time sorting, though most of mine are bracketed. I have been going out a bit lately, that has been wonderful.

      • It’s really wonderful how we both spend so much precious time presenting the beauty in our particular areas of this world, Leanne…I feel it’s well-worth it, don’t you?

      • You’ve taught me so very much about Melbourne through your images, Leanne! I am very grateful to be able to ‘tour’ your marvelous area so very quickly, and to be able to understand so much more of Australian life!

      • It has been a pleasure, and I am sure it will continue to be so. I love my city, as you love yours, it is great to show it off.

  30. These photo’s might not be pretty in a holiday brochure sense but they give us all a feel for what it’s like for people like you who live there everyday. It’s cool to see places in all weathers and seasons.

    • It is something I’ve learned from this post, exactly what you have said really. I also learned that just because I don’t like something, doesn’t mean that others won’t get something out of them. Thank you.

  31. If the weather is really dismal and I just want to take photos anyway, I go out in the car and find “wet weather” images. There’s always a story to tell (like your overfilled river here) and they diarise a moment in time.

    • I usually try and find indoor shots on days like that, though sometimes if I am planning on going somewhere and the forecast is for rain, I go anyway. They do show an aspect that is unusual, and from that point of it is good. Thanks Joanne

  32. Sonel says

    Love the pump shed photo and the others you say you don’t like Leanne. I love the beautiful reflections in the water on your photo’s and the pump shed structure have great character. Thanks for sharing.:)

    • The pump shed is quite an interesting place, and probably the only thing that is interesting there. The water is huge, the river is never normally that high. Quite unusual. You’re welcome and thank you for stopping by, it has been lovely hearing from you.:)

Comments are closed.