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Spanish Castle Dreams by Damienne Bingham


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Paronella Park
Mena Creek, Far North Queensland,
Australia. 2010.

Canon EOS 400D
Canon EF 28-135m f/3.5-5.6 IS USM
f/8, 1/125s, ISO 400
RAW. Saturation increase and manual ‘Orton-style’ effect applied to background in PS.

The “Spanish Castle” in the grounds of Paronella Park was the dream of a Catalan immigrant Jose Paronella who made his fortune in Far North Queensland by buying and refurbishing cane fields and selling them for profit.

Once he made his fortune, he set about realizing his dream of building a pleasure grounds where people could come to picnic, play tennis, go to the cinema or even dance in the ballroom.

All of the buildings, stairways, paths and park furniture was made from hand-made bricks with mud quarried from the property itself. You can still see the finger marks in the cladding.

Apparently the “castle” came about more as a business move than anything else. He had made a return to Spain and on his entrance back to Australia he was detained for not paying his taxes. In the future, as a remedy for his tax problems, he decided to name his building as a castle – and so avoid paying taxes for life on the property!

Paronella Park is definitely worth a visit to anyone in Cairns or the Innisfail area. It’s a truly remarkable sight and a photographer’s dream.

views as of 02.03.12: 718
faves as of 02.03.12: 37

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db_rb_featured, damienne bingham, damienne, bingham, greeneyedharpy, green, eyed, harpy, photographs, orton, texture, vegetation, overgrown, over grown, nature, man, wild, plant, plants, architecture, spain, spanish, castle, dream, dreams, australia, australian, cairns, queensland, far north queensland, tropical, plantation, unique, paronella park, paronella, park, spanish castle, colour, color, colourful, colorful, travel

I am a freelance photographer originally from Brisbane, Australia, and currently living in Cape Town, South Africa.

I enjoy many forms of photography – with a particular interest in travel and nature photography. This diversity can be seen in the range of genres and styles in my portfolio

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  • buttafli
    buttafliabout 3 years ago

    without even clicking on this as soon as i saw it i said that’s Paronella Park!!! you captured it just beautifully, just as i remember, this is so vivid in my memory :)) i lived (a short stint) in Innisfail & did the rounds, gee i wish i had of been into & had a good camera back then….

  • Thanks so much, I’m really glad you enjoyed it! It really is an incredible place. I actually had reservations about going in the first place, I wasn’t sure I would enjoy it, but it is just magnificent – a photographer’s dream!

    – Damienne Bingham

  • Jordan Miscamble
    Jordan Miscambleabout 3 years ago

    Lovely vivid colours! Congrats on your features.

  • Thank you Jordan, so glad you enjoyed it!

    – Damienne Bingham

  • Bryan Freeman
    Bryan Freemanabout 3 years ago

    Beautiful image Damienne.

  • Thank you Bryan, I’m so glad you like it!

    – Damienne Bingham

  • VallaV
    VallaVabout 3 years ago

    It so fairy-tale, that it is difficult to believe in reality!

  • It really is rather a magical place. The dream of his to create it is amazing in itself but the overgrowth of the many years that have passed really makes it extraordinary to see!

    Thanks for checking out all my new work, Valery and for the considerate comments. I appreciate it!

    – Damienne Bingham

  • snapitnc
    snapitncabout 3 years ago

    thats a cracker of a shot damienne,what a place! cheers mike

  • Thanks so much, Mike! Glad you enjoyed it!

    – Damienne Bingham

  • Tania1403
    Tania1403about 3 years ago

    The amazing Paronella Park! fantastic capture lovely editing! I stayed at this place for ages until the sun went down and the lights were aglow.

  • Wow that would be beautiful to see, unfortunately I didn’t have enough time to stay there till nightfall, I bet it was wonderful! Thanks for looking and for leaving such a thoughtful comment, I really appreciate it!

    – Damienne Bingham

  • vampvamp
    vampvampabout 3 years ago

    so surreal!

  • I know, it’s a very unusual sight!

    – Damienne Bingham

  • PJS15204
    PJS15204about 3 years ago

    WOW Look at this place being devoured by nature ! Outstanding shot

  • Yes, it’s really an incredible thing to see. Thanks for commenting, I appreciate it!

    – Damienne Bingham

  • Jeff Weymier
    Jeff Weymierabout 3 years ago

    Awesome image. Looks like a beautiful place.

  • It really is amazing, thanks Jeff!

    – Damienne Bingham

  • lorilee
    lorileeabout 3 years ago


  • Thank you Lori!

    – Damienne Bingham

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