Jason Ruth

Hornsby, Australia

Welcome to my view of the world, through the lens. Sometimes fluffy, sometimes colourful, other times it can be dark and moody.

Close calls and mishaps

Friday night, 6th March; Some ideas are forming in my head of images. Where, what time, weather forecasts, what time to leave home and what to take. At the inhumane hour of 3:15am Saturday the 7th of March I woke, to shower, pack the camera, lenses, memory cards and tripod. I was off to Lithgow to photograph a fog filled valley in the throes of a sunrise. Leaving at 4am with the forecast of fog patches in the east clear in my mind, I wonder if it will be enough. I get very little in the way of fog patches over Cattai Ridge, just about non-existent fog around Windsor and nothing of note on the Bells Line of Road. Instantly the doubts kick in. But as I reach the end of BLOR I see fog, lots of fog; EXCELLENT. Also I’m early, nearly 1 hour before sunrise so enough time for a bite, but where. The golden arches it is, a cholesterol feast, lubrication for the veins….not.

I get to my location and find the conditions right. After nearly an hour of shooting some 150 frames, all bracketing at 1 full frame, with 5 frames being taken per image (2 shots over, 2 shots under exposed) with plans for processing later at home. Happily I leave the hill top and make my way down into Lithgow; diesel for the truck is required to get home. However my nomadic pulse is calling, time to explore a little. North-west I head, checking out more of Wolgan Valley, this time all the way to Newnes . On the way in I discover a wombat having a rummage down the gutter of the dirt road. Quickly I grab the camera, change memory cards, lens and run. All I got was the arse of a wombat disappearing into the bush. Nothing of note other than a bald patch.

Into to Newnes I get, checking out the camp grounds (will be back to here, it’s nice, very nice). I even test some of the new work trucks ground clearance ability with a water crossing posted as 4WD only. With 2WD and a LSD I manage the water and sand, but only just. Thank goodness for momentum. At the end of the camp grounds on this side I discover there is a Shale Oil mining ruins, but can only be approached on foot. So the truck is parked, cameras hidden and a quick exploration walk is taken. Walk is increased to a jog. Head down, jogging (and for a fat unfit man approaching middle age I am puffing and panting) I hear some rustling of leaves and something moving quickly through the bush. I slow, turn and look only to find that in my concentration I have run over the top of a snake sunning itself. I swear by the look of the snake that it had an expression of ‘WTF’; much like I did. At this point I realised the true extent of what I was wearing; sandals , shorts, t-shirt. No first aid kit, no snake bandage, nothing other than car keys. Mobile doesn’t work here, too far from anywhere. Discretion prevails and I return to the truck, this time walking and looking.

The rest of the day unfolds with dirt roads being explored, travelled and then onto home some 13 hours after I started. As the next day is a day out on the bike and it is long overdue for a bath I decide to wash the bike and get my kit ready for tomorrow. Once done it was time to sit down and download the mornings photos. Out comes the camera equipment, only to find the card with the morning pics is missing. Search clothing, unit, truck, where I washed the bike and the garage. All to no avail, it is gone along with my sanity, fuck was I seething with anger and cursing myself for my stupidity.

What a day out, full of fun, excitement and anger. This time I only have memories of the day and no images to show for it. Oh well at least I can go back there and re-shoot, I am just not looking forward to the early start again.

Journal Comments

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