Tag Archives: Joadja

Joadja Club Trip

Last weekend the Southern Highlands Photographic Society (SHPS) held a club field trip to Joadja. This historic village is nestled in the Joadja valley some 28 km from Mittagong in the Southern Highlands.

This site is of cultural significance due to kerosene shale being discovered there in the mid 1800’s. At its peak some 1200 people lived and worked in the valley. It is hard now to imagine a huge industrial complex of mines, a bank of retorts and a refinery. The shale was “cooked” in banks of retorts to release kerosene oil. This oil was then refined into paraffin was, kerosene, grease and oils.

Life was tough and the community was by necessity mostly self-sufficient.

I have visited Joadja now 4 or 5 times and I still see images everywhere! It is not an easy place to capture successful images. There is so much photographic material there, but there are mostly remnants and overgrown ruins of the original operations. The challenge is I think to try to un-clutter the mess. Instead of shooting wide, try going in close and concentrate on details. That being said I have also shot a number of very wide panoramas that I am happy with!

The bright sun just adds to the challenging conditions, especially if the scene has a couple of “hotspots” that spoil the composition.

Joadja is privately run operation more information can be found from their website Joadja Town.

 

Family Tree

Family Tree

Hiku Rust

Haiku Rust

Retort Pastels

Retort Pastels

Indoor Garden

Indoor Garden

Whomping Willow

Whomping Willow

Blue Danube

Blue Danube

Global Warming

Global Warming

Grab the bull

Grab the bull

Porthole

Porthole

#joadja #southernhighlands #historic #landscape #abstract

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What Is Wabi Sabi and Why Is It On My Photos Not My Sushi?

I had never heard of the term Wabi Sabi until recently.  There are lots of varying definitions but most centre on the Japanese philosophy of the beauty in things imperfect, impermanent, incomplete, modest, humble and unconventional. In fact part of the definition is that there is no definitive description! If this sounds all a bit too “high brow” then think about the alternate definition: “If a bunch of photographers suddenly take an interest in your hay barn, its probably time to pull it down…”

I hope the following images convey a sense of Wabi Sabi. They were all shot on an iPhone and edited using my favourite app “Snapseed”.

Dried Flower Study #1

Dried Flower Study #2

Dried Flower Study #3

Joadja is a ghost town, it was formally a centre for mining and processing of shale to produce kerosene. The operation lasted from 1870 until 1911. Apart from the mines, retorts and refinery there were orchards, school and cemetery. It is located near Mittagong in the Southern Highlands, New South Wales, Australia.

Many of the buildings are in ruins,but with a bit of imagination and reference to some of the old photos on display, you get a really good sense of the past. Naturally it is a photographers paradise (as per the Wabi Sabi reference to the hay barn above).

Refinery Ruins

Rivets

Retort Remnants #1

Retort Remnants #2

Stem Against Rusty Tank

Header Tank

Roll the Dice

Rusty Flange