Photographer's Note

Last week I travelled to the Victorian city of Ballarat with my good friend Klaudio (daddo) for the Ballarat International Foto Biennale. By the time we had eaten lunch and visited numerous exhibition locations we had little time left for photography. The dull day was already near its end when the sun finally shone through the clouds, low over Lake Wendouree. Klaudio took this shot and I took mine. Standing closer to the boat-shed (from which the kayak emerged) and against the sun, I exposed the shot for the sky, which produced a darker look to the boat-shed and water in front of me, and later I adjusted the levels to make the most of the slanting light on the wooden boards and windows of the shed.

The lake itself is an artificial one, originally formed by the damming of a swamp in the years just after the gold rush of the 1850s. It was first used for competitive rowing in 1864, and hosted the Olympic rowing and canoeing in the 1956 Games. The name of the lake is said to have been derived from an Aboriginal word: In the late 1830s one of the earliest European settlers in the area, a William Cross Yuille, is supposed to have asked an Indigenous woman what the name of the swamp was. Neither understood the language of the other, but she said to him something which sounded like 'Wendouree', which in her language was 'Wendaree' and meant "Go away!" Which is not surprising.

From time to time, during drought conditions, the lake - only 2 metres deep - has dried up, as it did completely between 2006 and 2010. It filled when the rains started falling three years ago, and now can be used again by thousands every day who enjoy it for recreation, physical exercise and the beauty of its surrounding gardens.

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Additional Photos by Andrew McRae (macondo) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2985 W: 101 N: 5154] (20077)
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