Autumn colours means chaos for locals.
This was the turning point for me!
I had originally set out to take interpretations of famous landscapes and popular landscapes and discover new way to photography what had previously been over shot. A challenge was lying in the small country town of Macedon. But the events of the morning would change that to the current project I am undertaking.
The famous Honour Avenue is a WW1 Memorial, but I am not sure the thousands of tourists that arrive each year know that. They come in convoys and buses to the avenue to take there autumn images to share around the world with admirers, friends and family.
It was a Tuesday Morning and I thought it would be quiet, I wanted to explore the avenue and plan the shots I wanted to take, and I thought it might be a perfect opportunity to get the ‘trophy image’ looking down the avenue from the middle of the road. That was easier said then done.
Arriving at 9:30am, I didn’t actually leave until after 1:00pm as it took more patience than I had imagined. When I would set up for my shot another car or bus would arrive with a group of tourists. The surprising thing for me was the amount of people that were obviously taking portraits with professional photographers and did I mention fashion shoots?
As I waited, I watched the professional photographers have people lie in the middle of road, get a bunch of fallen leaves and throw them into the air catching the leaves cascade over the subject. I watched them climb on people’s fences to get photos and use objects in people’s yards as photography props. It never the less kept me entertained.
After waiting and waiting I finally got my chance, I had set everything up, I just needed to quickly compose, take a couple of shots from the middle of the road and I was done.
As I was packing up my gear, another group of cars arrived. There is no parking in the avenue and neon signs that advice motorists its a no standing, no parking zone. But this group of 3 cars parked anyway. Out of the car gets a photographer and a family, they are getting portraits taken.
I walked back watching them, group shots in the middle of the road (standing and sitting), individual shots, leaning on the trees, lying in the leaves, throwing leaves. One car left I presuming the parents of the young couple, and the young couple and there son remained. Continuing to shoot I saw the parents escort the young boy to the safety of the trees (only a few metres from the roads edge and the parked cars). The boys parents having there photos taken in the middle of the road embracing etc.
I saw a car approaching, and the couple moved to the opposite side of the road and only what I can imagine the young boy wanting to run to his parents, ran onto the road.
I dont think I saw the impact, I had closed my eyes, heard the screach of tyres and a thud. I rushed over, calling an ambulance in the process. Lucky for the little boy, he was ok, the poor local woman, who was quiet distressed wasn’t going to fast that she was able to stop with minimal impact only knocking the boy off his feet.
She never would have seen him, between two parked cars and in the trees, she did remarkably well to react to stop. This poor local woman just had the scare of her life and it would still be traumatic none the less.
It was not her fault, it was not the little boys fault. What do people think a three year old would do?
As he left in the ambulance for precautionary measures I am sure, I walked back to my car shaking my head and still shaking. People just need to remember to show some basic common sense. But was the trophy image they aimed to take worth it? What is our obsession with adding that image to our galleries online? Do we care more about the trophy than the location itself?