Tuesday, July 21, 2009
It's like, Time Travel.
The Gasworks Museum visitor's book claimed I was the only punter today. I wandered in, yelled hello, and a shout from the smoko room led me to Stan, Tom and Bill, the blokes who run everything. Stan and Bill may be older than much of the machinery around here, if not the building. We exchanged conservative opinions on a few current events for a while and then I left them to it and went to take some pictures.
From my last visit, I knew I'd need to light the machine room to really show off the amazing stuff in there. I wanted to knock down the outside ambient so it wasn't a distraction, and get some nicely angled light bouncing off the machines. I also had some steam to play with, as well as some semi-transparent oil reservoirs.
There was so much to consider, lesser men would have been daunted, bit not me. I dove in and after a while managed to produce a modest handful of flops.
It was a start, and soon enough I was getting a few images that didn't make me sigh. About 5 more visits and I'll probably have some idea of what I'm doing in here.
After about half an hour shooting one of the old gas pumps, I moved on to my real purpose: a recce of the boiler rooms. One is a lofty victorian brick cavern with a mammoth boiler in it. Bill graciously shuffled by to give a sense of scale to the behemoth. (Despite its size, I don't believe it saw much use. It was bit of a white mammoth by all accounts. Possibly a DCC job). More lighting challenges here. There's some useful ambient to play with in the day, coming from a high row of arched windows, but the boiler and walls could still use some artfully placed flash units.
There's a lot of material to play with here. Next to this cavern, there's a smaller room with a hard-working little boiler. It's a busy little space, but there are some ladders to a poorly-lit platform above and that I have plans for. I'm having so much fun in this place. It's teaching me lots, and I love hanging out in these sooty old cathedrals with their curmudgeonly occupants. It's like time travel.
The Gasworks Museum is open with the machinery steamed up on the first and third Sundays of the month from 12 noon to 4:00 p.m. It is also open every Tuesday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. You can find it in Braemar Street, Dunedin.