Wheelchair Photo Escape
Alowyn Gardens, Yarra Valley’s hidden gem, and where I found myself recently after taking up part of my Christmas present from HP: Three 3-hour one-on-one photography workshops from the delightful and ever so knowledgable Jacqui Barr of Jacqui B Photography. Jacqui suggested this very accessible destination as it is perfect for wheelchair photography. One of my joys for a very long time has been photography and capturing our family’s events through a lens.
My first little instamatic at age 12 found me recording my youngest brother’s first time off training wheels and entering my little cousin into the Pond’s Cute Kid of The Year Awards 1977 (or something like that-ironically I can’t remember my first usage of a machine designed to better record memories). In social situations since, no one has ever been able to hide from my zooming presence. As my children got older (and typically less cute) my photography interest started to focus more on landscapes, flora, bird life and attempting to understand the full manual operation of an SLR camera. My trusty, beautiful Canon EOS 500D has, alas, become too heavy to hold and for a while I thought that photographing things of beauty, of noteworthy interest, of family and friends (not all mutually exclusive) would not be in my future. But the Panasonic DSLR Lumix LX100 salvaged that future with an onslaught of tech wizardry . I can now Bluetooth to my iPhone to use that as my lens and download photos instantly to it among other trickier stuff. Although the Lumix does not come with interchangeable lenses to be able to use tele-photo zoom work and does have some macro limitations it does take beautiful pictures and is very forgiving with shake when being used by this little amateur. Jacqui B. (my new bestie) has assisted in my greater understanding of the Panasonic’s manual functions and the setting of Alowyn Gardens was a terrific place for photo play. After a hearty welcome from the staff and owner, Prue, Jacqui and I had a relaxed latte under the outdoor canopy of a Gourde vine in the Café area. We then went on our photographic adventure through the many themed gardens that Alowyn offers (see Accessible Destinations & Venues tab for more details). With collaborative problem solving efforts, Jacqui, H.P. and I have started figuring out a wheelchair tripod arm (update to follow). It’s just wonderful to know that being limited in mobility and strength and using a little lateral thinking doesn’t have to curtail this hobby which means that I can continue annoying all and sundry at my pleasure and for many years to come. You’re welcome ☺️