Photographer's Note

In this photograph, taken nearly two years ago, the contemplative young man is looking towards the cliff on eastern side of the Newport Lakes bushland and wetland park in western Melbourne, about 10km from the city's centre.

Today, the park occupies about 33 hectares, with a 2km walking track around the lakes. Originally, the park consisted of several quarry holes from which bluestone was extracted for about a hundred years from the 1860s. The stone was used as ballast in cargo ships making the return journey to Britain or Europe, or was shaped into large bricks for constructing houses and public buildings all around Melbourne. At one stage about 250 men worked there.

By 1968 the quarries were declared to have been exhausted, and during the 1970s one of the holes was used as a public waste 'tip', while the money gained from that operation was spent on terracing and landscaping the quarry cliffs and planing native vegetation. Eventually, the water's depth of 3 metres was maintained with water from below the ground. Before the redevelopment of the cliffs two people died by falling off them. The area was dedicated to becoming a bushland in the 1980s, and is now the home of many native trees and bushes, and dozens of bird species (85 have been recorded). The effect of the work done on the cliffs can be seen in the photo, which looks toward the dense, small native forest covering the eastern cliff face.

Focal length: 400mm
Shutter: 1/400
Aperture: f/6.3
ISO: 320

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