Bike Life: Hill End Camp Trip

Over the weekend, I had organised a quick photography-centric getaway with a few of my mates who also ride and shoot. The location that I had chosen, and was agreed upon by the others, was a place that is now known as a gold-mining ghost town. I’ve always fancied the idea of a tent camping experience with a group of friends as part of a motorcycle road trip, but I had not yet done one where photography was the main intent. Due to the well-preserved buildings and machines that remain, the presence of a unique ‘time warp’ atmosphere, and the availability of camping grounds close to basic amenities, Hill End served as an attractive photography proposition.

I had some talented photographers join in the trip. John Keogh, of Keogh’s Vision Photography, brought along his comprehensive lens kit with his primary Nikon tool, mainly using the D750 with the Tamron 28-75mm lens.

My close buddy, Mio Paredes, also tagged along in the Hill End trip. For this trip, Mio kept his camera gear to a minimum, just bringing his Sony a7S with the Sony FE-mount 28mm lens, in order to free up luggage space on his bike.

The following content presents the photos captured in the overnight camp trip at Hill End, categorised into photographer (Keogh’s Vision Photography, Mio Paredes Photography and Dave’s Viewpoint) and type of photos (mainly into ‘location’, ‘people’ and ‘bikes’). Hope you enjoy the photos as much as we enjoyed the trip, and that you are able to experience an ounce of the camp trip with us through the photos.

 

KEOGH’S VISION PHOTOGRAPHY

John’s popularly-known specialty is based on panning shots of moving motorcycles and cars, and has been engaging in both track and road side shoots for a number of years now. Since then, he has garnered a mass of followers who would usually find him on the Putty Road area in Sydney’s north-west and Macquarie Pass near Robertson, which is around a 2-hour drive from Sydney. More than anything else, though, his reputation is built upon his near-omnipresence at the Royal National Park, also fondly known as the ‘Nasho’ by Sydneysiders, where he would be out shooting for many hours on most weekends. John personally enjoys nature photography, employing both close-up and panoramic techniques.

Keogh’s Vision Photography can be followed on Facebook and Twitter.

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LOCATION

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PEOPLE

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BIKES

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MIO PAREDES PHOTOGRAPHY

Mio’s shooting style is based on photojournalism, in which photos are composed in a way that tells a story. He also displays an affinity for cinematographic qualities, hence using a wider 16:9 aspect ratio for his images. His passion revolves around street photography, astrophotography and the capturing of adventure endeavours in remote locations. Wedding shoots are the bread and butter of his life as a photographer.

Mio Paredes Photography can be followed on Facebook and Instagram.

 

LOCATION

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BIKES

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PEOPLE

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DAVE’S VIEWPOINT

And finally, my part of the camp trip photos. I would describe myself as a motorcycle-focused lifestyle photographer, and purpose I see in me as a shooter is to capture the very essence of what two-wheeled motoring is all about, whether it be in a social setting or from a ‘lone wolf’ touring rider’s point of view.

If you haven’t yet done so, you can follow my posts on Facebook and Instagram.

 

LOCATION

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PEOPLE

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BIKES

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So, what did we make out of the experience?

We found that Hill End was a dastardly remote place to actually get to and to get out of, thanks to the abundance of twisties, lightly but consistently afflicted by gravel for many kilometres, that would straddle the edge of the hilly cliffs from Sofala to Sallys Flat. The relative lack of services remind you that this district is not for those with an attachment of a modern urban environment and its inherent creature comforts. It’s, in essence, a place that requires you to get ready for some hard yakka if you’re not well prepared. There are no local fuel services in Hill End and, under some mobile carriers, there is minimal reception.

For those lusting for an accessible adventure destination on two wheels relatively close to Sydney, on the other hand, Hill End is probably the perfect location. For a place that is relatively close to Australia’s largest city, it is starkly different to your usual country town. Just a 4 hour ride towards the west from metropolitan Sydney, the century-old structures, vehicles and artifacts take you back to the period of Australia’s Industrial Revolution. Lush greenery creeps over the derelict landscape and buildings that once hosted the craze of the gold rush of the 1850s. The many unsealed roads lead to further trails into the bushes, where sport bikes turn around and chook chasers begin their journey. It’s a place of exploration and discovery that holds a wealth of history behind it all if you delve further into it. On these aspects alone, it deserves great recognition in the story books of many motorcycle adventure riders!

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