Tunnelling

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After a couple of failed attempts we finally made it into the fabled “tunnel that was a bridge” in inner Brisbane. Was it terribly exciting? Read on.

Camera: Canon EOS 20D Exposure: 8 sec-4 min Aperture: f/5.6 ISO: 200
Focal Length: 10 mm Keywords: australia, brisbane, night, urban decay

On a previous night we were aborted in our attempt to gain access to the tunnel by a loud pack of youths which were hanging around what we had determined is the only easy way in. By the time they left we only had time for a quick peak and resolved to return another time…which was tonight. The shots below are from a previous night – looking for entrances and the actual small access tunnel we eventually crawled through to gain access to the 3m massive storm water tunnel which led upstream to the old bridge.

Camera: Canon EOS 20D Exposure: 2.5 sec (5/2) Aperture: f/5.6 ISO: 800
Focal Length: 20 mm Keywords: australia, brisbane, night, urban decay
Camera: Canon EOS 20D Exposure: 8 sec (8) Aperture: f/5.6 ISO: 800
Focal Length: 70 mm Keywords: australia, brisbane, night, urban decay

The tunnel is actually a redirection of a creek that once flowed through the area and the “bridge” is actually an old stone bridge that once crossed it. Long ago it was paved over and forgotten and its main span now forms part of the storm-water tunnel. The stone work is quite nice but sadly it has been ruined by graffiti. These shots were very quick and done with a combination of flash and torches.

Camera: Canon EOS 20D Exposure: 34 sec (34) Aperture: f/8 ISO: 200
Focal Length: 10 mm Keywords: australia, brisbane, night, urban decay
Camera: Canon EOS 20D Exposure: 40 sec (40) Aperture: f/8 ISO: 200
Focal Length: 10 mm Keywords: australia, brisbane, night, urban decay

The top shot is a large pit, complete with cage, that catches runoff from a very large area prone to flooding. I liked the reflections in the water – the shot is a 4 frame HDR.

We then proceeded downstream towards the outflow. It was necessary to scale a water drop by way of a thin nylon rope which gave me a little rope burn. After that it soon became apparent that the end section of the tunnel is tidal as the water started getting deeper and deeper. The fact the water was tidal was further reinforced when a fish jumped up my leg, scaring the shit out of me. From earlier observations of other tunnels the outflow is likely waist deep, even at low tide.

So we turned back and were very glad to emerge unscathed (and very thankful the rope did not break climbing back up the drop). As Sven suggested, I doubt we would return unless a very compelling idea for a shot came to mind. Nevertheless, photos aside, mission accomplished.

Comments

11 Responses to “Tunnelling”

  1. Sven on November 20th, 2007 3:14 am

    I really like the HDR in the first shot – unobtrusive and effective.

  2. Andy on November 20th, 2007 7:44 am

    Very cool! But you two are crazy going into things like that, the picture of Sven is cool but i don’t think i would be going down a pipe like that. It would freak me out!!!

  3. Sven on November 20th, 2007 11:22 am

    Yeah, we look tough alright, though only if you ignore how petrified we were of random park patrons.

  4. jon on November 20th, 2007 11:41 am

    “Danger” is our…middle names.

    Now quick, lets get out of here before the 80 year old park water man catches us…

  5. jon on November 20th, 2007 11:43 am

    Yeah happy with the top shot – a rare HDR success.

  6. Veronica on November 20th, 2007 10:03 pm

    I’d have been too terrified that some kind of sewer rat would run down the tunnel while I was in it… you’re both insane and now I know why you didn’t mention what you were doing.

  7. Veronica on November 20th, 2007 10:03 pm

    I really like the top shot btw

  8. Sven on November 22nd, 2007 9:32 am

    You know, I really think that first shot would look good if someone was standing in the water in the near foreground. Having said person stand still for ten minutes while the exposures complete could be a problem, though.

  9. jon on November 22nd, 2007 2:41 pm

    Yes staying still over 4 exposures would not really be possible.

    Incidently, to elaborate on the HDR technique for anyone interested – the four shots used were -2 stops (8sec), 0 (30 sec), +2 stops (2 minutes) and to just get that last bit of reflection in the water a +3 stops (4 minutes).

    They were then combined in Photomatix and PP’ed in Lightroom. They often look awful but in some instances (like this I think) they really do give a much better representation of what the eye sees.

  10. Sven on January 15th, 2010 10:00 am

    Re-reading these comments, I have to say that standing still for ten minutes over an HDR set sounds like a worthy challenge 😀

  11. Jon on January 15th, 2010 10:06 am

    Quite a challenge! Certainly have to keep that remote hidden and well in hand.

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