Friday, February 28, 2014

End of an era

When I drove into Wollongong for the first time nearly 6 months ago, the first thing I saw on the horizon was the Port Kembla stack. It's hard to not notice it, standing nearly 200m high it was the tallest thing in the Wollongong skyline.

Within my first few days of working at the Mercury, I was told that the stack was going to come down, it was going to be blown up. How could you not be excited about that?! I'd never seen anything get blown up or demolished before, so as you could guess, I was pretty excited.

However, the months passed and the stack was still standing, I grew to really like the stack. As a non Wollongong local, it was always reassuring to drive into Wollongong and see the stack standing so high in the skyline acting like a beacon to navigate your way back.

When the date was finally confirmed as to when the stack was going to come down we went in a frenzy shooting everything and anything stack related. As the weeks went by it seemed that we shot something stack related everyday, safe to say, we were all pretty relieved when it was all over and done with.

On the day of the stack demolition I made sure to wake up nice and early, 5am early, to get some sunrise shots of the stack for the last time. Unfortunately where I was situated I had a pretty average sunrise, the skies were pretty washed out and the light was in a less than ideal place to get nice colours in the sky. I set myself up with a 200mm lens with a 2x converter to get in tight enough to see the stack but not so tight as to cut out the lake and houses on the horizon.

And just like that, it was over and done with. 4 years to build, stood high in Wollongong for 50 years, felled in 20 seconds.