Walter Sholl turned a borrowed camera and an inquisitive nature into a celebration of Warracknabeal's residents.
His collection of portraits has been published as a book called 'Warracknabeal: The 2019 Passing Parade' which will be launched by the Australia Day Committee in Warracknabeal on Sunday.
A former Gippsland Times photojournalist and Army Public Service Relations photographer, Mr Sholl had put his camera skills into retirement before a friend persuaded him to get back behind the lens a year ago.
"One of my friends was a photographer in the air force when I was a photographer in the army, he kept buying equipment and I mean top quality buckets of equipment.
"When he and his wife were staying with us twelve months ago he said 'What are you doing in the way of photography?' and I said 'Nothing', because I didn't have a decent camera, as I had sent my good one over to my grandson in New Zealand.
"He was so disgusted that he just went into the bedroom, came back, dropped a camera on the kitchen table and said 'right get off your backside and start doing something.'"
Mr Sholl said the camera sat on his desk for about two months before inspiration struck.
"I walked out the front of the house this particular day and saw this Grampians Water man with his head in the hole and I went in and got the camera and that's the end result.
"Then it just sort of evolved from there."
Mr Sholl said the layout of his house provided the perfect vantage point for seeking out subjects to shoot.
"When we built the house three years ago, we put the kitchen at the front of the house because I'm a sticky beak, and I'd just watch people," he said. "It was just sort of the passing parade and it just sort of evolved from there.
"I was then convinced to turn it into a book and now it's now off the press and it's being released by the Australia Day Committee on Sunday."
Mr Sholl said the motivation behind capturing portraits of people on the street was about everyday serendipity. He said he only knew 40 per cent of the subjects that he photographed.
"It's just a random selection," Mr Sholl said. "You see so many things that you take for granted and you shouldn't. We should appreciate what we see a little bit more."
Mr Sholl's wife Eileen who has played a supporting role in getting her husband's work exhibited and published said the project celebrated unsung heroes.
"It's all the people from the town that you see around but that don't usually make the headlines or get recognised for what they do," Mrs Sholl said.
Mr Sholl said the portraits were generally candid.
"What you see is what you get," he said."Most people when you point a camera at them smile. Have you ever noticed that?
"Even in the most bizarre circumstances, they smile. It's always amused me. But that's a side of human nature."
Mr Sholl took his love of the town further by turning an empty shop on the main street into an exhibition space for his collection, receiving a two month lease for a building on Scott Street in Warracknabeal.
"There's nothing worse than empty shops," he said. "Particularly when you've got tourists coming through.
"So we negotiated a reasonable price I guess because we didn't have much of a budget to do it on and it's just created so much interest."
Mr Sholl said the public response to the gallery had been excellent, with traffic from passers by stopping along the Silo Art Trail as well as plenty of local interest.
"They've never had anything like this," he said.
Mr Sholl will formally retire from his role as a Uniting Church Pastor when he delivers his last service in Horsham on Sunday, the income of which he said allowed him to fund the project.
"So I tongue in cheek say (the exhibition) is sponsored by the Uniting Church," he said. "I have retired numerous times from the ministry, this will be the fifth time.
"I'm still going to filling in at Jeparit and Dimboola just occasionally and I still do a few funerals. I'll still be filling in here and there but just not in a paid capacity."
'A Day in the Life of Warracknabeal' photo exhibition will be open on Scott Street until January 31.
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