Landscape Photographer from the South West of Western Australia

Captain Bunbury Hotel – Bunbury

While in Bunbury I was attracted to this (nearly) derelict hotel in the main street. It apparently was the Captain Bunbury hotel, but the building is crumbling. The upper floor is unsafe, and you can see that the balcony is propped up. However it is still operating two bars (called “The Reef”). The right bar – the black door – is fairly conventional. The second bar on the left (in the ochre part of the building) is the “R” bar – it is a “skimpy bar”! What attracted me was the color scheme(s). Black, zebra stripes, maroon, ochre, and finally a green and purple section! Incredible. Whoever decided on the color scheme shouldn’t give up their day job.

I tried photographing the hotel with a conventional stitch – taking shots as I panned down the street. However the result was almost too good and didn’t convey the ramshackle and crumbling feel of the building. I couldn’t get as far away from the building as I would have liked because of the construction site opposite.

While taking the shots I tried something different. I took a series of shots looking directly at the building. I started at the right, and after taking each shot moved one pace to the left, and repeated the process. I wound up with about 70 shots. I took a strip out of the middle of each and manually “stitched” them together in Photoshop. All the shots were handheld, and parallax errors were everywhere. This may be one of the worst efforts at stitching I have seen – it was made especially difficult by the trees which seemed to move all over the place. However I was pleased with the final result as the patchwork effect makes the building look as decrepit as it actually is. I have deliberately not cropped the image to accentuate this patchwork look.

It will be interesting to see what the eventual fate of this building is. A laborer from the construction site thought it should be demolished. However I am not so sure – if we demolish all old buildings we lose our history. Whatever happens I think this building deserves a more distinguished fate than it is currently experiencing.

Captain Bunbury Hotel

Captain Bunbury Hotel

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