Uluru is quite possibly the most over-photographed natural wonder in Australia, but I didn’t let that deter me from spending three days driving and walking around and around it looking for the new angle. What I like about this is that the sun had set leaving the moon to provide light. The stars are out though barely discernible at this size of image, and the 30 second exposure allows for the kind of cloud movement I would ordinarily avoid. I feel a roadie to the reddie coming on!
On the same day we had been to Kings Canyon and climbed Heartbreak Hill to the Canyon Rim. A sartorially splendid gentleman stood out, for both his jaunty scarf and ability to look Milan fabulous, and for being a good sport while his partner took a photo.
The Australian Professional Photography Awards this year delivered me a Silver Award, and oh my, how I have grown.
Once crushed by the disappointment of my unrewarded works not considered worthy, I find myself in 2012 simultaneously thrilled my wedge-tailed eagle found friends on the judging panel, and that my other two (un)landscape images were not quite their cup of tea. High five for different strokes!
I traversed a most lumpy piece of ground in the trusty truck to get close enough to this gorgeous bird that wanted to fly off (but really didn’t want to leave without eating some greens). Now, I love a raptor as much as the next person, but the wedge-tailed eagles have my heart. Such a beautiful face!
There is a lot to love about a summer evening and a chilled beverage at sunset, on the Ceduna foreshore. Suffering from an embarrassment of riches in seafood, Ceduna is one of those magical places that owes its contained size to its relative remoteness. The people who live and work here are passionate about fishing, the region, and fishing.
Seated on the balcony and blowing the inherited smoke of other diners away, we were joined at our unfeasibly large dining table by a lovely farmer and his date. Generous with information on the region, garnered by generations of family, he pointed us in the direction of Penong and Cactus Beach. We were not disappointed.
In the fresh morning light we came upon salt lakes of coconut ice, and a surf beach that boasted allegedly one of Australia’s best left handers. Chrissie handed me her polarising filter. Oh.My.Goodness. As one who loves a watery vista, I really should have got one long ago, but I always thought it would be another filter hiding in those otherwise un-useable crevices of my camera bag, clocking up frequent flyer miles but never getting out of their little plastic cases.
Speeding away, Nullabor bound, Chrissie let me in on what I like to refer to as her Fleeting Glimpse technique which involves hanging your camera out the window of a vehicle travelling at 114km per hour, and defying the Vibration Reduction system of your lens. What I was going for here was the idea that you only catch glimpses of things as you speed by the world, you only focus on bits and pieces. It also greatly challenges my (some would argue) pathological need for order and precision. Rookie attempts, more to come.
Leaving the charming Morgan motel, the Gawler Ranges beckoned. Granite hills, millions of years old. A manageable side adventure on the route west that I hadn’t visited before. Gantt charts and spreadsheets allowed a good three days for exploration. I pored over forums warning of flood and pestilence. I packed the compressor (for tyre management). Chrissie filled a bin with rations should we be waylaid. Perishing was not on our agenda.
Immersing ourselves in the weighty bag of brochures and promises Chrissie had sourced pre-trip, it became apparent we could base ourselves in one of the small highway towns and run day trips into the Ranges. We settled on a motel in Wudinna, a town we couldn’t help but call Wooden-eye.
I am somewhat embarrassed to admit our three day intrepid adventure was compressed to a handful of hours. The radiant heat from the 1500 million year old granite mounds meant our dashes from the car were briefer than the wonderful landscape deserved, and the time of year delivered an arid and dusty scene; photos drained of colour and plant life doing its best to conserve energy. Uninspired, I whispered my apologies and promised to return in a future spring. I swear I heard the granite reply on the wind, in understanding tones, that it wasn’t going anywhere.
Visit the most excellent Wudinna District Council website for decent info about the Gawler Ranges.
Tomorrow, the Coast!
A couple of weekends ago, W and I took to the road and found ourselves in Willunga, my hands-down favourite town in the McLaren Vale region. Stepping out of the truck into the balmy dusk, we dropped our gear at the gorgeous Willunga House and hot-footed it to the Middle Pub. Stumbling (thanks to some fine local beverage) upon the main bar we came upon two musicians, Benny Walker and Tom Richardson, who have teamed up for a tour, offering funky blues meets reggae grooves. Easily swayed by any sounds that belong to the beach and long summers, I loved them both. Get thee to iTunes and support Aussie talent.
Tom will have had his dreads cut by now in support of the ‘Worlds Greatest Shave’ and ‘Movember’.
My love of a far-reaching, uninterrupted vista is becoming more self-evident in my work. It dawns on me that this Vista-Love is directly related to my Ocean-Love – no fences and a sense of limitless expanse seen through the dive mask. W would probably suggest this relates to my alleged resistance to authority and boundaries.
I took these on our recent trip to the Pilbara and back.
During our last foray into the heart of Australia, we spent a bit of time camping in the bush. When it is pitch dark by 6.30pm, idle hands start messing around with the fire and camp equipment, specifically the light sources! Here are some of the results.