It would be hard not to know about the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War.
There’s been enough pictures published this year of the utter destruction and loss of life caused by the fighting on the Western Front and at Gallipoli back in 1914.
I might have had that in mind when I took this picture.
It is not of the harsh reality of war but the harsh battle people fought and lost as settlers in the Flinders Ranges roughly about the same time as the war was raging in Europe.
These ruins are located on the Western side of the Flinders Ranges near the Brachina Creek
Still flowing gently, the Oratunga where it runs out of the mountains and meets up with the Parachilna Creek just a couple of hundred metres away.
Hard to believe this placid little stream becomes a raging torrent in times of heavy rains and thunderstorms that pours out onto the plains near Lake Torrens.
This stretch of water was a real surprise. Such a beautiful and peaceful scene.
When I photographed the Oratunga Creek from the ridges above a few days earlier, it looked quite tiny.
Up close it is substantial as far as creeks in the Flinders Ranges go.
Despite the tranquil waters, the stream flows quickly and noisily among the rocks.
This was the point where the waters appeared above ground. It was quite a way upstream.
Further into the ravine the bed is dry but there may be places even further upstream where it reappears once again.
However in this photo it is easy enough to see the steepness of the slopes all around.
In an ideal world the bar that drives the shears could have been better positioned but this was not a posed shot.
I was more interested in framing the photo to include the dog, the window and the sponteneity of the two old shearers in conversation.
It is one of my favorite images from the Commonwealth Hill Station shoot in Outback South Australia I did for the R M Williams publication “Best of Outback Stataion”s back in March.
The old chap on the right is 73 years of age. He’s been shearing for 53 years and his tally is over a million sheep shorn in that time.
As often happens in the Flinders Ranges, the morning can see a bank of cloud over the eastern ranges while there’s clear skies to the west.
There is a sharp contrast from the previous post but not much time between the two photos. The cloud bank is most obvious though.
It’s taken from the same sharp ridge with another glimpse of the creek referred to in the previous image.
A much more dramatic photograph that better illustrates the ruggedness of the country.
Getting to the creek will have to wait, because even from here it is a long hike back to my car.
I’d never taken the trouble to explore this area before. It’s between the Glass Gorge Road and the Parachilna Gorge in the central Flinders Ranges.
Rugged country and certainly some grand views of the Heysen Range in the background…….a typical Flinders Ranges scene.
However it was the little glimpse of water that caught the eye. Even up so high on a sharp ridge , the distinct sound of running water was coming from the valley.
It was this running water which would lead to finding a most beautiful stretch of creek bed that would take quite a few days to explore and photograph….The Oratunga.
A simple scene, yet one that I find quite interesting, mostly because of the light falling across this bend in the Parachilna Creek .
Of late I have become aware of many landscape photos that are a composite of two or more images which have been over worked in Photoshop to the point where they look unreal.
I guess this is a trend like any other but is seems more like graphic art than photography.
I had taken some shots of this location previously but I had missed the light and my composition wasn’t particularly good.
A few minutes of interesting light and a single shot in a location that is passed by many people daily.
It probably wouldn’t win an award but I’m pretty happy with it..which is enough
A chance for some forward planning.
The workshops at Arkaroola in the northern Flinders Ranges have been a great success but I realise for many people it is a big undertaking to attend.
I will be conducting only one workshop at Arkaroola next year. That will be in mid-April if there are five people wanting to attend.
I have picked mid-April because it is arguably the best time of the year to be in this wonderful location.
Apart from the dates, all the details about the workshop and what will be covered can be found in the right hand column of this page.
If you are looking at this post on an email go to the Sentimental Bloke website www.thesentimentalbloke.com
The cost of $950 for the three day event, not including accommodation, meals etc. remains the same as this year.
I would like expressions of interest from any photographers who might want to do this course before finalising plans.
Anyone interested can contact me at [email protected]
From a vantage point high on a slope on Moolooloo Station near Blinman in the central Flinders.
Three days at the same spot, waiting, waiting…freezing cold and a bitter wind. You’ve got to be nuts.
Despite the discomfort and the conditions, the Fuji X series cameras and lens have now been through a scorching, dusty summer and this cold and wet winter with flying colours.
I am confident that this image and the earlier landscapes taken with either the X100s, true X-Pro or the X=T1, the three prime lens and the 55-200mm zoom are all capable of turning out high quality images which in turn means large, high quality prints.
For a bloke with a crook back, the size and weight is the icing on the cake.
The changing landscape. Different colours altogether where rain has fallen on the vast plains of the Great Victoria Desert.
Inspired by the work of New York Saul Leiter who died late last year. For any student of photography, Leiter’s work is well worth studying. There’s a documentary about Saul Leitter just released, called “In No Great Hurry: A quick look on the internet will find many of his pictures, life story and the movie, which you can download for about $10.
A crisp winter’s morning along the Glass Gorge road between Blinman and Parachilna where I have been working on and off for several weeks.
The effects of passing showers on the desert landscape in far north South Australia.
View of the Heysen Range from Moolooloo Station near Blinman in the Flinders Ranges.
On a clear day you can see for a hundred kilometres or more. A real sense of space.
The vista taken in by tens of thousands of people over the last fifty years who bounce along in vehicles on Arkroola’s famous Ridgetop Tour.
The stark contrast of the mountains of the northern Flinders Ranges on the left. Wooltana cattle station on the plains. The white buildings of the Beverley Uranium mine can be seen about three quarters of the way to the horizon and the salt of Lake Callabonna in the distance.
Siller Lookout..one of the most spectacular views in Australia.
The Place – Commonwealth Hill station. the second of my assignments for the Best of Outback Stations publication.
Commonwealth Hill is a really interesting and remote location, and without going into all the details of the story, a station that has rarely been seen in print before.
The photo – early morning drafting of some of the 25,000 sheep brought in from the far flung paddocks of the station for shearing each March.