A Christmas Present?

December 10, 2014 at 10:45 pm

Dust Cover

If you are still looking for a good Christmas gift and are familiar with the pictures on the Sentimental Bloke web page then this book is worth considering.

“I Once Met a Man” is a reprint of a book by legendary Australian figure, R. M Williams that has been illustrated by another photographer and me, which has turned it into a quality coffee table style publication.

Pictures posted on the internet are always compressed and colours vary from computer or tablet screen to the next so this book, now in the bookstores provides an opportunity to see a lot of my images more or less full size and with their real colours.

Melbourne based travel photographer Ewen Bell is the other contributor and the book has been put together by publisher Harper Collins who were a pretty good mob to work with.

Dymocks store in Adelaide is hardly giving it pride of place but if you are looking for it, the illustrated version of “I Once Met a Man” by R. M. Williams is in the Australiana section on the bottom shelf.

Photographic Workshop – Arkaroola, April 22, 23 & 24 2015

November 25, 2014 at 6:08 pm

 

_MG_1724

Dinnertime Hill, Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary. Northern Flinders Ranges. ©Copyright Peter MacDonald Photography. All Rights Reserved

One of the fabulous landscapes accessible on my next workshop at Arkaroola in April.

Autumn is one of the best times to visit the northern Flinders Ranges, ideal for making great images and enjoying the Arkaroola experience.

Previous workshops have been very rewarding with plenty of time to visit some of the spectacular places on the sanctuary, practise your camera craft and develope skills to work with when you return home.

This workshop is limited to 5 photographers. There are still three places left but plenty of time to plan an excursion to this exciting part of Outback Australia.

The Schedule

Pre workshop – get to know session at 5.30 pm April 21 with the option of continuing over dinner

Day 1 April 22 Shooting from 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM including a discussion and demonstration using your first images on the digital darkroom.

Day 2 April 23 Shooting starts from 6am – 3 pm. The day includes an in-depth discussion on composition for photographers. In this session we will look at the work of the masters of photography, why their work has stood the test of time and how you can use these techniques to produce solid and quality images.

Day 3 April 24 An all day exploration of the Arkaroola’s world famous Ridgetop tour area. This has got to be the highlight for any aspiring or experienced landscape photographer.

There will be daily reviews of your images to assess the improvements you are making with the techniques we cover.

What To Expect

  • Expect to develop your photography and the way you see.
  • Expect to be have clear understanding of composition and how to use different factors to make stronger and more interesting photographs.
  • Expect to find a whole new world of master photographers and artists.
  • You will be able to spend many happy hours exploring their techniques, their lives,their passions and draw inspiration from them.

Most importantly, expect to have an enjoyable experience on this workshop, take in the wonders of the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary and make some images you will be happy to take home. To book a place, contact Peter by email [email protected] or telephone 0429703693

 Accommodation for the workshop can be booked through Reception at the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary (08) 8648 4848. Details about types of accommodation and other information can be accessed through the website www.arkaroola.com.au

Three Day Workshop Cost: $950.00 per person

Testimonials

After 3 days with Peter MacDonald at the sensational Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary I have revised most of my paradigms concerning my photography …and I anticipate now to produce images at another level to my pre workshop standard.

The difference with Peter? You are his complete focus for the entire workshops. He would rate as one of the best teachers of photography I have encountered , so tenacious is he in ensuring you completely understand the messages he is delivering, be it technical , location shooting or post processing. This tenacity is carried into the field where Peters eagle eye will not miss a think you are doing …and he’ll work side by side with you to ensure you can demonstrate that you have thoroughly understood his message.

Outside formal workshop times Peters rich life is the basis for fascinating anecdotes on the Outback , its people and places.

Peter is never off duty – ready and willing to help with questions or the tiny uncertainties lingering in your mind. Peters mission is to make you a better photographer. And he will! ( go with an open mind!). He is completely focused on achieving that end with every participant.

I cannot express my appreciation any more than to write this testimonial, communicating the impact Peter has had on my photography, so that others will confidently commit to signing up now ..you will never look back!

Chris Hind, Personal Outback Tours


What an apt name for a photographic company. Peter MacDonald is a ‘bloke’ that just loves the Australian bush and what it offers; his passion for photography together with his sincere attitude towards his clients made it a memorable experience to work side by side with him for 3 days; if only it could have been longer.

We received informative sessions followed by practical experience in the field with each complementing each other. Our group traversed spectacular scenic country; a combination of ‘easy going’ and ‘extremely rough’ terrain by comfortable 4WD vehicle; with only a few short easy metres to walk to each of the photographic hotspots; physically, it made it all too easy.

Peter introduced and showed us the simpler, smarter and more efficient ways to capture wonderful photographic images. The use of our own specific camera gear and techniques was made simple and easier to apply. At each field location Peter concentrated on our personal techniques, always observing us and offering advice in a kind and gentle manner; it was a great way to enhance our skills and images. Peter was always, there; first for his clients and second for himself.

I would strongly recommend participation in ‘The Sentimental Bloke’ workshops for the ‘new’ and ‘not so new’ photographers. I have had a camera in my hand for 3 years and yet learnt so much from Peter MacDonald.

Thank you greatly Peter,

Robert Woodward

 

There’s Always a Catch

November 14, 2014 at 4:08 pm

Tinnie

Every bird in sight was feasting on sea life. The fish were visibly all around. But not so much as even a nibble.
I am out in South Australia’s wonderful waterway, the Coorong hopeful for a picture to fill a commission. But like the Gods of fishing, Huey was also not smiling down. Grey skies, glare and washed out colour were working against the photograph I was looking for.
Nothing left to do but break out the fishing tackle…but sadly the only catch of the day.

Not the Melbourne Cup

November 4, 2014 at 10:00 am

Blinman Cup

It was just a two horse race but the interest was keen. The running of the recent Blinman Cup in the Flinders Ranges. I am always surprised at how few competitors it takes to make up the fields in the premiere event of the day at some of these Outback race meetings. The racecourse doubles as the local airstrip, regularly used by the Flying Doctor. The track was far from heavy and the punters were at the rails. It was never going to be a photo finish but nobody seemed too fussed about that.

 

Blinman Cup 2

It was a warm, sunny Spring afternoon…maybe not  the greatest event on the annual  racing calendar and perhaps the fashions on the field where a little bit more Outback than Caulfield but its a big social event out here where friends from far and wide meet up for chat and a few beers.

 

Blinman Cup 3

These days they combine the races with a gymkhana  where these are some fine-looking  horses and riders ready to try their skills in a variety of events.

In hindsight the one shot I should have gone for was the race caller and master of ceremonies. He was without a doubt the hardest working bloke on the course.

 

 

 

Arkaroola 2015

October 18, 2014 at 6:00 pm
Yakkas

©Copyright Peter MacDonald Photography 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Expressions of interest are still open for my planned workshop in Arkaroola mid to late April 2015.
Bookings for the workshop will open in the next month and there’s still plenty of time to plan on making the trip to the northern Flinders Ranges.
April is one of the best times of the year to visit the area and there will be plenty to learn and practise during the three days of the workshop.
You can email me at [email protected] to indicate your interest.
The final day of the workshop will be spent photographing along Arkaroola”s famous Ridgetop track.

Spindly Gums

October 14, 2014 at 6:00 pm
Spindley guns

©Copyright Peter MacDonald Photography. All Rights Reserved

Can’t say why, but I find this quite beautiful. I can imagine it being painted by Tom Roberts or Hans Heysen and being worth a tidy sum.

Textures

October 11, 2014 at 6:15 pm

Old Door

Sundown

October 9, 2014 at 3:10 pm

Sunset

A Contrast of Sorts

October 6, 2014 at 6:00 pm

Street 2
Another of those spur of the moment shots. Fortunately the Fuji X100s, which I carry around just about everywhere, can shoot a superb black and white photography and a Raw colour image at the same time.
I chose the colour to differentiate between the two groups..particularly the workers eating their breakfast on the milk crates.

Contrasts

October 4, 2014 at 6:00 pm

Street 1

One of those spur of the moment images. I  saw  contrast-similarity between the guy the in sunlight and the chap in the shadow both doing the same thing.

Trends

October 1, 2014 at 6:00 pm

B & W Sunrise
There must be at least a million photographs, probably more, taken each day of sunrises and sunsets.
Why there’s even websites devoted to these images.
Trouble is, they become a bit like selfies and waterfall that have frozen milk or cotton instead of water….they become a bit boring after a while.
If you can take all the colour out of a sunrise and it still has that drama…God forbid…another trend.

Claws

September 28, 2014 at 6:00 pm
Train 3

Camera both images Fuji X100s

There’s nothing beautiful about Claws. It makes an interesting profile if the sun is in the right place and all the dirt and grime is hidden from view.
It’s all steel and hydraulics, real power for the job it was created for…….ripping up old sleepers on railway lines and replacing them with new.

Train 2

It would pay to keep well away from the claws that do most of the heavy work on the line repairs between Port Augusta and Leigh Creek in South Australia’s north.It might now be the largest machine on the line, but without it, the coals trains don’t run

Watercourses

September 25, 2014 at 6:00 pm
Brachina Overflow

Fuji X-Pro, 35mm f1.4 lens, f11, 1/60 sec ISO 400. Copyright Peter MacDonald Photography. All Rights Reserved.

In times of heavy rains the water that comes out of the mountains in the background is immense. It’s got to go somewhere and Lake Torrens is the lowest point anywhere close by.

Watercourses like this one on Edeowie station to the west of the Flinders Ranges are hardly noticeable but they  have been carved deeply into  the plain over time.

This is near the Brachina Creek overflow and the flood water must suck most of the goodness from the soil because not much grows in these channels.

 

 

Eye Catcher

September 22, 2014 at 6:00 pm

Moss Rock

 

Standing on a desert plain surrounded by an untold number of rocks – all various shapes and sizes.

And then, there’s one in a million. Covered in lichen, tiny colourful flowers and the sun falling at just the right angle.

The Roy Orbison of the Rock World.

 

 

 

Outlaws

September 19, 2014 at 6:15 pm

Foxes

You used to see this scene  a lot a few years back.

Beautiful creatures no doubt but their raids on new born lambs, chooks and other farmyard animals puts them up against the murderous intent of the local landowner.

That old song “Ten Green Bottles Hangng on the Wall” springs to mind.

Harsh Times

September 16, 2014 at 6:06 pm
Ruins

© Copyright Peter MacDonald Photography. All Rights Reserved

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

 

Downstream

September 12, 2014 at 6:00 pm

Oratunga Creek 1
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.

 

 

First Look

September 8, 2014 at 6:15 pm
Oratunga CReek 5

©Copyright Peter MacDonald Photography. All Rights Reserved.

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.

Old Timers

September 4, 2014 at 6:06 pm
Old Shearers

First day with the Fuji X-T 1 camera. ©Copyright Peter MacDonald Photography. All Rights Reserved.

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.

The Long Walk Home

September 1, 2014 at 6:10 pm

Wildflowers

Mild weather, without frosts, coupled  with recent rains in the ranges have almost ensured a good wildflower season this spring.

Already  many plants and scrubs are beginning to bloom.

The country looks very lush and green.