I have been through Maree many times on my way to somewhere.
It was the same a couple of weeks ago when I passed through Marree to do a feature for the upcoming R M Wiliams “Best of Outback Stations” magazine.
Maree is the beginning ( or the end ) of the Oodnadatta and Birdsville Tracks – both legendary Outback stock routes and it was up the Birdsville Track this time.
Maree isn’t quite the bustling town it was when it was a cattle railhead …. or more recently when thousands of tourists flocked north to see flooded Lake Eyre.
It must have been quite a sight seeing Tom Kruze pull out of town at the start of his many epic journey’s up the Birdsville track.
A movie of his fortnightly journey called “Back of Beyond” was filmed back in the early 1950s. It is still for sale and an excerpt from the movie can be seen by clicking on the highlighted title.
In the back streets of Marree, the skeletons of less famous vehicles can be found. These too most likely had plenty of tales to tell.
The sign on the door of this old wreck gives a clue to its working history. Allandale Station is up the Oodnadatta Track at the top of Lake Eyre . It would have spend its life carting supplies along the rocky track.
What was even more intriguing was its current location – right next to the bones of an old petrol bowser.
It is as though the old Chevrolet rolled into the garage and the two died together
I am sure there was more to this story but time wasn’t on my side this time.
I suppose it will be a long time before we see a sunset over Lake Eyre like this. Taken four years ago as flood waters from northern Australia filled the vast salt lake.
A reminder about how beautiful this really harsh and forbidding part of our country can look.
Fun shooting into the sun. Always a challenge to avoid glare.
With about four weeks on the road coming up, there will be a number of pictures posted that don’t require much of an explanation.
They are pictures that I have been hanging on to, looking for a reason to use them. Now is the time.
A fair chunk of rock sitting on a slope in the Munyalana Valley which is on Wooltana station, closely bordering the Gammon Ranges National Park near Balcanoona and Arkaroola in the northern Flinders Ranges.
Smoke from bushfires down south are forming the haze on the mountain in the background.
Wonder where the arabesque ( basically an S curve) was in the photo on the previous post?
There is an arabesque in the picture above running along the outside of the two leaves.
The more you look at the picture you will see how it strongly links to the two leaves.
Spectacular,rugged ridges, always a feature of the landscape at probably my favourite location for photography
But first to the image in the last post and the compositional elements I tried to use in the image.
There’s a beautiful curve formed by the trees. It starts with the Casuarina in the foreground and goes right round to the strong parallel diagonals formed by the hills on the left.
The use of curves, diagonals and parallels are some of the compositional things we discuss in the workshops I conduct.
In the photo above, taken along the Echo Camp Backtrack at Arkaroola in the northern Flinders Ranges, there is an obvious strong baroque diagonal, parallels,curves and even an arabesque…maybe you can see them all.
The colour green is most noticeable at the moment, the result of recent rains.
There’s still spaces available on the 3 day workshop at Arkaroola starting April 26. There’s more information on the workshop here
This landscape has two strong elements of design used by the master artists of old to construct their works.
These design elements can be used in making good photos, including landscape photos.
I have been teaching these at the workshops I have been conducting and while at first it might seem difficult to see how this can work in constructing an image, it becomes easier with a little practice.
Can anyone see the two elements in this picture?
Saltbush in the foreground with black sheaok trees on the slopes of the foothills of the Heysen Range.
The northern wall of Wilpena Pound and Mt Aleck, two icons of the Flinders Ranges, in the background.
Hard Day at the office.
The Sun’s first rays lighting up the hills of the Parachilna Gorge in the the central Flinders Ranges.
One aspect of bad composition for photography that is often overlooked is having large areas of no interest in the photo.
One of the most famous war photographer of the 20th Century, Robert Capa had an often quoted saying ….”If you photos aren’t good enough, you are not close enough.”
Lets use the train that runs coal from the Leigh Creek Mines in northern South Australia to the powers stations in Port Augusta.
Good leading lines in this picture. They don’t get much stronger than this.
The mistake with this picture is that there is too much featureless sky. I should have waited another second or two when the locomotive would have been very close……Chicken!!
I was trying to illustrate the length of the coal train, which is about 3 kilometres long but again there’s too much sky and too much uninteresting foreground. Get closer!
Close enough this time and there are those leading lines again which automatically take your eye from foreground to background. Trains are good for this but being aware that getting closer is sometimes more important for a good or dramatic picture.
I wonder sometimes, how life survives on sand dunes.
In Outback South Australia at this time of the year, its blazing hot.
It must be over 50C in the middle of some days during summer.
The winds are strong and they suck all the moisture from everything, yet this hardy plant somehow beat the odds.
Because of its size, it most likely got through the last long drought too.
The light on the leaves that also accentuate the ripples in the ever shifting sands give a sense dignity to this defiant fellow.
Lines that lead your eyes through a picture are a common tool of both artists and photographers.
The leading lines here are a bit of overkill, but you get the idea.
Two things not evident in the picture are 1. the strong winds blowing from right to left that are forming the ripples on the dune, and 2. the gazillion* flies that are driving me nuts.
*Gazillion must be a real word (news to me). The computer’s spell checker thinks it’s OK.
Electrical storms are good for photographs..either before, during or after the event.
There’s a certain blue colour that not seen at other times that has been caught in this picture.
The colour is quite pronounced. It’s usually seen in the afternoon on a stinking hot day when the storm clouds are building and there’s a bit of crackle and fizz in the air.
In these conditions, there will often be only a few drops of rain on a land that desperately needs it. Every living thing is in search of water. Birds gather at the bore tanks. Kangaroos, emus,sheep and cattle hang around the water troughs as another scorching sun sinks into the west.
Virga, the meteorological term for rain that doesn’t reach the ground, at least produces a rainbow to mark the occasion.
Early morning shoots seem to be the only way to combat the extended period of daily temperatures in the mid 40s we have been having here recently.
There’s no respite in sight but on the positive side, there’s always plenty of good light and vivid colours during the hot summer months in the Flinders Ranges.
One of the things we have been working on in my recent workshops is composition for photographers and the so called Sinister Diagonal has been part of that.
I am a firm believer the Rule of Thirds has just about wiped out the more classical design tools that are available to photographers and the Sinister Diagonal is one of them.
The Sinister Diagonal runs from the lower right corner of the frame to the top left corner, easily illustrated by the above photo.
It can make for powerful images and is something that should be kept in mind for almost any type of photography.
A very simple explanation of this diagonal might be that because we read from left to right it will reinforce the idea of the downhill slope.
If you can visualise the picture in reverse it would be seen as an uphill slope and that is called the Baroque Diagonal.
More on that later.
It should not be forgotten though that without the light this picture, it would be most uninteresting.
The golden hour is usually referred to as half an hour before the sun rises, and another half hour after.
This image was taken a few minutes before sunrise. It was very hot and once the sun was over the Flinders Ranges in the background, the softer colours disappeared along with the moon.
There are still two vacancies available for the the three day workshop in the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary, northern Flinders Ranges starting April 26.
Participants at any level will get a lot out of this three day event and there’s still plenty of time to plan your trip to Arkaroola.
It promises to be a relaxed and inspirational time.
There will be prior information supplied that will enable all to be at the right level for the start of the workshop.
Check out the side bar for all the information or contact me by email at [email protected]
The heat has been pretty fierce around here the last few weeks. You expect that in summer. There’s been big bushfire further South with loss of homes and other property.
Smoke from those fires has been heavy over the Flinders Ranges resulting in this runrise. Blood red, crimson – the intense colour quite striking, the smoke so thick that it has even filtered out the sun’s so some detail was evident in the foreground.
Thirty six hours later welcome relief from the heat, a thunderstorm brewing but sadly no rain. A sky so devoid of colour that a black and white image was the best way to capture a dramatic sky. Summer – a time of great contrasts.
They say shooting landscapes in the heat of the day is not a good idea. However this road caught my eye for two reasons. 1 , a simple and interesting composition and 2, it illustrates summer in the country.
It was well over 40C when I took this shot. I think the glare of the road and the sun dried fields illustrate summer pretty well.
A different aspect to the previous photo of the Research Centre and new Adelaide Hospital complex. When I go to Adelaide next I might try this angle again using a tripod, slower ISO, different aperture and faster shutter speed.
However that wasn’t the intension when I took this picture. The Fuji X 100s again proved its ability as a very mobile camera able to create amazing pictures in low light.
I did not realise when I took the previous picture that there was still a lot of construction work to be done at the Centre. Even more on the hospital site in the background.
I would rather be concentrating my efforts on this website which has been going for more than three and a half year. I’ve had a few distractions with Facebook in recent times and have decided to let the Sentimental Bloke site be the sole outlet for my pictures on the web.
Facebook friends can go to the Sentimental Bloke site www.thesentimentalbloke.com where they can subscribe and still get all my up-coming pictures of the FlInders Ranges and Outback via email.