From the small and insignificant branches of the previous image to the big picture where water channels are making their own distinctive marks on the desert floor.
Having spent quite a bit of time exploring what to many is a featureless land in the far north of South Australia I have been regularly amazed by the diversity of features that can be found by flying over the top.
This has been amply illustrated in previous posts where the colours and patterns of the Great Victoria Desert have provided a natural and beautiful art form.
This photograph was taken a number of kilometres (somewhere between 30 and 50) from the western shores of Lake Eyre from about 300 metres high.
Just one of millions of wonderful patterns that make up South Australians vast living deserts.
To all the people who follow the “Sentimental Bloke” from time to time, a peaceful and happy Christmas.
And wherever you are in Australia or the 50 other countries around the world, all the very best for the coming New Year.
Somewhere over the Great Victoria Desert at about 2,500 feet (760 metres)
Canon 5D camera, Canon 24-70 f2.8L lens shot at f7.1, 1/1000th sec ISO 200
Another in the aerial series taken as the sun sank lower on the Great Victoria Desert.
Shot at 2,500 feet above sea level, f8 @ 500th sec, ISO 200
It has been suggested that this is an artists impression of a South Australian Leafy Sea Dragon.
Having never seen one I can’t vouch for that.
It’s the surface of the Great Victoria Desert somewhere south of William Creek on the Oodnadatta Track taken from 2,500 feet (760 metres) up.
I can only admire the very good aboriginal artists who are able visualise and paint their land from on high with such accuracy.
Taken with the usual Canon 5D Mk II, f10 at 400th of a second. ISO 200. Focal length 70mm. Shot vertically without glass or perspects in the way
Morning Sun – Lake Eyre
Taking photographs from the air requires using a few different techniques.
To avoid the vibration of the aircraft it is best to shoot at 500th of a second shutter speed or higher.
It’s one of the few time I would use Shutter Priority over Aperture Priority.
This means the f stop reading can be quite low, sometimes 5.6 or lower.
This doesn’t detract from crisp images though.
I found that setting the lens to manual focus, a little below infinite, was an advantage too.
Auto Focus can struggle right at a critical time, particularly when the aircraft is turning and the light source rapidly changing.
Alway use a lens hood.
Shooting through the aircraft windows is a waste of time – too many refections to spoil the image.
I found, particularly over Lake Eyre, that getting the pilot to orbit so I was on the high side of the aircraft, gave far better control for shooting. I was able to see what was coming up and prepare the shot.
Working on the side turning into the orbit decreased the time available to line up and shoot and increased the danger of putting the wing or the under-carriage into the shot.
This image, Canon 24-70mm f2.8L lens shot at f13 @ 1/1000 sec, ISO 200, -0.33 exposure compensation, focal length 30mm