A Sense of Space

July 11, 2014 at 6:00 pm
Birdsville Track

©Copyright Peter MacDonald Photography. All Rights Reserved

The Birdsville Track gives a sense of never-ending space as it passes Dulkaninna Station homestead.

The Photograph was taken while shooting an article on the Bell family for the “Best of Outback Stations” publication back in April.

The Bell’s can trace their heritage back to the first European establishment of pastoral properties on the Birdsville Track in the 1890s.

Best of Outback Stations, featuring an in-depth look at life on 11 pastoral properties  is now out at newsagents around the country.

Regarding the query on the technical details of the photo in the earlier post entitled Outback Station, the answer is in the comments section of that post.





Still Life

July 8, 2014 at 6:00 pm


House-bound on a wild and woolly winter’s day is no excuse for not taking a photo.

Light coming from a window can often be the best for shooting indoors, whether it be a person or object like a couple of old cogs collected from some discard machinery.

The flu of a slow combustion stove was the other prop.

Photoshop finished off the work  to remove  indistinct details of the background.



Light Falling on Leaves

July 4, 2014 at 6:00 pm

Gum Leaves

It’s all about the light really….here falling selectively on a few common gum leaves

Water Reeds

Similarly a flower from an unidentified water reed selectively lit by dappled light  along a tree-lined creek in the Flinders Ranges.

Summer Storm

July 1, 2014 at 6:00 pm
Summer Storm

©Copyright 2014 Peter MacDonald Photography. All Rights Reserved.

Over a number of years from time to time, I have passed this lonely skeleton standing in a tree-less plain and thought it needed a dust devil to complete the picture.

Dust devils are quite common here but none came close anytime when I was there ..until by chance the God of summer storms smiled on me.

Outback Station

June 28, 2014 at 6:00 pm

Outback Station

Pre-dawn,  the calm before the start of another  busy day on Commonwealth Hill sheep station, Great Victoria Desert, far western South Australia.

Organic Portraits

June 25, 2014 at 6:00 pm

Photo details f2.8 one fifth of a second, ISO 6400. ©Copyright Peter MacDonald Photography. All Rights Reserved.

I don’t know why the term organic…maybe they grow on trees.

It’s a simple process for portraits that’s been around for a hundred years or more….putting the subject in their environment.

Harry Hookey is quite at home with his guitar in front of a microphone.

He’s one of the up and coming stars of Australian music and on a tour round the country with his his two brothers, Sam and Jack

An impromptu concert in front of a few lucky guests at the Prairie Hotel in Parachilna and a good example of the Fuji X100s cxamera working in really low light.

Harry’s pretty laid back and flash would have killed the atmosphere.

The slight blur from the low shutter speed, using black and white instead of colour and the grain of a very high ISO caught Harry at play.




Micro or Macro

June 22, 2014 at 12:55 pm

©Copyright Peter MacDonald Photography. All Rights Reserved

Because I took the photograph it is pretty clear to me what it is.
As far as abstracts go its far from the more unusual but surprisingly, there are a lot of interpretations about what it is from people who see the photo for the first time.

November Workshop – Arkaroola

June 14, 2014 at 3:39 pm

E Mt Painter 2


The last scheduled three day photographic workshop of the year at Arkaroola will be November 1, 2 and 3.

I have picked early November for several reasons; the busy season will be over and it is far enough advanced for people to be able to plan a trip around the dates….accommodation easier to get, temperatures should still be moderate and photography should be at its best.

This workshop is limited to 5 photographers so I can be spend time with each photographer  individually.

Flinders Ranges

Like the last very successful workshop in May,  participants  can expect to develop their photography and the way they see, have clear understanding of composition and how to use different factors to make stronger and more interesting photographs.

Participants will have also immediately improved results.

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.

All the details about my photographic workshops and the 3-day Arkaroola workshop  can be found  over on the right-hand column of this page.

For further information my email address is [email protected]



Golden Minutes

June 11, 2014 at 5:15 pm
E Mt Painter

©Copyright Peter MacDonald Photography 2014. All Rights Reserved

Photographers talk generally about the Golden Hour – that hour around  dawn or dusk when photography is at its best.

In this case it could be filtered down to just a few minutes after the sun has risen.

East Mt. Painter Gorge, in the Flinders Ranges, taken in those few precious minutes at a time when this was part of plans for a uranium mine.

The picture was part of a panorama which shows the whole majestic area. Unfortunately panoramas lose a lot of their impact on internet posts like this.

Last Job of the Day

June 1, 2014 at 6:00 pm
Sharpening the Comb

Fuji X-T1 camera with 50mm prime lens. f4, 1/800 sec. ISO 1600 Peter MacDonald Photography – All Rights Reserved

I  had the good fortune recently to shoot an extended article on Commonwealth Hill station for the R. M. Williams publication “Best of Outback Stations”.
Commonwealth Hill is a vast 10,000 square kilometre sheep station in  South Australia, north of Tarcoola.
It is in the Woomera rocket testing zone.
While I was there they were shearing 25,000 sheep.
This is a portrait of one of the shearers sharpening the combs of his shears at the end of a long day in the shed.
Best of Outback Stations will be out in early July and you can read the full story there.



Red Hat

May 28, 2014 at 9:17 am


Red Hat-Arkaroola

It is not often I get the chance to include people in a landscape, so I take the opportunity when it arises.

The touch of red from the artist’s hat is a nice splash of colour amongst the stark rockface and the reflections in the waterhole.

It’s been a hectic three months and it is not over yet.

I was back at Arkaroola shooting aerials after the successful workshop there a few weeks ago.

Because the window for that was so small, there was plenty of time to revisit one of my favourite places there…..Nooldoonooldoona waterhole

One from the Archives

May 13, 2014 at 12:33 pm



A trip up the Birdsville Track a few weeks ago prompted me to look through some photos I took on Clayton station back in 2011.

The contrast between the weathered horseman and the young girl was striking.

It was part of an event to give city kids and their families a taste of the Outback.

Reflections on Screen Calibration

May 7, 2014 at 5:41 pm

Nooldy waterhole

Light is important for make a good photography but sometimes a little is just enough.

In this case the light was reflected off the steep rock faces of Nooldoonooldoona Waterhole at Arkaroola

It was taken during my last workshop there and while things were declining into deerp shadows there was just enough light for making a picture with oodles of mood.

Arkaroola Workshop 1a

Occasionally you can stuff up a good image and in the last post I did just that.

It illustrates the importance of calibrating your computer screen if you are working on photographs. particularly if they are being printed.

The unit that I have used for years to calibrate my screen finally died. I wasn’t aware of the malfunction so the image went out a lot darker than I would have wanted.

It probably appeared that way on your screen.  Most screens are not calibrated so what I see on my screen probably is not the same as appears on yours. Generally its OK, but not all the time.

Most people don’t need their screens calibrated unless exact colour is important.


April 30, 2014 at 5:39 pm
Arkaroola Workshop

Fuji X-Pro 1, 35mm prime lens. f8, 1/125 sec, ISO 800. Jpeg shot in Astia film mode
©Copyright Peter MacDonald Photography. All Rights Reserved.

A successful three day workshop completed at Arkaroola in South Australia’s Flinders Ranges.

Some problems solved, good company, plenty of discussion and for the participants their first time to the wilderness sanctuary.

Despite overcast weather there were still the opportunity for photographing in several locations.

With lots to work through about composition and  post production the three days seemed to fly.

The last day though was perfect, a chance for everyone to work in spectacular scenery in ideal autumn weather.

I am already planning the next one.

A Couple of Characters

April 24, 2014 at 10:14 pm

Fuji X-Pro1 with 55-200 zoom f13, 1/340 sec, ISO 400.
©Copyright Peter MacDonald Photography. All Rights Reserved.

Cockatoos  noisily posing  in the afternoon sun


Peak Hour

April 14, 2014 at 6:27 pm



Peak Hour

Caught in city traffic. The Fuji X100s working in low light conditions in the black and white option. F5.6, 1/40th sec. ISO 800
©Copyright Peter MacDonald Photography. All right reserved







April 8, 2014 at 4:00 pm
Tom Kruze Truck

Arguably the major landmark in Marree, South Australia – the trruck driven by the late Tom Kruze, the famous Birdsville Track mailman.
©Copyright 2014 Peter MacDonald Photography. All Rights Reserved

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.

Interior Kruze Truck

©Copyright 2014 Peter MacDonald Photography. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Scobie Truck 1

©Copyright 2014 Peter MacDonald Photography. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Scobie Truck 2

©Copyright 2014 Peter MacDonald Photography. All Rights Reserved.

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.

Time Flies

March 26, 2014 at 6:14 pm
Lake Eyre sunset

©Copyright 2014 Peter MacDonald Photography. All rights reserved.

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.



March 23, 2014 at 6:00 pm



Gum Tree

©Copyright 2014 Peter MacDonald Photography. All rights reserved.

Fun shooting into the sun. Always a challenge to avoid glare.


March 19, 2014 at 6:00 pm
FlInders Rock

©Copyright 2014 Peter MacDonald Photography. All rights reserved.

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.