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



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


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


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.

Arkaroola 2015

October 18, 2014 at 6:00 pm

©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.


October 11, 2014 at 6:15 pm

Old Door


October 9, 2014 at 3:10 pm



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.


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


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.





September 19, 2014 at 6:15 pm


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.

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


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.



The Oratunga

August 29, 2014 at 6:00 pm
940 size

©Copyright 2014 Peter MacDonald Photography. All Rights Reserved.

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.

Running Water

August 26, 2014 at 6:00 pm

Oratunga Ridge

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 bend in the Creek

August 23, 2014 at 6:00 pm
Light on Creek bank

Fuji X-Pro camera, 35mm prime lens, f11, 1/15 sec ISO 200. ©Copyright Peter MacDonald Photography. All Rights Reserved.

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

Photo Workshop – Arkaroola April 2015

August 20, 2014 at 1:06 pm



A photo taken on one of the previous workshops along Arkaroola’s spectacular Ridgetop track. A day’s shooting along this track will be one of the highlights of the April 2015 event.

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]

Worth the Wait

August 14, 2014 at 3:42 pm
View from Moolooloo 2

Fuji X-T1, 55-200mm lens fully extended f 16, 1/15 sec ISO 400. ©Copyright 2014 Peter MacDonald Photography. All Rights Reserved.

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.