Blinded by the beauty of Karijini!

Recently, Marianne and I returned from our first trip away without the kids to Karijini National Park. We figured that there would be safety issues as well as logistic issues if we had attempted to accommodate a 1 and 3 year old on this trip. Fortunately our grandparents (to whom we are exceedingly grateful) offered to look after Charlie and Jaime. Marianne went into this trip blind largely by intention. We figured that if one of us had a self imposed social media ban, it may help with unbiased creative decisions. I went into this trip blinded white by the sheer volume of information that many kind photographers had offered regarding the planning of this trip. Special mention goes to Sheldon Pettit who gave us a very detailed rundown of what to expect at each location and to Tom Putt who we met while he was running a workshop during the same week! Even as we began our descent into Paraburdoo airport and caught a glimpse of the incredible landscapes from above, we realised that no guide or single image can really match the experience of being in the Pilbara region for the first time.  We had several agendas for this trip. First, we had planned as it as a photographic trip primarily though in the end we had ample down time to relax even while on location! Secondly, there was a possibility that we might be writing a magazine article as a result of this trip hence the need for some travel oriented shots rather than fine-art. Lastly, Marianne and I had separate personal agendas for shooting. Marianne was essentially calling it as it was ; seeing shots and taking them no matter where we were. I had seen many of the ‘money’ shots from the area and wanted to give a fresh perspective on them. These are some of the tips that we hope will help you technically in Karijini.

Marianne standing in awe as we entered the park for the first time at dusk.

Marianne standing in awe as we entered the park for the first time at dusk.

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Aligning the stars

Last weekend I managed to take the 150km drive out to Lake Bumbunga with a view to astro photography given that the forecast was for clear skies. Before going out for a milky way shoot, I check to see what kind of conditions I can expect with respect to :

1. Cloud cover and temperature : If there is plenty of cloud cover around I will usually head out later in hope that a good dawn might eventuate . Any of the sites for forecasts will be sufficient. I usually go with

2. Moonrise /Moonset /Sunrise: It’s always useful to know approximately what time twilight will start when doing astro photography since particularly around the March and September solstice periods interesting zodiac light can light up the milky way from beneath the horizon. If I’m planning for a clear milky way I’ll aim for when the moon is absent. If I’m planning to shoot interesting landscapes with stars as a feature, I’ll try to coincide the shoot with the rising or setting moon. Many apps can be helpful in this regard including the photographer’s ephemeris ( , or photopills ( Read the rest of this entry

Dedication to a distractible direction

Recently, Marianne and I have contemplated getting more involved with landscape photography in terms of making it part of our ‘working’ lives instead of being purely recreational. Part of this process involved a review of what we would offer to paying clients and customers if we were to make that leap. In keeping with this, we asked ourselves what makes anything about ‘everlook photography’ any different to the cascades of quality photographers online these days. It was a hard question to answer and one which has prompted critical self review. It is hard not to be influenced by the growing influence of social media, popularity races (aka 500px) and conversely, a group of reactionary dissenters who have taken the polar opposite stance to popularity.

The first set of review questions relates to our portfolio of images. By portfolio, I mean what we choose to display on our primary website ( as opposed to social media platforms.

  • Is our portfolio a group of images already well shot by other photographers and does this matter? On review it feels that there’s a diversity of images which are of locations frequently shot and those from which few images have been taken. Given a choice and the freedom of travel, we would dearly love to find our way to locations that are unique and from which we have to create rather than emulate. What we have chosen instead is to travel predominantly with family which leaves us the option of attempting to create from locations which have already been extensively photographed. Marianne is the one who does not engage in photographic social media and I believe is therefore more likely to create original images uninfluenced by the flux of images already on view.

Marianne’s unbiased presentation of the three sisters at Tongaporutu

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