You need to put in a lot of effort to get really spectacular images but this shot required more effort than usual! December is not the best time of year to visit Kakadu, the days are hot and humid, roads and walks begin to close and the wildlife starts to present a greater danger than usual. This didn’t stop me from using the leave pass my wife gave me for my birthday to get out to Kakadu for three days. After a lot of research I knew where I wanted to go and while I had it all planned out I don’t think one aspect of the trip went according to that plan 🙂 With my plans all stuffed up I decided to head out to one of the places not on my original plan. After confirming with the rangers that Motor Car Falls was open and getting a recommendation from a tour boat driver I decided to head out there on Thursday morning.
Plan was to get there in time to make the walk in before the heat set in but as soon as I stepped out of the car I realised that I was already too late for that! While prepping my gear for the 7km trek I discovered another problem that was to plague me the whole day – flies… These flies bite and only about 50% of them were put off by insect repellant (Bushman’s – the stuff that has 40% DEET in it…) Heat + humidity + flies + heavy camera gear do not make Rob a happy photographer (and sweat mixed with Bushmans tastes bad when it runs into your mouth 🙁 ) but as soon as I started to hear the falls I knew it would be good.
I scrambled up to a rock that I knew would be a good vantage point, set up my gear and got to work. The light was rapidly changing as the sun went in and out of the clouds, constantly changing the light. I used a 10-stop ‘Big-stopper’ Neutral Density filter to increase my exposures and get the silky smooth look to the gushing falls. After the long hike it was cool and calm by the falls, I was considering a quick swim but I didn’t have too – the rain moved in after I had been there for 30 minutes or so and quickly cooled me off!
After 2 hours by the falls watching the light change and trying a few different compositions it was time to start the hike back. The return hike was the opposite of the hike in, instead of hot and humid it was cold and pouring with rain! I eventually got back to the car cold, dripping wet and exhausted but I haven’t seen an image of these falls quite like this one so I will limit production of this image to 50 prints only.