Tag Archives: territory

Stunning Sunset At Nightcliff, Darwin

When you get stunning colours for a Top End sunset it can last for only a few short minutes. You need to be in the right place, at the right time and a little lucky to catch it! I was set up in this spot all ready and still only got off a few frames before the light disappearred. That’s all you need though.

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Nightcliff, Darwin NT. Limited Edition Print. 2016-0256-Edit

Nightcliff, Darwin NT. Limited Edition Print. 2016-0256-Edit

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Australia Day At Nightcliff

I was expecting large crowds at Nightcliff for Australia day, it’s pretty busy on a normal weekend let alone a public holiday! After about 30 minutes walking around out there I realised why there wasn’t much of a crowd, even with an overcast sky the humidity was very very high and the clouds were keeping the heat in! I’ve never had problems with my lenses fogging before but for this shoot I was wiping them down every 5 minutes.

I persisted because the tide was very high and was crashing into rocks that don’t usually see water so I could get some unique compositions. I shot this particular spot a number of times to get it in different light. I took about 200 frames to see how the water changed each time, it was tough to pick which one to use but this one stood out because of the way the sunset is reflected in the wet sand for just a moment as the water moves back out. I also like the curve of the water at the bottom right corner of the image as well, it frames it really nicely!

Nightcliff, Darwin NT. 2016-0233-Edit

Nightcliff, Darwin NT. 2016-0233-Edit

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Kakadu Wrap Up

It’s been a couple of months now since I got back from Kakadu National Park and now that I’m back to the grind at work it means that I have precious little time to post up images individually so here is a wrap up of all of the images that have made it into my portfolio. I had spent a few months planning this trip by researching tourist sites and looking through other photographers work for inspiration. The biggest thing you need to factor into a Kakadu trip is the weather, you can generally categorise NT seasons into the ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ seasons. I wanted to get to the park in the wet season when there is a lot more water in the billabongs and waterfalls. The problem is though, the rain starts to close roads and tracks that you need to go down to get to the places that are best seen in the wet.

So I headed out of Darwin with a plan of what I would hit and when, first up was Ubirr Rock but needless to say that after visiting there nothing went to plan!

Ubirr Region, Kakadu NP. 2015-2232

Ubirr Region, Kakadu NP. 2015-2232

After checking into my accommodation I drove out to Ubirr, as this area is only open in the afternoons during the wet season. With the threat of rain there were few other people there so I pretty much had the whole place to myself! At Ubirr there is a walking track that takes you past Aboriginal rock art paintings that are tens of thousands of years old. I spent a fair bit of time photographing them from various perspectives. The overcast light was perfect for getting the details in the art out. I spent the whole time considering that for all the progression in technology, art is still fundamentally the same. To stand in the same spot where another artist like me had spent many thousands of hours was truely remarkable.

Ubirr Region, Kakadu NP. 2015-2245

Ubirr Region, Kakadu NP. 2015-2245

It’s hard to show the scale and the detail of the art on screen. This panel is quite high up and probably 15 meters wide, it is full of drawings and even includes some areas that look like they were painted over at some time. You really need a large print to appreciate this scene, the above panorama will easily print out 50 inches wide.

Ubirr Region, Kakadu NP. 2015-2254

Ubirr Region, Kakadu NP. 2015-2254

Here is a close up of a section of the above wall. A lot of the art documents the lifestyle of the Aboriginal people from thousands of years ago, there is drawings of the food they ate, how they hunted and also moral stories.

Ubirr Region, Kakadu NP. 2015-2261

Ubirr Region, Kakadu NP. 2015-2261

After finishing up with the rock art I climbed up to the top of Ubirr rock. You can find many images taken by photographers and tourists alike of the sunset at the top of Ubirr but I didn’t travel all that way to simply re-create the image that everyone else gets so I looked for something different. The image above provides a unique perspective of the trees in the area, the leaves are finally getting some water and have gone a nice green and because I could photograph it from the top of the rock you don’t see any sky in the background.

Ubirr Region, Kakadu NP. 2015-2266-Edit

Ubirr Region, Kakadu NP. 2015-2266-Edit

At the top of Ubirr there is a really dynamic looking rock, after roaming around to find a foreground object I found this large tuft of grass growing in the cracks of the rocks. By using focus stacking I was able to get high sharpness right from the foreground to the background of this image. Unfortunately the rangers ushered me out of the park right on sunset so they could close up, I wasn’t too upset as I knew I had gotten some great shots already.

It was during this shoot that I realised that I had left one of my batteries and the charger back at home!!! This meant that the next day I would have to drive 300km back to Darwin to pick it up then drive back out again. I wouldn’t be able to go to at least one of the spots on my list but my wonderful wife agreed to bring the battery and charger half way and save me a bunch of time. Isn’t she a keeper?

Kakadu National Park, NT. 2015-2309

Kakadu National Park, NT. 2015-2309

With recent rain in the area some of the best shots I got were from the side of the road. With a little time up my sleeve before meeting my wife I stopped in a few spots to shoot the grass and trees in the water – a favourite subject of mine.

After picking up my battery charger and once again being indebted to my wife for my own stupidity I did a little exploring that was mostly fruitless while I waited for my sunset cruise on Yellow Waters.

As I’ve already mentioned on this blog I got a private cruise! When no other tourists turned up in the meeting area I was kind of worried that they would cancel the tour, but when my guide showed up he was lugging a long-lensed Nikon, as soon as he saw my camera gear out and ready he was more than happy to go. Turns out he studied photography but now works in tourism, over the next two hours I got a private tour and he was more than happy to go certain places and stop so that I could get shots that I wanted.

Yellow Water Billabong, Kakadu NP. 2015-2363

Yellow Water Billabong, Kakadu NP. 2015-2363

Yellow Water Billabong, Kakadu NP. 2015-2394

Yellow Water Billabong, Kakadu NP. 2015-2394

Yellow Water Billabong, Kakadu NP. 2015-2400

Yellow Water Billabong, Kakadu NP. 2015-2400

Yellow Water Billabong, Kakadu NP. 2015-2413-Edit

Yellow Water Billabong, Kakadu NP. 2015-2413-Edit

Yellow Water Billabong, Kakadu NP. 2015-2415

Yellow Water Billabong, Kakadu NP. 2015-2415

Yellow Water Billabong, Kakadu NP. 2015-2434

Yellow Water Billabong, Kakadu NP. 2015-2434

Yellow Water Billabong, Kakadu NP. 2015-2515

Yellow Water Billabong, Kakadu NP. 2015-2515

There’s nothing better than being able to get into the right place with the right light. I don’t think I would have gotten the same results if I had been on a ‘regular’ cruise. I asked my guide for suggestions as to what to shoot the next morning and he pointed me in the direction of Motor Car Falls. It was going to be a bit of a walk but I decided to go for it and hope the effort would be worth it. I’ve already written about that ‘little walk’ here but here are the images I got from the falls for the sake of completeness.

Motor Car Falls, Kakadu NP. Limited Edition Print. 2015-2547-Edit

Motor Car Falls, Kakadu NP. Limited Edition Print. 2015-2547-Edit

Motor Car Falls, Kakadu NP. Limited Edition Print. 2015-2555-Edit

Motor Car Falls, Kakadu NP. Limited Edition Print. 2015-2555-Edit

Last but not least one more of the flooding on the side of the road. There were areas with a lot more water but it was these kind of images that I was aiming for so I didn’t stop for the really flooded bits! (Plus, you know crocs and stuff!)

Kakadu National Park, NT. 2015-2525-Edit

Kakadu National Park, NT. 2015-2525-Edit

Well that ticks another item off the bucket list and a main reason for moving to the NT. I’ll be back but with the family in tow so that we can share the experience, that’ll mean a bit less time for photography but I’m content with what I have for now (but I still need to go to the Gunlom infinity pool).

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Ubirr Rock Art

I was truly impressed by the rock art at Kakadu, a record of life thousands of years ago. While I was standing there admiring the art, I could imaging people like me spending hours and hours carefully crafting their own vision of the world, just as I try to do.

Ubirr Rock Art, Kakadu National Park. NT Australia. 2015-2254

Ubirr Rock Art, Kakadu National Park. NT Australia. 2015-2254

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Sunset Over Darwin Harbour From East Point

It’s been hot and we haven’t had any rain to help temper the humidity of the wet season so by the time I got to this location I was soaked in sweat! Before I arrived at this location I had been in an area shielded from the breeze but as soon as I stepped out of the car here I was met by the cool breeze coming off the water and the promise of a beautiful sunset. This part of East Point can be difficult to photograph, it’s a great place to watch the sunset but it can be difficult to find foreground-background compositions that I like to use. Luckily, I have been here before so I used some tried and true compositions as well as experimenting with some new ideas as the light faded away for the day.

East Point Reserve, Darwin NT. Australia. 2016-0068-Edit

East Point Reserve, Darwin NT. Australia. 2016-0068-Edit

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Tree Overhanging Yellow River – Kakadu National Park

I booked a sunset cruise on the Yellow River as part of my trip to Kakadu. The good thing about being in the park on a weekday during the off-season? You get the boat to yourself! It also turned out that the tour guide is also a photographer so he was more than happy to move into places that got the best shot. Two hours just flew by, we had some interesting light, great scenery and diverse animals. Here is a shot I really like of the way that the trees interact with the water, there was so much to shoot – there will be more to come!

Yellow River, Kakadu National Park. NT Australia. 2015-2434

Yellow River, Kakadu National Park. NT Australia. 2015-2434

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Ubirr, Kakadu National Park

The visitors guide suggests that Ubirr is a great place to watch the sunset and they aren’t wrong – as long as the clouds don’t move in at the wrong time! What I waited for the sun to set I spent time photographing the rock art in this area and looking for interesting landscape compositions. This area really came alive about an hour before sunset when the sun poked its way through the clouds to cast a soft, warm light over the area. I took some shots of this very dynamic rock with equally dynamic light upon it and I’m very happy with the outcome.

Ubirr, Kakadu National Park. NT Australia. 2015-2266-Edit

Ubirr, Kakadu National Park. NT Australia. 2015-2266-Edit

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Patterns In The Sand

I got a pretty good response from my last image on social media so I’ll post a shot taken with the same concept in mind but at a totally different angle! Here is one of the more repetitive patterns along Casurina Beach in Darwin.

Casurina Beach, Darwin. NT Australia. 2015-1984-Edit

Casurina Beach, Darwin. NT Australia. 2015-1984-Edit

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Casurina Beach Outflow

I’m taking my time with the images that I took last weekend. Normally I am in a rush to process them as quickly as possible but this week I’ve done a few edits then left them sit for a while before posting them up to the web site. Come back to the image  a few days later and make a few more adjustment – and repeat a few more times. There comes a time to stop that though, so here is one image that I knew would be stunning when I took it. I’d been exploring the patterns that the water makes in the sand all afternoon, firstly from afar and then up close. After the sun had set and during the last red glow of the day I hurriedly too a series of shots to make a panorama. I had to work fast because the light was disappearing quickly and the image stitch would not work if I spend too long. I was very lucky not to make a mistake after a busy day but all of the images turned out perfect for image stitching and the camera captured the reflections in the water and sand perfectly.

Casurina Beach, Darwin NT Australia. 2015-1993-Edit

Casurina Beach, Darwin NT Australia. 2015-1993-Edit

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Afternoon Glow on The Cliff

I really love the way the cliffs here glow in the last minutes of the day. It took a bit of physical risk to get this shot, I very carefully crept out out on the jagged sharp rocks – right up to the waters edge (croc territory) so that I could look back towards the cliff. The tide was coming in so I could only get a few shots in before the water surrounded me and I was getting my feet wet! Getting back to the beach was even more work now that the rocks were slippery!

Vestey's Beach, Darwin. NT, Australia. 2015-1888-Edit

Vestey’s Beach, Darwin. NT, Australia. 2015-1888-Edit

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