Silhouettes are cool

I like them. I think they make powerful photos. I think they make good photos out of a possibly boring photo. I think they’re simple and easy and fun and a great alternative if you forget your tripod. D’oh!

These are the statue things (what are they? Sculptures?) in South Perth near the jetty from my last post. They’re photographed frequently and it’s easy to see why. Wish they didn’t put the bins in front of them though…


That Boatshed

Yeah, again… it’s that boatshed. You know, the one in Crawley… if you haven’t seen pictures of it you’re obviously not from Perth, Western Australia. Because it’s possibly the most photographed icon in our city.

The great thing about this spot is it faces South and therefore can show colour from sunrise and/or sunset should there be sufficient cloud/glow factor.

These pictures were taken at sunset.

PS. I find the angles where only one window shows water and the other is dark a bit creepy. Anyone else..?



Places to Photograph sunrises in Perth, WA


I’m at day 6 of a photography challenge, “One week of Sunrise Photography” and have been having a lot of fun. I work in the Perth City area and at this time of year with the sun rising at 7am, there’s plenty of time to get up (5.30am starts), get ready, set up and get to work all before 7.30am.

Perth has plenty of options to shoot Sunrises; obviously this week I needed locations that would allow me to make it into the City in reasonable time without encountering traffic so I was staying local. Don’t forget to check out the coastline – even though it faces the wrong way, you can turn and shoot back towards the land – Indiana Tea House in Cottesloe can be a great spot and Freo’s inner city buildings provide cool shots too.

Monday: EAST PERTH. Claisebrook cove can show some great colour with the right amount of cloud. This particular morning had far too much and there was no colour. A long exposure worked though. IMG_8992 IMG_8994 IMG_8998 Tuesday: APPLECROSS JETTY. This is called “applecross jetty” on the map, but people often call it the Como Jetty. From Canning Highway heading towards Fremantle, turn right onto Ardross Street and follow all the way to the end until you hit the jetty. There’s parking opposite. Ahem… i don’t have any actual photos OF the jetty because there were people on it, but you can see the city from this view and it’s very pretty. Love the tree planted at the start of the jetty too. IMG_9010 IMG_9014 While we’re still talking Applecross…don’t forget my favourite little jetty! Probably only about 20m long, it is super sweet and has seen some amazing sunrises. From Canning Hwy heading towards Freo, turn left onto The Esplanade and follow it down – the Jetty is between Helm and Rookwood Streets (closer to Rookwood). jetty hdr sunrise jetty And also, still in Applecross (sorry!).. if you follow the esplanade along (heading away from Canning Hwy), you will hit the new Jetty on the corner right before Deep Water Point Cafe. You can see the city from this spot and it can be quite pretty on the right morning.. IMG_6421 Wednesday: OLD SWAN BREWERY. This particular view point can provide stunning views of the sunrise… on this particular morning there was very little cloud and no colour showed up, but this is the view.. (there’s parking just before the old swan brewery). IMG_9031 Thursday: SOUTH PERTH. One of the better ones for sunrise because it has so many options. you can shoot from beneath the Narrows Bridge, directly at the city or from the Jetty.. IMG_9026 IMG_9016 IMG_9027_1

And from a different morning:


Friday: CRAWLEY.. another favourite spot. Guys, it’s best to head here on a still morning… the floating platform jetties (there are 2) are best on flat water, plus you can get a nice long exposure of the boats moored there without having to worry too much about movement in the picture. IMG_9067 IMG_9070

Other, flatter mornings (you can see how much better it is haha)






Remember, the earlier you shoot the better the city lights will look. Once the sun starts rising the lights disappear and you really depend on that colour in the sky. I like to arrive early and get some light shots and then stick around to see if the sky lights up or not. Plenty of times it doesnt, but at least you have something to work with when you get home.

Another good location that I didn’t shoot a sunrise at this week is the obvious Crawley Boathouse… every photographer has been here once or twice or two thousand times. It’s a bit of an addictive spot really. I think it’s better for sunset but have had some good mornings here too:




Hopefully i’ve given you a couple of new places to try… happy shooting!

Denmark, Western Australia


Ah, Denmark.

These photos were taken a long time ago (November 2014) and were part of the Esperance trip…shhh, let’s pretend they’re new and exciting!

Sometimes blogging is hard, ok?

Elephant Cove, Denmark. 

Possibly the coolest spot ever on the Southern Coast? (OK, definitely up there though!). These were taken on a nice still (and chilly) morning.


With the help of the LEE Big Stopper, nice cool calm waters.


And then over to the other side for a sunset visit at Greens Pool, Denmark




Perth Landscape – Kalamunda


Every Landscape Photographer plays this game. For me, it begins in the morning when I get up and exit the house – what do the clouds look like? The game gets serious around early afternoon – are there still clouds? What direction are they in? How thick are they on the horizon? Will the light get through? Are they moving quickly? How windy is it? I guarantee you these are questions photographers entertain throughout the day until around the 6.30pm mark when a decision must be made. To go, or not to go. For me, this is usually a peak out the front door to check the sky. Sometimes, just by looking at the cloud formations you can pick when they will go pink just by what kinds of clouds they are. Other times the sky can be a complete surprise.

This was one of those nights. I assessed the sky and thought “mmmm… plenty of cloud. Possibly too thick for any colour to get through”. I decided to bite the bullet and go anyway. Living in Huntingdale, I have limited choices close to me so the options are varied. I chose to go to Kalamunda and scope the zig zag – haven’t had fantastic success up there and the city always comes out looking tiny but it’s a beautiful spot out in the bush and if the sunset is a bust at least it’s a beautiful setting.


It started slowly. Minimal colour and limited spread to the surrounding clouds – the clouds were thick on the horizon which is usually not a very good sign. The light gets trapped beneath them and doesn’t show any colour. About 10 minutes after the sun had disappeared, the sky began to light up and eventually blazed in a show of orange, pink and red. It was lit for a good 40 minutes after the sun had gone for the night.





Down South Western Australia – Esperance

Belonging to a family of more than one hobbyist photographer, it was only so long before a trip was planned that would be “photography only”. Cait [check out her blog here]and I packed our tents and our camera gear and headed down south. Not a lens was spared this trip = everything was packed into the lowepro backpack and contained a good 10kg worth of equipment. Not to mention my beasty tripod which would have to be around 50kg just on its own…that’s how it feels anyway..(you’re worth it, tripod!).

Guys. Esperance is as good as they say. Having not been there before, I did the usual google images search but I always wonder, “Am I only seeing Esperance at its best?” The answer is no.

Lucky Bay

Had a couple of photographic issues here….the water is stunning, but the bay itself is very flat and difficult to get an elevated view to show that amazing water…photos were 60% sky, 2% water and 38% sand. Uh, not good.



Esperance is definitely at its best when the sun is high and the water is lit up from above. Midday was a great time for photos – I know, we were weirded out too.


The highest view of Lucky Bay was a stop off on the road down to the car park where the blue vista was most visible:


We did meet the infamous “Lucky Bay resident Kangaroo” – and her two kids! Cuteness overload.



The bays in Esperance are just amazing…tiny and pristine.





We only stayed in Esperance 2 nights (after an uncomfortably frigid night at Lucky Bay we headed into town and stayed at a caravan park to escape the frigid wind and left for Denmark the following morning.

We couldn’t help but stop past Twilight Beach again on the way out though ;)

Photographing Snakes on a white background

Personally I prefer photos of snakes on natural backgrounds but in suburbia, that can often be difficult. Especially when the snakes start putting on some size.

When natural backdrops aren’t available, I put them on a white background – it’s useful for comparing colours later on when they’re closer to adulthood and comparing snake with snake.

I use wrapping paper. Cheap, easy and lots of it. I buy rolls and then use the underside of them by weighting them down on my kitchen bench (it has the best light usually) opposite the kitchen window. I unroll the paper and then place the entire roll on top of a large box and weigh it down. (Please ignore the mess of my kitchen)


There is no sun coming through the window, just light- therefore the kitchen bench is usually cold. I use a container filled with hot water and sit it on the bench for a few minutes to heat up the benchtop because grabbing a snake from a warm hide and expecting it to sit still on cold paper is just asking too much. Hot water bottle or one of those heat packs would work well. It just needs to be not cold.

Obviously these photos would be much better with a second light source (a flash mounted on camera or a light off camera right) to remove the shadows on the paper. This method however, is practically free and most people will have the means to do it.

I use the hide from the snake’s enclosure and then feed the snake back into it.


Ignore the screwdriver.. it was the closest thing on the bench to use as a weight.

I let them settle for a couple of minutes and then i remove the hide. Providing their hide box and letting them settle usually makes for a calm, relatively still snake:


But dependent on the individual, sometimes not:


Remove the hide and hope for the best. This was a successful snake:



This was not:


However being wriggly doesn’t always mean a failed effort. You can snap closeups instead:


Keep in mind that not everyone is going to be willing to participate. It’s up to you to assess the mood of your snake and listen when they aren’t in a co-operative mood and photograph them another day. Obviously photographing hungry or sloughing snakes is a no-no. If you have a particularly ‘wriggly’ individual – feeding them a small prey item and attempting the photo straight afterward can work or if you would prefer not to move the snake around too much then a day or two after their normal meal. I never keep a snake on the paper for longer than a few minutes; it’s a quick snap and then back home they go. If they are wriggly or un-co-operative they get put back.

Patience is key. When you take the hide off, they’re not always in the position you’d like them to be (tip: using a round container always works better to get the snake to coil correctly, obviously)..


…but if you wait for them (granted they aren’t desperately trying to escape), they sometimes put themselves into very photogenic positions:



Others that have worked well:






In a bright room using natural light settings on my camera were:

Canon 6D paired with a Canon 50mm f/1.4
Manual mode
ISO 800
f/stop range between 2.8 – 5.6
Shutter 125
I play with my white balance settings to get the most out of the white paper (so it actually looks white) – but if you’re using plenty of natural light, you should be ok on Auto.

I like to have the shutter above 100 to capture any movement but generally if the snake is comfortable, it is still. If you want to capture tongue movement, it will need to be higher. My camera manages well on high ISO without being grainy but if yours doesn’t, put the ISO down to 500 (if available) and shoot at 2.8 and 100 shutter speed. Shooting in aperture priority mode is useful – f/3.5 would be a good start… the smaller the number the shorter depth of field and the less of the snake that will be focused – but it lets more light in. If you’re working in really bright light or you’re using two light sources, f/9 will have everything in focus.

Things you learn about dating a Landscape Photographer

1. Holidays are planned with ulterior motives… around possible photographic locations and beautiful scenery. If it’s not an especially picturesque place, expect it to be met with limited enthusiasm.

2. Your days start early. You’ve been woken up by an alarm in the still dark hours of the morning more times than you’d care to count.

3. Don’t even think about planning a romantic dinner or in fact any activity if it coincides with sunset. Or the hour before sunset….or the hour after it. Just don’t plan things in the late afternoon/early evening OK?

4. Exploring a new area together could find you suddenly alone as you realise your partner has stopped somewhere without telling you. Not just stopped, either… possibly turned down another path and pursued a completely different direction altogether.

5. Just by being in a relationship with this person, if you are around while the camera is in use, you become a photographer’s assistant (by proxy). You’ll also BE in a lot of photos. Get used to it.

6. Your loved one will probably express their love by saying things like, “You’re blocking the light…” and “Honey, you’re still in the shot… nope, still in it.”

7. If you insist on tagging along, expect to see the same places again and again… landscapes change and every day is different.

8. “Watching a movie together” may consist of you watching the movie while they edit photos on their laptop beside you. Quality time!

9. Most photographers hate their own photos. Don’t get frustrated when you think the finished product is good and they don’t. Just let it happen. Let them hate their own work…it can only make them better!

10. Big stoppers are not your friend. When this bad boy comes out, it’s time to settle in and get comfortable. You’re not going anywhere. If you ask how much longer they’ll be and they say “Just one more shot…” this usually means 4 photos of bracketed exposure spanning about 12 minutes (they plan to blend it into one shot, later!).

ha, ha!

Colour Casts – the digital age

After recently purchasing an old film camera I can seriously appreciate the ease of digital photography. Being able to ‘fix’ errors in photoshop later and adjust colours and exposure encourages a whole new approach to how you take photos. I have found over the years as my photoshop skills and exposure increases I will compose my photos and adjust settings with the photoshop actions in my mind – i.e. I will assess a scene and think “Yes, this isn’t going to look so great on the camera, but with some contrast and saturation and a couple of dodge/burn layers this could be great” and it’s this that I’m talking about.

The other great thing about photoshop is knowing that you can alter a picture so that it looked exactly as you saw it yourself with the naked eye. Photographs (in my mind) should be natural and a reminder of what you saw when you were in that spot – I don’t like over saturating and “creating” new skies and all of that just to make a pretty picture.

The below photos are shots taken at Trigg Beach in Perth and were taking using a Lee Big Stopper Filter to reduce the light and allow a soft water/cloud movement. The negative effect of this filter is that it adds a colour cast to the shot – you can see by comparing the photos that the overall effect is rather green, especially noticeable on the otherwise cream sand and limestone rocks. It detracts from the colour of the sky and is unnatural to what a human eye would have picked up at the scene.

Enter Photoshop.

I used Image>edit>match colour>neutralise mask to change the tones in this image (cs5) and then played with the exposures in certain sections of the rockwork and the sky. The second image shows more natural colour and is truer to how the ocean and sky looked that day.



Exmouth & Karijini National Park

Over Easter, we took an extended break to dip our souls into the red dust of the north west of Western Australia. We drove from Perth to Exmouth in a day and left at the exciting hour of 2am to reach Exmouth early so we weren’t driving Suicide Drive at dusk. What’s “Suicide Drive” you ask? It is the treacherous stretch of road that goes into Exmouth and during the last few hours of light is inhabited by all manner of suicidal animals including and not limited to: goats, sheep, cows, kangaroos, emus, goannas, snakes, birds, rabbits and foxes. It is a dangerous stretch of road and I’ve heard it is difficult not to hit something on the way in during an afternoon. Luckily we got through with no worries and got to Exmouth at about 3pm.

A cracker sunrise put good light (haha) on the trip:



On the way through to Exmouth we stopped to re-fuel and get some lunch at the Overlander Roadhouse. We parked down the back under the shade provided by two big trees that were completely covered in Butterflies.



I had a checklist of “things to see in Exmouth” and one of my top priorities was a Perentie. This giant goanna is the largest native to Australia and the fourth largest in the world making it a pretty impressive creature. They are referred to as the “Lizard King”, are an apex predator and therefore afraid of practically nothing. This makes them fairly approachable for photos as long as you don’t get too close (Perentie toe nails would be a nail technician’s nightmare). We were lucky enough to catch one crossing the road; it was young and very clean, showing off its great markings and trademark white throat. It tolerated us for a few minutes before shifting into 4WD mode and running into the bush.



The fishing was not so great in Exmouth unfortunately; limited to the land we threw hard bodied lures, soft plastics and stick baits around with very little luck. But what a paradise! The water there was crystal clear and a beautiful aqua blue. We didn’t make it to Turquoise Bay (got to leave something for next time!) but I found Sandy Bay pretty impressive:



As a photographer and not having much experience in this part of the country I was especially excited to watch the sun rise out of the water. In Perth it rises over the hills and sets in the water but I have never seen a sun rise from the ocean. It didn’t hurt that the sunrises in Exmouth were beautiful either.



And then it was time for the trip to Karijini. I have been wanting to get to Karijini for years, even before photography became a focus for me. What a place! We timed our trip to Karijini a little earlier than the prescribed “on” season in the hopes that going close to the end of the wet season would mean plenty of reptiles and lots of great clouds. Being there only a few days meant we didn’t get to experience much change in the weather and the first few days were cloudless and an easy 32 degrees during the day and 16 at night. On the last day the clouds were fantastic and we heard that they were expecting heavy rain to arrive soon.

Arriving on Easter Monday it seemed a lot of campers had left by that stage and each day more people filtered out and no one new seemed to arrive. There were a few big groups of European touritsts but the most likely visitors were young couples and young families. We camped in the eco retreat in Grevillea Loop, site 95- a great spot as we were completely secluded from other people and right at the front of the loop- closest to the showers and the BBQ block.



We had 3 full days inside the park but the last day was taken up with West Oz Active’s “Red Gorge Tour” so we tried to make the most of what we could see and do in 2 days.

First stop was Hamersley Gorge. About an hour’s drive out of the park and well worth the visit! I think it was the most beautiful gorge with its purple hews and beautiful green water.







Then we used the afternoon to visit Hancock Gorge – the gorge I fell in love with when looking at other people’s photos. I couldn’t wait to get through it and it didn’t disappoint!







We got up for a sunrise at Joffrey falls but the light didn’t come across and stayed a very muted colour unfortunately:



So we popped around to Kalamina Gorge which whilst simple, was still very pretty. I think I liked the view of the water from up top the best:



And to finish the day off we stayed and watched the sunset at Oxer’s Lookout.


Day 2 had us down to Fortescue Falls, Fern Pool and then we circled back across Fortescue and into Dales Gorge then continued on to Circular Pool. Unfortunately we didn’t get to Fortescue Falls or Fern Pool early enough and half of each waterfall was cast in deep shadow making it impossible for good photos. When I go back to Karijini, I will ensure I am there at sunrise for well exposed photos.

Took an above view of the falls on our way back to the carpark at around 2pm.



Circular Pool:



And a last sunset at Knox Gorge. This was a better choice than Oxer’s only because we had it to ourselves and Oxers had been full of people and it was difficult to take long exposures on the platform.


Do you self-sabotage?

Hi, my name is Imogen and I am a self-sabotaging photographer.

Signs you are a self-sabotaging photographer:

–         Over planning destinations to photograph

–         Saving images from google and award winning landscape photographer’s websites and basing your trips around these stunning locations regardless of impracticality

Effects of self-sabotage:

–         Being angry when conditions are not the same when you arrive as said award winning landscape photographer’s photos

–         Leaving a place feeling deflated and disappointed you didn’t get the shots you wanted

–         Perhaps shedding a tear when the extended hours of sunrise photography have worn you out and you STILL haven’t seen colour in the sky and probably never will

–         Frustration explaining to non-photographers why your trip was ruined

This is me.

I have done this possibly for every trip I have been on since 2010 when I joined forces with my Canon DSLR. It is disgraceful…completely unreasonable and absolutely impossible NOT TO DO. I simply must do it.

My main fear is that I have not researched the best positions for sunrise and sunset photography and therefore will be unprepared on arrival at an unfamiliar destination but I take it too far. TOO FAR. I delight in self-sabotage and the need to stunt my creativity in finding unique vantage points and compositions and it is truly disgusting that I continue to do this to myself.

My main reason for this post is that I am planning a photographic journey through Western Australia’s Karijini National Park and this park is so huge with 7 wonderful gorges to explore that I simply HAD to know which ones were best due to time constraints on the visit. This, you think, is a good idea – I should know where to visit first and where the best sunset vantage points are and good sunrise locations and, and, and…. And should I? Or…..should I leave it up to chance, be a true explorer and just follow the light? I believe this is called “winging it” and is a term I have always been 100% uncomfortable with when applied to photography. But I think it’s time I stepped outside my comfort zone and left my OCD fears behind me. Karijini will supply the goods I’m sure of it.

Posts of Karijini to follow upon my return. 

..Wow that was a really long boring post for people who are not me to read. I can only assume that you stopped after the first sentence and deleted your subscription. To those of you who read the whole thing… you deserve medals. 

Trigg Beach

Another stop past Trigg Beach on saturday night (8th March). Arrived just on sunset and was flustered due to the sheer amount of other photographers there! It was one of those rushed evenings where you just have to pick a spot and hunker down rather than having the freedom to change your position and point of view. I was a bit sneaky and got in right behind someone to take a few quick ones, but I gave up and decided to shoot abstract instead. This is my second time shooting with the Lee Big Stopper 10-stop filter and I love,love, loooooooooove it! Also didn’t have time to calculate my exposure so did it in my head and hoped for the best- came out a little underexposed and needing fixing in photoshop.

I love this place!




The best places in Perth to photograph landscapes…

One of the things I often find myself using google for is pinpointing great places in Perth to shoot sunsets and sunrises. Sometimes you are limited (as small as Perth is!) by geography and just general awareness of those special spots that encompass many of the things that make a great photo. For me, these things are:

1. Colour

2. Lights

3. Water / reflections

4. Symmetry

5. Leading lines

6. Movement

Obviously these things would make many photographers happy but few places exist where you can tick off more than 3. Recently I took my camera gear down to Trigg Beach and was amazed that I had never before made the effort to photograph this place with all its beautiful exposed reef and rocks and it occured to me that there must still be so many great places in Perth that I haven’t been to yet. Now, we’re just talking Perth Metro here – i.e. 45 minutes drive from Perth City… let’s not even get started on the South West!

When I lived north of the river, one of my favourite places to run down to after work was Lake Monger. If you get there early enough you can capture the swans on the water otherwise you can set up in a miriad of locations to catch the sunset. It’s a great body of water that is large enough to give different views and points of interest along the way.




lake monger



Another location that is easy to get to (obviously depending on your location) is Kalamunda. Here you have views of the city from up high – beautiful views of natural Australian bushland either from the lookout at Gooseberry Hill or on the ZigZag – if you do go with the zigzag, beware that it is one way only and just slightly wider than one lane with limited pull over stops. I prefer the lookout on GH personally, having had more luck there in the past. You can also park there and walk through the bushland off to the right to get to other lookouts.



The Setting Sung


Of course, one of the most visited places during Winter/Spring is Araluen Botanical National Park in Roleystone. A little further, but well worth the visit if you’re a tulip fan!





Hillarys in another location I have always liked due to the many different photos you can expect to capture here- you’ve got a lot of restaurants/cafes around which add to the ‘lights’ aspect after dark, plus mooring posts, a jetty structure, rocks, water with sunset views…the list goes on!



hillarys again

The swan river of course is a brilliant landmark to use for sunsets and sunrise photography in Perth – many structures sit on the water not to mention the backdrop of Perth’s city buildings (let’s not call them sky risers because they’re just not). Probably the most over done spot is the Crawley Boathouse (I have STILL not got a good photo from this location and find it very off putting!). It’s a rickety little walkway out to the boathouse which is quite sweet in the right light..otherwise it looks plain ugly. I would google this location to see the masterpieces people have created with this location; I’m just not up to the task.




Like I said, I only took my first visit to Trigg recently but I know that this spot has massive potential. Also, google images told me so.




OK guys. This is my favourite, favouritest -ever- winter spot for sunrises (I’ve never bothered to shoot a sunset here because the sun would set behind me out of view…maybe I’m missing something huge?) It’s the jetty in applecross… It’s nearer the canning bridge side on The Esplanade and is simply beautiful. Take note: a popular fishing jetty, jogger lookout point and mooring station for boats – try not to get too annoyed! I have also lost 2 lens caps here so try and be more organised than me! There are other jetties in applecross that I haven’t tackled yet… would also like to try my hand again at the Canning Bridge/Raffles area.





Another great sunrise location is Matilda Bay. Ahhh, Matilda Bay. Many failed mornings here with no colour to be seen and also a complete lack of cloud. WHY. There’s nothing worse than your alarm forcing you out of bed at 4.30am on a saturday to be available for a sunrise shoot when nothing happens. Anyway, there have also been some truly magical moments from this spot as well.





Whilst we’re in this area, let’s not forget Kings Park please. It’s a ridiculously beautiful lookout over Perth City not to mention beautiful naturescapes in every direction. This is a much better sunrise location, but if there’s plenty of cloud around the sunsets can be rather stunning as well – the photo below was a sunset so you can see how the colour can come across (although again…google image search this location) – this is another place that I really want to crack so I’ll be back here at some stage during 2014 perfecting this shot. Another great lookout of Perth City is from the South Perth Foreshore…. I haven’t captured anything worth showing from that spot but there are many opportunities to be had there, including the narrows bridge and the Old Swan Brewery plus another jetty.




I also haven’t been to this place much either…just the once for photography…but what a night! The sunset was unreal and I have also seen some beautiful sunrise pictures of Cottesloe Beach. Well worth a visit!




Lesmurdie is another good spot (similar surrounds to Kalamunda) for a Sunset view though I haven’t been there often. The place I have been to is Lions Lookout. Lesmurdie falls are also a good spot for photos – going during a week day will limit the amount of people around too.




Fremantle..another iconic spot in Perth although again not one I have ventured to photographically more than a couple of times. 





These are the only places I am happy to recommend so far because I have not explored (and nailed!) other locations. Hopefully throughout 2014 I can add to this list!

Happy shooting!


My favourite pictures of 2013… a year in review

2013 is well and truly behind us now and 2014 brings with it a whole new list of adventures! 2013 was not a huge photographic year but did see many new fluffy and scaly additions to the family which shortened the opportunities for photographic excursions. If anyone has raised a puppy like a child…they’ll know what I’m talking about. So this year my top photos are less landscape based than I would like but beggars can’t be choosers. The highlight of 2013 (both personal and photographical) was definitely the family trip to Kununurra – what an absolutely stunning place…book a trip immediately.

Hopefully 2014 brings more landscapes into the equation. 2013’s gear was a Canon 6D (love, love, love!) my 100mm 2.8 Macro, 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.8 and I was finally able to ditch my horrendous 24-105 f/4 for the 17-40mm f/4 which I am enjoying immensely on the full frame.

These are 2013’s best shots: (to visit 2012’s year in review please click here)

















For something a little different, here is a photo of my sister holding one of my pythons. He’s the biggest one I have at the moment and he is a South West Carpet Python named Tom. Originally, he was very snappy when he was young and we called him Snappy Tom (after the cat food) and the name stuck. Now he’s settled he’s just “Tom”. He is a tad on the temperamental side and enjoys a good intimidating hiss and exhibiting the well known “S-bend” when woken up. He’s only three years old but behaves like an old man.

I think he looks lovely in black and white :)


The last stop

This was the last stop for our last sunset on our last night in Kununurra. The sunset was underwhelming and it’s difficult to get a good landscape shot with so much australian bushland in the way!

We pulled over on the drive back home to catch a couple of snaps of the road…. I miss this place! I’d go back there in a heartbeat… so much land untouched, photos not captured and fish not hooked!

These two were taken around 5 minutes apart.




Emma Gorge

Now.. before you look at these photos of Emma Gorge…please, please remember that my lens was not a wide-angle….on the wider side, the 24-105 tries to capture most angles but if you’ve ever used a wide angle lens, it falls short by comparison. Emma Gorge was a difficult place to photograph too as the jutting cliff faces cannot be captured perfectly with the water in the one photo. I was restricted from taking a pano due to the vast number of people that were clustered around the water’s edge. Luckily though, the photos have only my family in them- the water was so cold that seeing people in the water was rare, which was great from a photography point of view!

The second photo is of Turquoise Pools – the pool just before you reach Emma Gorge. Absolutely stunning in person, the photos really haven’t captured the beauty of these places.



Zebedee Springs

A beautiful natural hot springs located inside El Questro Wilderness Park that is most certainly a spot to visit. We were told getting there early is the best idea as it is open to the public from 7am – 12 noon and gets quite busy. We left our campsite as early as we could and got there bang on 7am to see just two other cars in the carpark – awesome!

Cait, Dad and I wandered around looking for photo opportunities but I think Dad was probably the best off armed with the Sigma (I really want to say 10-20mm…but can’t remember what it was!) and Cait was certainly the worst off with her 7D armed only with my 50mm f/1.4. I was forced into yet another situation where the 24-105mm was my only weapon and I missed my Canon 10-22mm more than ever. Think being stuck in Africa facing a hoard of angry lions and the only weapon you can find to defend yourself is a fork. A plastic one. That pretty much sums up my irritation at being able to get a decent photo with this lens – it’s just not wide enough on the 6D. I’m going to have to invest in a 16-35mm, I know!

So enough talking… here are the photos: (the first two are on the road to Zebedee, with Dad’s 4WD kicking up a lot of dust in front of us)..




The night sky…Kununurra

When we left the confines of Perth’s inner suburbs and reached the dusty wilderness of Kununurra, we were amazed to see the difference in the night sky. It was alight with stars and colour and this sight was something I had never experienced before. With the milky way so prominent above us, we all had a go at capturing it. As my first try at taking photos of the heavens, it’s a little grainy and a little over exposed in terms of the stars showing a little bit of movement. But I can still look at these and remember how fantastical it actually looked – that’s right…not fantastic…fantastical, like it wasn’t real.



Ivanhoe Crossing – Kununurra

A very beautiful spot that is a popular place for fishing and getting attacked by crocodiles amongst the locals. We stayed here for a fish in the afternoon and then to watch the sunset, which was quite a nice one. Can you spot the crocodile in the second picture? Probably not! If you google “Ivanhoe crossing croc” there are much closer pictures of it and then you will know what I mean!



Home Valley Station… the tree!

Whilst talking about photography and I hear about or mention “The Tree”, I always picture that willow in the water at Lake Wanaka in New Zealand – if you haven’t heard of it, google it immediately – or you can look at my post here. It is an absolutely gorgeous backdrop. 

Anyway, so this post is about Kununurra – and in particular Home Valley Station…. a working cattle station that probably houses more crocs than cattle – just kidding! But no, really. There are a lot of saltwater crocs there…and before you ask- no, I did not get any photos of them! They are sneaky elusive beasts that do not enjoy photographs. 

So the sun sunk below the horizon and we were treated to these beautiful colours and this tree was really the only photogenic thing in the campsite. 


Broome – from high

My last post was ‘Kununurra – on high’ …and these two photos were taken from the plane as we passed over Broome…. from high! ha,ha. Sorry. I can be really corny sometimes. It’s really early in the morning.

Again, using the 6D combined with my least favourite lens the 24-105mm – why oh why did I not take my 85mm f/1.8 prime! A very stupid decision indeed and one that I regretted many times over this trip. Anyway, I like the colours in this series – Broome is just gorgeous…the second closeup looks like a painting.




Kununurra on High

On high you say? I mean a high lookout! Saddleback Ridge in Kununurra is a beautiful lookout and this is the first of a very long, long (prepare yourselves!) series of photos from my trip to Kununurra.

This is a dawn photo taken on the 6D using the 24-105mm. I’ve recently fallen out of love with the 24-105mm due to its performance on this trip as it doesn’t stay sharp in the middle at f/4 while zoomed… ridiculous! Anyway…more griping to come later.

Enjoy the first of the series!


Sunrise at the South Perth foreshore

It’s always a risk when you get up early, but this morning paid off I think. After the rain from last night, there was a nice big puddle right in front of the river in the car park on the south perth foreshore and I set up there at about 6am and watched the sky light up. There were a couple of enthusiastic fishermen under the narrows that had been chasing mulloway but with no luck (what’s new!)… and as soon as they packed up and drove home, something came barrelling underneath the bridge driving the bait fish up and out of the water. I bet it was a dolphin though ;)


The Fog – Crawley Boathouse

I had in mind a sky alight with colour….but it wasn’t to be! It’s really hard to know what you’re in for when you leave the house in the dark on your way to your chosen photography destination… things like, “Is there cloud?”, “Will there be colour?” and  “Have I chosen the best spot to see the sunrise?” – the last question is usually the biggest risk and the second the biggest disappointment.

I got the last two wrong. There was, however plenty of cloud. Too much cloud – fog, in fact. I wanted to head to the little jetty that overlooks the swan river… I had plenty of lovely mornings there last winter and I’m determined to better my shots from that location. Didn’t really like what it gave, so headed to the South Perth foreshore to see the city – but could barely see my hand in front of my face let alone any lights across the river. Decided to give the elusive Matilda bay boathouse a try. There was another photographer there when I arrived (couldn’t believe it!) but he generously shared the spot and here’s what I came back with: