There comes a time when every Australian must visit the Outback. It’s a right of passage and a privilege to visit our dry, dusty and baron Outback. Of course when you go and visit these unique locations you will want to take a camera with you to capture all the beauty. As with other locations, shooting in the Australian Outback is something that requires a little bit of pre-planning to ensure that you capture the best images you can.
One of the first things that can make or break your photographs in these tough conditions is the heat. Hot sun, dry winds, dirt and bright landscapes all create a very “hot" scene so again; time of day is critical when shooting the Outback. Shooting during the midday sun is not only dangerous, as you run the risk of dehydration, but it’s possibly the worse time to capture the Outback landscape. Harsh sunlight will create a very high contrast scene, where the variance between your highlights and shadows in are extreme; creating images that lack feel and mood.
By being up early for sunrise or staying around for sunset will ensure you have a perfect scene to capture. You avoid the dangerous heat, and the landscape comes to life with colours, brilliant shadows, wonderfully warm and colourful highlights and if you are lucky, some dramatic skies. Timing is everything.
In conjunction with being in the right place at the right time, you want to ensure that your expensive equipment is not going to be totally trashed whilst exploring the rugged Outback. Be sure to take a good camera bag, plenty of cleaning cloths to wipe off sand and dirt, change lenses out of the dusty winds to avoid dust and grime hitting your camera’s sensor, and make sure you keep your camera away from the melting sun. Don’t leave you camera on the dashboard of your car in 40c degree heat otherwise you will do irreversible damage to your prized possession.
When travelling I always ensure I follow these rules and have all of these items handy. I recently travelled from southern Tasmania up to the tip of Australia, Cape York. This image was captured in Outback Queensland after a very hot afternoon.
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