With the official end of our Royal Flying Doctor Service fundraiser I’m very pleased we have been able to raise more than $12,000 in less than 9 months selling my Kimberley and Gibb River Road photography calendars. Pretty amazing to think the calendars are now scattered all over Australia and around the world.
It has been a pleasure being able to share my collection of images with people who have visited this special part of Australia and experienced the same magic – and same sense of awe – that the Kimberley consistently delivers.
For just a moment the breeze stops and there is perfect silence. Not a single rustling palm frond. No squawking crows. No chirping finches. No helicopters overhead. Even that pesky fly stops buzzing for just a moment. Piccaninny Gorge is quiet at the best of times but this early in the season – on a hot, still day – the silence is deafening.
‘If one were to paint this country in its true colours , I doubt it would be believed. It would be said at least that the artist exaggerated greatly, for never have I seen such richness and variety of hue as in these ranges’. ~ Michael ‘Stumpy’ Durack, marvelling at the colours of the spectacular Cockburn Range, 1882.
The alarm went off at 4:30am – just enough time for a short drive to meet the pilot and get in the air shortly after first light. What better way to start the day – and finish the season – than a sunrise flight over the spectacular Bungle Bungles in Purnululu National Park.
‘Be careful. There’s big ones out there’, she said. The words spoken seven months ago now ring loudly in my ears. I’m in the middle of the Kimberley at sunset and the drone is working its magic over croc infested waters. This is her maiden voyage outside of Broome and hopefully the start of a new project if all goes to plan. Everything is picture perfect. White bellied sea eagles glide overhead, crocodiles bask in the sun and archer fish swim in the shallows. Blue skies, red rock and silence. This is the stuff of movies.
Just over 2 years ago my wife and I cracked open a bottle of wine and weighed up whether to stick around in Melbourne or pack our bags and move to Broome. We had a nice little apartment in Melbourne, steady work as a photographer and architect, and all the luxuries that come with living in one of the world’s most liveable cities. Life was good. Melbourne was a city of culture – the perfect place for my wife to get her Masters – and for me it was a city that introduced me to the world of commercial photography with all its joys and frustrations. In deciding whether to move to Broome or not we would ask ourselves the same question; In 40 or 50 years time are we more likely to look back and regret moving to Broome or regret having never taken the opportunity while we had it? Continue reading “Oh, The Places We’ll Go”→
Don’t get me wrong, I like Kakadu. World heritage listed for good reason, it is the home of a 50,000 year old Aboriginal culture and consequently the home of some pretty impressive rock art. It is a hotspot for experiencing some of Australia’s great natural attractions and a wetland of international importance. For all of these reasons it is a big name attraction. On top of that it also has the infrastructure to make it safe, reliable and convenient to visit. But it is that same infrastructure, for me, that robs Kakadu of its magic. The dusty, corrugated roads of the Kimberkey make the journey itself feel like an adventure and the roads are just rough enough to keep the masses out. On Kakadu’s sealed roads it feels more like an amusement park where people are shepherded from one attraction to the next. In Kakadu the phone coverage is a convenience. In the Kimberley the lack of coverage creates a sense of isolation and remoteness that is rare in an over-connected world – it is a place where phones don’t vibrate and the wider world quietly disappears.
Oh, how history repeats itself. First night in Kakadu and we are devastated by mosquitoes, just like last time. We arrived at sunset and set up shop next to a picturesque little waterhole right on the edge of the national park – a beautiful little spot recommended by a friend of friend. Quick dip to cool off and refresh and then, sure enough, in true Kakadu style the onslaught began. Mosquitos don’t normally like me. In fact, while Ali soaks herself with insect repellent most nights, I can’t remember the last time I used the stuff. Tonight insect repellent is my friend – a friend that promises but doesn’t quite deliver.