Manning Gorge, on the Gibb River Road, is a great example of how photography can help us see a place with fresh eyes and experience a familiar location in new ways. Every time I’ve been there over the last six years different things catch my attention and I walk away with very different photos. Instead of photography taking over the experience it can help us to slow down, help us pay attention and encourage us to keep exploring.
When I first visited Manning back in 2013 it was late in the Dry Season. The waterfall had stopped running so my photos were all about the sandstone gorge itself and those beautiful burnt orange colours. The busiest part of the tourist season was over so the place was quiet and still. Aboriginal rock art in the gorge was a nice reminder people have been sitting on these same rocks and looking at these same colours for millennia.
My second visit was early in the Dry Season in 2015 and the waterfall was at its best. Continue reading “Manning Gorge | Simply Magical “
Check out my latest drone video from the spectacular Kimberley region of Western Australia.
Every year for the last 5 years I’ve clocked up about 6 weeks exploring the Kimberley’s dusty, corrugated roads and beautiful gorges in my free time. This process of going back to places at different times of the day – and different times of year – builds a familiarity that feeds my photography and video work. This latest video is a collection of footage shot over that period and helps set the context for all of the adventures and misadventures that I’ve enjoyed along the way.
What is it that draws me back to this place? It’s a question I wrestle with time and again, as I am now, camped next to the Pentecost River in the East Kimberley at the end of my 6-week trip.
The Kimberley, of course, is different things to different people. For some it’s a holiday and a place to escape cooler climates down south. For others it’s a pilgrimage of sorts – a tradition – like the father and son on their way to Kalumburu for their bi-annual fishing trip. For others, like Ken Duncan’s photography tour group, it’s a great photography workshop of sorts. And of course, for a lot of people, it is home.
Continue reading “The Lure Of The Kimberley”
Drysdale River at sunrise (taken previously)
Every once in a while on these camping trips I take a morning off photography. Not very often but occasionally, either by choice or circumstance. Instead it becomes a morning to wake slowly and savour the silence and stillness of a perfect Kimberley morning. No photo chase. No swapping filters. No wading through cold water. Just a slow start with a freshly brewed coffee. And, of course, the Kimberley’s chorus of birdlife as my background music. Perfect.
Continue reading “A Slow Start”
Back in the real world my days start slowly. Coffee helps clear any lingering fog of one beer too many the night before. My morning scan of world news and the latest Donald Trump scandal lulls me into a false sense of feeling like I have learned something new – something useful – about the world, as if my daily consumption of bad news – or ‘fake news’ – makes me a better person. It doesn’t. Back in the real world it’s very easy to waste time – to fill our days with chores and emails and busywork. And when the day is over it’s all too easy to wind down with another cold beer and crappy TV. These are the days when I am completely uninspired.
And then one day I wake up in the middle of the great wilderness that is the Kimberley and it couldn’t be more different. Out here surrounded by nature it is a different world. I open my eyes in the morning and a soft pre-dawn glow illuminates the burnt orange rocks around me. In an instant my morning is filled with purpose and excitement. I reach for the camera and the hunt for a perfect sunrise photo begins – that exciting and frustrating chase for a perfect image, a perfect Kimberley moment captured in time – an image that captures the place not only as I see it but as I feel it.
Continue reading “Room With A View”
From the air a uniform tree line of eucalypts stretch as far as the eye can see. The landscape can appear flat and uninspiring. But zoom in, look a little closer, and there are hidden gems around every corner. Quiet reflections in still creeks. Gently cascading waterfalls just out of sight. And ancient rock art calling to us from a distant past.
And yet from a distance all of it is hidden. All of it lies tucked away at the end of dusty roads in one of Australia’s least developed regions. It is a place with many names in many languages – named by those who first stepped foot on virgin soil, Australia’s first people. For us – those who follow in their footsteps – it is The Kimberley. A landscape rich in natural attractions, history and culture.
Driving west of the Victoria River towards the East Kimberley the first distinctive sandstone ridges – or mesas – welcome me back to Western Australia. Technically I’m still the N.T. but the geology makes it very clear this is Kimberley country. This is classic Kimberley sandstone, with burnt orange hues and vertical cliff faces. No mater how often I drive these roads these ranges speak to something deep within me.
Continue reading “Back In Kimberley Country”
After such a great response to the last year’s Kimberley calendars it seems silly not to do all over again this year and continue putting the photos to good use in support of the Royal Flyng Doctor Service. I’m also very conscious that in today’s digital age where these images rarely escape the computer it’s always nice to see them make it into the real world and to see them bring colour into people’s homes.
The new calendars for 2018 are much bigger and now feature 50 photos in each. Like last year, they will be available through my website www.discoverthekimberley.com.au or through our network of participating outlets across the Kimberley. Hop on over here to check them out and be sure to let me know what you think.
With the official end of our 2016 Royal Flying Doctor Service fundraiser I’m pleased to report 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.
A big thanks to all involved!
Continue reading “Thank You | RFDS Fundraiser”
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.
Continue reading “The Heart Of The Bungles”