Photography basics in Australia’s Outback

Written by  on November 25, 2010 

Australia has been fascinating photographers since the country began. Many professional photographers fall in love with the place, and you could swear that they were determined to photograph every square millimetre of it. The result is both incredible photography and a steep learning curve in how to photograph it. If you’re really keen photographer, grab some travel insurance and head for Australia’s outback. You won’t be disappointed.

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Photo: 75law

The outback environment
Australia’s outback is unique. It includes a vast range of different types of terrain, different climates different types of light environment, and an extraordinary range of subjects quite unlike anything anywhere else on Earth. It is extremely important to understand this environment. You can be made taking photographs in deserts or in rainforests, in the quiet, fascinating Australian bush, or along Australia’s staggeringly beautiful coast.

The most important things are:

Australian temperatures can go from below freezing to approximately 50°C. The heat in particular is very much a matter for concern. Those sorts of temperatures are not good for photographic equipment. Even the rugged modern cameras can find themselves getting overheated if exposed to this sort of sunlight.

The heat isn’t good for photographers either, and when photographing in the outback you need to be very conscious of dehydration, the effects of extremely strong sunlight on human skin, and the risk of sunstroke.

Australian dust is legendary. Put it this way – It’s responsible for the Australian accent. It can get into anything, including car engines, people, and any form of electronic equipment. It’s extremely important to make sure that all your precious equipment is properly stored.

Australian animals aren’t necessarily particularly ferocious, but don’t take liberties with them. Crocodiles, wild pigs, snakes, and some types of insect are particularly dangerous. They should be photographed using a zoom lens, preferably an optical lens, and from downwind. The rule is if you don’t annoy them, they won’t annoy you. Most Australian animals have better things to do with their time than attack humans. The old rule applies however, that a startled animal is more likely to attack. So don’t startle them.

When travelling, it’s customary to inform your destination when you expect to arrive. If you don’t arrive at that time, people will know that they may need to go looking for you. This particular custom has saved countless lives, and is what’s known as “bush etiquette”. People will warn you of any local hazards, because that’s the ethics of the Bush.

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Photo: boulanger.IE

Glare in Australia is extremely strong. The light in Australia is quite unlike light in the northern hemisphere and you will need to adjust your equipment to ensure that the glare doesn’t literally destroy the photographs. This is the main differentiation between photography in Australia and anywhere else in the world and it can waste a lot of time making the adjustments.

It is advisable to take a test photo prior to doing any serious filming. Use your filters and adjust to ensure accuracy. This isn’t necessarily the sort of thing you can fix with Photoshop.

The outback is a beautiful place, and if anywhere on Earth deserves to have its picture taken, it does. Just get some cheap travel insurance to cover yourself and your equipment, don’t get casual when you’re in the bush, and you’ll have a ball.


2 Responses

  1. siqa lyrics says:

    nice works
    keep rolling..

  2. Evan says:

    That’s some great tips about shooting in Australia, thanks!

    The temperature difference would probably be the hardest thing for me to deal with.

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