I have just returned from a "boys trip" to Gnaraloo. You can read my previous post about the back story. It was probably my most successful photography trip there so far and definitely the one that involved the most drinking! This threw up some interesting challenges as I was sleeping in a roof top tent and it didn't come with a toilet. Well worth considering if you are thinking of buying one and you are also into drinking too much before bedtime!
Besides all the drinking and eating I did manage to shoot a few nice images. We got lucky with the light with most mornings being spectacular. These were slightly dulled however by a recurring headache I had when I awoke, still can't explain that? Getting good light is one of the biggest fixes for a location that isn't outwardly pretty. Gnaraloo is pretty much flat grasslands that meet the ocean and sand with a few rugged areas of rock and crumbling cliff face. After a few days of getting my eye in, i.e. got used to shooting whilst hung over, I found the landscape to be rich in photographic opportunity. There was more there than I remembered.
The above image is where we stayed for the first four days. It is all camping with a common toilet and shower block. Pretty civilised actually. In amongst all the 4wd's and BCF camping equipment is our little set up. It was a totally unplanned, random, messed up, jumble of gear set out with no order or thought. It just came out of the cars and ended up in all sorts of inconvenient places. You couldn't get past things or work out where to put your chair, luckily it wasn't for long. The beer however was well sorted and kept cold and tasty.
The second half of our trip was up at the Gnaraloo Station where we had a one room cabin. Knowing full well how one of my mates snored I was happy to pop my roof top tent and sleep in there. It did have a great toilet and shower however so that was about as good as it gets. The amazing sunrises continued and one morning I just shot around the station looking for interesting compositions. In the scene above I noticed a kangaroo who was very kind to stay still for my shot. The pre dawn glow was incredible and typical of the colour you get when up north.
On occasion I was keen to try out shooting black & white. Usually it was after the light had lost a bit of its colour and became a little flat. Shooting this way makes you focus on shape, tone, shadows and areas of strong contrast. It is a different way of looking at your subject and at times will make for a stronger image.
On the last day of our trip the weather was closing in, everything was gray and the skies were threatening. By late afternoon the rain came down, and continued on into the night. If there is enough of it the road can be closed because of the risks of flash flooding and the damage that can be done by cars when it becomes muddy. We had planned an early departure for the 15 hour drive home and weren't confident we would be able to get out. I wasn't sure what would be scarier, getting stuck in the mud or telling my wife I wasn't coming home for a few more days! Luckily we got out and I lived to tell the tale.