Outback Photography

Some readers will remember the days when photographers had to be careful not to be too trigger happy or else they’d run out of film. And then there was the disappointment when you finally got home and had your film developed, only to discover that some of the shots you thought would be really good “just didn’t turn out” for some reason – and far too late to “try again”.

In these digital days, people often take several shots of something that captures their interest, and then later on delete all except the best ones. My impression is that the average photographer when travelling in the Outback now takes at least 100 pictures a day, and some take far more.

Even though some people who’ve never been there are inclined to think that the Outback is boring – “just sand and flies and heat” is often their ill-informed description – the very opposite is the case. The Outback presents an amazing variety of colourful/unusual/dramatic photo opportunities, and anyone who’s been there will agree.

Even if you specialise in just one area of interest, there’ll be plenty to keep you happy, for example, wildlife, people of the Outback, sunsets and sunrises, Outback humour, rock formations, history. A friend took a great series of photos of the bark of different trees!

Here are a few miscellaneous Outback photos:

Ruth Fulton's BDT pictures, April 2009, Vol 2 163

Strange unidentified Outback creature

Ruth Fulton's BDT pictures, April 2009, Vol 2 077

Warning signs near Lake Eyre

Ruth Fulton's BDT pictures, April 2009, Vol 2 207

Living dangerously

BH creek bed trees

Dry creek bed near Broken Hill



About dazzlerplus

Writing about the things that interest me helps me to discover what I think. One of my loves is the Australian Outback, and I travel out there often, and when possible take friends with me.
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8 Responses to Outback Photography

  1. Sue Emeleus says:

    Wonderful pictures.

  2. Love the photos. However, your comments about photographers made me smile. As a professional photographer, the one absolute mantra was “film is cheap” — compared to going back or setting up again or whatever other considerations there were, film would be the cheapest aspect of a shoot. Hence, “insurance shots” (extra shots taken to make sure you got something) were taken with abandon. You just carried a ton of film with you. As an example, just before I switched to digital, a digital photography enthusiast with whom I traveled in Egypt told me you could shoot as much as you wanted with digital, and he’d taken 900 photos. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that, shooting film, I’d taken 1,200. Digital doesn’t make it possible to take more shots, it just makes it possible to shoot more without carrying 65 rolls of film (and spending 1/2 an hour getting it hand-checked going through airport security). So I’m definitely a fan now of digital photography — but not because I ever carefully conserved film or missed a shot. 🙂

    • dazzlerplus says:

      Hi WaltzingAustralia, I take your point about professional photographers, and can remember thinking (when I observed a professional photographer at work), “Maybe if I took that many shots, I could get one good one.” No doubt most of the time I was wrong, although even we amateurs can sometimes be lucky. I was talking about the amateur photographers I have taken on Outback trips, who were often worried about the money they’d have to fork out to get their holiday snaps developed if they bought another two rolls!

  3. Yorick Lewis says:

    From what I remember about film, if you had a favourite brand and type, you had to plan in advance to ensure you got it. And as for the speed of the film, the same applies. You really needed to purchase all the film of the brand and speed(s) you might need for a particular trip, and risk loss/damage while in transit. And then wait with baited breath upon return to see if they had ‘come out.’
    I much preferred the cameras however, with their fewer controls – mainly just zoom and focus, then click.
    It seems that you need even more paraphernalia with a digital camera than with a film one: extra memory cards, card reader, laptop, cables, a means of charging the laptop and camera etc.

    • dazzlerplus says:

      And I’m sure my digital camera can make me a cup of coffee, but I can never remember which buttons to press. I’ll have to read the manual again.

      The “manual” for my old film camera could have been printed on a bus ticket!

  4. Anne says:

    Love the light in the “dry creek bed” photo. Beautiful subject too.

  5. richard kessling says:

    News about pre-photography, Rob.




    • dazzlerplus says:

      Thanks very much, Richard. What an indictment it is of our society that there are people in our midst who, in the first place, go out into the bush WITH SPRAY CANS, and then, secondly, USE THEM OUT THERE to deface ancient rock art with their childish scrawls!

      I wonder what would have happened to an indigenous person (child or adult) who defiled rock art 1000 years ago??

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