Firelight Starlight…

Another night under the super dark skies of outback north west Australia and our last night here in Keep River National Park. My daughter was enjoying another night in front of a campfire with the flickering warm firelight illuminating her happy face.

I know it was sacrilege to waste the photographic opportunity of such awesome dark skies with no clouds. The warm glow of the fire and the flickering firelight was just so inviting and to be honest I was just too tired to go out again and find some foreground interest and shoot the stars.

Star Fire

Star Fire

NIKON D750 + 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm, 61.00 sec at f/2.8, ISO 1250 x 75 Frames

Still literally 20 feet from our caravan and the fire was this lovely bare tree with it’s beautiful arms reaching up to the heavens.

So I setup the camera on the tripod with the 24-70/2.8 this time at 24mm just half a dozen feet from my chair around the fire :). Luckily I could setup facing south (and the centre of celestial rotation) with ease. Time enough for some frames for a star trails of the sky above – if they would work :).

No lightpainting was required either, for my shots – the flickering firelight was plenty to add and interesting golden red glow to the silvery branches.

Below – one of the test frames for some star trails. Looking reasonably decent even setup in the middle of our campsite – this might actually work after all…

Firelight Starlight

Firelight Starlight

NIKON D750 + 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm, 61.00 sec at f/2.8, ISO 1250

So I setup the intervalometer and let it rip just past 8PM – 61 second frames wide open at f/2.8 and ISO 1250. Seventy Five (75) frames later it’s just on 9:20PM and we’re heading to bed.

Jarnem Views

The view from Jarnem Lookout was spectacular. It was time for a handheld stitched panorama of the view.

I took seventeen (17) frames at the shortest focal length of this very handy travel lens (the 28-300 zoom) which covered a full 360˚ view. In the end I cropped the view down a little but this view still encompasses around 270˚.

… and yes thats my daughter and parents near the middle :).

Note: These photographs (especially the wider shots) look much better when larger – so click any of the images below to see larger versions in an inline overlay slideshow gallery viewer.

Jarnem Views

Jarnem Views

NIKON D750 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 28 mm, 1/200 sec at f/8, ISO 100

Jarnem Spectacular…

Today we decided to drive to the other campground in Keep River National Park. It’s another 16km drive to the end of the dirt road.

There are a couple different walk available up here. In the end we opted for the longest loop walk which passes all the sights.

NIKON D750 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 116 mm, 1/250 sec at f/8, ISO 100

First up was the trek to Nigli Gap and to view some Aboriginal art there. Sadly it was quite faded.

NIKON D750 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 92 mm, 1/160 sec at f/8, ISO 100

They call these the mini bungles and it was easy to see why with these fabulous beehive rock formations.

NIKON D750 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 135 mm, 1/160 sec at f/9, ISO 250

The view from the Jarnem Lookout was spectacular and well worth the extra few hundred metre climb from the main path.

NIKON D750 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 170 mm, 1/400 sec at f/5.6, ISO 100

Jarnem Lookout

Jarnem Lookout

NIKON D750 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 100 mm, 1/100 sec at f/16, ISO 500

Then it was time for the relatively easy descent back down to the bottom.

NIKON D750 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 65 mm, 1/60 sec at f/8, ISO 125

It was hot day for a walk so by the end of the 7.2km round trip we were pretty well expired :).

NIKON D750 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 112 mm, 1/125 sec at f/8, ISO 250

Gurrandalng Archways…

After dinner I headed off into the Gurrandalng wilderness to setup for some more Milky Way goodness.

It was still close to the new moon so the skies were dark and the galactic core of the Milky Way was very visible in the skies above.

I followed the daytime walk up the mountain beside the campground till I reached this area with this fabulous rock with it’s natural arch.

It was back out with the Samyang 14mm and to work.

The framing I was looking for here was to look cleanly through the arch with the tree on the other side nicely silhouetted. The ground on my side was blackened by fire but the pebbly walking track nicely stood out whiter against this background.

Gurrandalng Dreaming

Gurrandalng Dreaming

NIKON D750 + 14.0 mm f/2.8 @ 14 mm, 30 sec at f/2.8, ISO 5000

I shot this vertical composition at a lower ISO whilst the twilight light was still in the sky and added some light painting in the foreground to balance the shot.

At the time I thought the image may end up too light and washed out but I was very pleasantly surprised with the final result.

Note: These photographs (especially the wider shots) look much better when larger – so click any of the images below to see larger versions in an inline overlay slideshow gallery viewer.

Now when it got dark enough to tip horizontal and just slightly micro adjust things till the lines of the path and the line of the Milky Way worked in the frame.

Gurrandalng Streak

Gurrandalng Streak

NIKON D750 + 14.0 mm f/2.8 @ 14 mm, 30 sec at f/2.8, ISO 5000

I’m saving this image for an exhibition I’ll be doing with the Parallaxis group next year so this teaser will have to do till then sorry :)…

Thank you Gurrandalng for the great memories…

Keep River National Park…

Our stop for the next two nights was in Keep River National Park. My parents had never been to Keep River before so this was finally going to be a new experience for them as well.

We were staying at Gurrandalng Campground which was a lovely little area with toilets and this fantastic set of rocks in the middle of the campground.

They call the Keep River National Park the mini bungle bungles and the rock formations here certainly do hint at the fantastic beehive formations found in the bungles.

Mini Bungle Views

Mini Bungle Views

NIKON D750 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 250 mm, 1/250 sec at f/5.6, ISO 180

After lunch my daughter and I went on the 2km Gurrandalng circle walk. It was hot work and took nearly two hours to complete in the heat of the day. We did however see some fabulous views and I took some nice images handheld along the way. I also spied some potential locations I could come back to for some night time photography later :).

NIKON D750 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 98 mm, 1/100 sec at f/8, ISO 160

Keep River

Keep River

NIKON D750 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 58 mm, 1/60 sec at f/11, ISO 110

Note: These images (especially the wider shots) look much better when larger – so click any of the images below to see larger versions in an inline overlay slideshow gallery viewer.

NIKON D750 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 50 mm, 1/250 sec at f/5.6, ISO 100

NIKON D750 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 200 mm, 1/320 sec at f/5.6, ISO 100

Clawing

Clawing

NIKON D750 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 28 mm, 1/40 sec at f/8, ISO 100

NIKON D750 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 28 mm, 1/125 sec at f/9, ISO 100

Clinging for Life

Clinging for Life

NIKON D750 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 48 mm, 1/50 sec at f/16, ISO 400


The frosty fruit ice blocks we had in the freezer also tasted epic when we got back :).

NIKON D750 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 100 mm, 1/200 sec at f/5.3, ISO 200