Rodney Campbell's Blog

Trekking to Circular…

by on Dec.06, 2015, under Life, Photography

After a magic first day in Karijini National Park I rose early to have my first sunrise with these amazing gorges. I was trekking to Circular Pool this morning to see what hidden treasures I might find.

I didn’t really know what to expect or what sunrise over the gorges might bring. I suspect if it had been a different time of the year and there were clouds in the sky sunrise over the gorges would be very different (and more spectacular). As it was I was here in the dry season so for weeks there’s not a cloud in the sky. With clear blue skies even before sunrise there’s very little reflected light down in those darkened gorges and the skies don’t quite have that soft interesting light dawn often brings.

I figured I wouldn’t arrive before sunrise like I usually do. I didn’t fancy trying to make my way down a dangerous trail in the dark. My best guess was to arrive a little after sunrise and see what the conditions would bring. I’d work my way down the gorge towards the pool and then spend an hour or two there before the sun rose high enough to shine down into the gorge and make it impossible to shoot in there.

After trekking (well driving :)) to the Dales Day Use carpark and then trekking the very short distance to the cliffs above Circular Pool I took a few shots from up top around 7AM.

I then made my way along the clifftop to the Three Ways Lookout (where the trail goes down to the bottom of the gorge).

Three Ways Lookout

Three Ways Lookout

NIKON D750 + 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 @ 55 mm, 1/200 sec at f/8, ISO 100

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.

This panoramic view is the result of stitching eight (8) horizontal frames taken at 55mm. I actually can’t remember if I took this handheld or with the tripod… It shows the view looking two of the three ways as the low sun hits the cliff walls and the ranges on the far side. Fortescue Falls and Fern Pool (where we were yesterday) are to the right and Circular Pool where I’m heading today is around behind me on the left.

Time to go trekking down the rough track to the bottom. Actually at this time of the morning it was cool and pleasant – I wasn’t looking forward to the trek back out later when it was much warmer and the sun was beating down from above.

Some of those massive paper bark trees growing along the base of the gorge – dwarfed by the massive red gorge walls.

Standing Trees

Standing Trees

NIKON D750 + 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 @ 62 mm, 1/2 sec at f/8, ISO 100

Reflected Layers

Reflected Layers

NIKON D750 + 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 @ 56 mm, 1 sec at f/8, ISO 100

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