This tour was pretty special mainly because I was so looking forward to seeing the amount of change in the landscape. With such wide spread heavy rains a few weeks ago all the plants surly would have plenty of new growth and the desert would be alive with green grasses. Coming back from a week and a half off due to the bad back enough time had passed to really notice the difference.
Taking out a full group for the first three days and then only five people for the remaining two was pretty sweet because there was plenty of young helping hands to lighten the load. The weather was picture perfect over the whole tour with crystal clear blue skies and not a cloud to be seen. I'm usually wishing for clouds in the sky but I've seen plenty the last few weeks so the blue was a welcome change.
I would really like to spend more time relaxing at Uluru as this is the location that I have the least quality images of. This is because I'm always telling the stories and pointing out the cultural details of the place because we just don't get that much info about culture at the rest of the locations we visit
For the first time since I've had a camera I didn't take it along on the walk around Kata Tjuta just to give my back a rest from the pack that I usually carry... it's somewhere in the vicinity of 9Kg. But I did take it around the canyon because as the sun is getting higher the shadow that have been tricky to work with inside the canyon on the second half of the walk are slowly getting lit by the sun.
The Magic was on the last two days especially an amazing drive out to Oak Valley on the afternoon of day 3 where we stopped off at a few locations to take some shots. With some light cloud cover the light was just amazing to shoot and these images go right to the top for those locations. I had been imagining a shot of a particular rise in the James ranges which didn't particularly work out mostly because of the light being on the wrong side. But what was most opportunistic was a tree that I spotted just before we arrived at the the previous location so I talk the crew into going back and checking it out. Once again I was initially not that happy with the results when back at home but that are still fine images and with the ability to reshoot every week I'm not that phased.
When the remaining crew were off on their tour of Oak Valley I climbed up a favourite dune and took some wonderful images of the sand ripples and the landscape of the James ranges in the back ground. These are some of my favourite shots from the whole tour with the orange sand ripples just catching the morning light giving them great contrast. As well as sets of high cloud giving details in the sky and creating very different lighting conditions over the landscape.
Finally the most amazing thing I've seen... Ormiston Gorge full to the brim! I took the crew along the Pound walk which is easily one of my favourite walks in the West MacDonnall Ranges. The valley was green, a sight to behold in itself but Ormiston Creek was full of water in different locations. I had dreamed of this for ages. Walking through the gorge back to the carpark was an adventure in itself because of the amount of water once again. At the second water hole the water was covering the entire floor of the gorge so we all had to get wet and it was a prime opportunity to go crazy and fill up some memory cards with some pretty rare images.
All in all a great tour with fantastic people who wanted to be there and take part as well as truly spectacular opportunities for photographing the desert at its best.
You can check out the Photo Gallery from the tour here.