I found my long lost Devils Marbles!

Time for another trip back in time and another old travel story. This time we travel back to January 1998 and to a place where I finally found my long lost Marbles; lost by me sometime in the early eighties I believe! I found my marbles at a weird and wonderful place in the middle of the red centre of Australia.

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Devils Marbles
Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

It’s a large area of huge granite boulders precariously balanced on top of one another and is known as Devils Marbles. The Warrumungu name is Karlwe Karlwe and is a sacred site for aboriginals believing it to be the eggs of a rainbow serpent. I don’t know where the “Devils” name originated from, but I prefer the aboriginal story, a giant serpents egg is food for the imagination as you’re running around this big playground of massive boulders! The Rainbow Serpents Eggs as I like to call them are easy to find. On one hand they’re in the middle of absolutely nowhere but on the other hand they’re right next to the only road going through central Australia – the Stuart Highway! 400 km north of Alice Springs, 100km south of Tennant Creek and you almost run straight into this surreal landscape:

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Devils Marbles Panorama
Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

The boulders are on average 3-4 meters tall and there are thousands of them spread over a large area. We arrived late afternoon and setup bush camp. This is an interesting experience and basically involves driving tent pegs into metal! The soil is red and hard as nails from the rusting metal and hammering tent pegs into this takes some force! After a lot of hammering we started exploring the ‘marbleous’ marbles.

The colours, shapes and shadows are a photographers dream and you have endless fun running around finding an endless supply of compositions! I have a weird love relationship with desolate places featuring red rocks so I was a man possessed as I climbed the boulders shooting photos constantly. Just remember it’s a lot easier to climb up than down! I got stuck on top of more than one 4 meter tall boulder not quite sure how I managed to get up and very unsure of how to get down (well there’s gravity but that’s a bit rough)!

As the sun sets the rocks turns a burning deep red colour and you get some great and funny contre-jour opportunities:

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Sunset at Devils Marbles Panorama
Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

 

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

The face of Devils Marbles
Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

These old photos are like an old invaluable treasure chest of memories for me and I love how I now have high quality digital archival versions of these faded slides. The 3 photos here were shot on Fujichrome with a Canon EOS1000 SLR and scanned on a Konica Minolta slide scanner. They’re basically snapshots as I was just beginning to get into photography in 98 and learning the ropes and shot an awful lot of crappy photos with an awful lot of bulls-eye compositions! Every once in a while I would get a good shot and wonder how on earth I managed that! Fortunately experience is a good teacher.

If you have lost your marbles (means having lost your mind, being slightly mad and crazy) like me – anyone who knows me would agree – then I certainly recommend looking for them amongst the Rainbow Serpents Eggs at Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve!

14 responses to “I found my long lost Devils Marbles!

  1. Some very nice shots here Flemming.Not long to go now.Make the most of your trip to the Kimberly,s.We have just heard that the whole coastline there is going to be drilled out by the Japanese for natural gas.According to my sources it will wreck the natural habitats for a lot of our wildlife and make chaos of the coastline and other parts of that area.via roads, trucking ect.PS I am a member of many conservation groups here…cheers Birte

  2. Thanks Birte! And yes, I’ve been reading about http://www.savethekimberley.com/ and the Gas Project and it’s bloody scary. I wonder if we the human race will ever learn conservation, I hope so but fear that we won’t learn until it’s too late and we’ve destroyed everything.

  3. Love that top pic of the marbles.
    Spot on composition and exposure.

    I hear you on the conservation hey. Unfortunately we’re not smart enough to learn from previous mistakes.

  4. I’m with Stephen. The top pic is my favourite. I’m a little jealous of you as I want to visit all of these places you have visited!
    :p

  5. Hi Stephen at thanks! I think we do learn from previous mistakes it’s just that the people in charge now aren’t the ones who made the previous mistakes so they naturally think “I won’t repeat someone elses mistake” and go ahead.

    Beau, thanks, my mission is to photograph every square meter of Australia 😀

  6. Going to rock the boat a little and say the second pic I like the most …. As long as BIG $$$ can be made from our natural resources there are folks in this country that will sell every last grain or ounce of gas, and not put at least part of the money back into renewable energy like solar and wind, shit we have so much of both here in West Australia, yet we lag pretty much last in the developed world for both, bloody disgusting and embarrassing at the same time.

  7. I’m just happy people even like any of these 10 year old snapshots 🙂
    Western Australia having the most mineral rich soil in the world making it a prime target for every mining company should also be a world leader in conversation…or in a few years there won’t be anything left 😦

  8. Nice shots mate I prefer the top one as well . Have to get back to these places now that I have a decent camera last time i was here i think i was about 12 or something lol

  9. My fave is the top one as well, when viewed large it has a spectacular 3d depth effect.

  10. Well Flemming, you had better spend at least half your time here if your mission is to photograph every square meter of Australia.I would take a lifetime to do it.

  11. That’s the beauty of my mission, it’s a life long project!

  12. I really look forward to seeing the results Flem!
    So many Australians don’t have any idea of what we actually have in our country. It’s good to see someone so passionate about getting out there and seeing so much of it.

  13. Thanks heaps Stephen! It’s my pleasure to show Australia to Australians 🙂

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