Monthly Archives: October 2008

Developing a Hawk Dreaming

I am developing all the RAW files from Hawk Dreaming as no. 1 priority. I want to get all the landscape and aboriginal art shots to Dwane from the Djabulukgu Association Inc  as quickly as possible; to reassure him I am definitely a man of my words and honour my end of the agreement! You will hardly find any other photographers with photos from Hawk Dreaming and I am very happy and privileged to have been allowed to shoot there.

Hawk Dreaming has some large open floodplains so it is possible to shoot some very isolated subjects with a horizon far far away. This is shot with just a bit of dusk light left and I like doing these sort of arty simple compositions. Simple compositions are the hardest to achieve, isolating subjects in the natural chaos of nature takes a lot of searching.

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

Pandanus Palm Glow at Dusk
© Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

I previously blogged about watching dawn and sunrise from a rock shelter and the next shot is the sun just making it’s appearance on the hazy stage. I used a 2 stop (I need to get a 4 stop) ND grad filter, without it the foreground would be pitch black. It may look a bit dark at small size but the larger version is clearer. It was still very dark as the haze and mist softened the sun and I want the picture to reflect this.

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

Sunrise over Cannon Hill
© Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

This is just a taste of the upcoming hundreds shots that Hawk Dreaming provided me and yet I could easily go back and shoot many more in this awesome place.

It is a Hawk and Photographer Dreaming! It’s very easy to escape into the screen while developing these shots.

Canon 5D Mk II – my new travelmate

On Wednesday September 17th I and my Canon 5D roamed the Australian outback covered in red dust oblivious to the fact that Canon chose this day to announce the long awaited Canon 5D Mk II.

Canon 5D Mk II. Photo copyright Canon.

The Canon 5D needs little introduction being one of the best digital SLRs ever produced and my camera of choice for more than 2½ years. I looked at the 1Ds Mk III and it’s 21 megapixel but I feel it is far too big and heavy to be a perfect landscape camera for me. I don’t need the vertical grip and want something that can fit in a backpack while exploring the outback. So I waited patiently (not an easy task) and the Canon 5D Mk II is the perfect camera for me. Some of the features I really look forward to:

  • 21.1 Megapixel Full-frame CMOS DIGIC 4 sensor with 14-bit A/D conversion (16,384 colors/each of 3 primary color).
    If this was the only new feature I would still upgrade! 21 megapixel will be brilliant for landscapes especially in those situation where I can’t stitch shots.
  • Live view. I used to question this feature but it will actually be very handy in spots where I can’t see the viewfinder: shooting from the Sydney Harbour Bridge, shooting aboriginal art on the ceiling of caves at Hawk Dreaming with the camera almost on the ground shooting straight up.
  • Sensor cleaning system. I hope this works really well, the outback is not kind to the 5D sensor and the amount of dust that gets on it is incredible. I constantly have to use my Arctic Butterfly.
  • Full HD Video capture at 1920 x 1080. I am not into shooting video at all but this will still be fun to play with.

I pre-ordered and paid deposit yesterday at Photografica in Copenhagen to ensure my new travelmate gets here asap. Full review to come!

Lost and Found

I am back in Copenhagen after a long 30 hours of flights from Sydney to Denmark. I hardly know how get back to normal life and write normal blog posts again; this time my soul never made it back with me and will forever live somewhere in the outback. I would want to go back tomorrow if possible.

I have a lot of work to sink my teeth into fortunately. Have transferred all RAW files from Lightroom 2.1 on my laptop to my main workstation and have developed exactly 1 RAW file! A sentimental can-stare-at-this-forever-brings-back-memories Hawk Dreaming at dusk silhouette shot:

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

Hawk Dreaming Sand Palms at Dusk
© Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Normal service will be resumed shortly on this blog when I find my lost marbles!

Reflections on an Outback Overreaction

Climbing up a rock face in darkness to witness dawn and sunrise over Hawk Dreaming from a rock shelter rich in aboriginal art. Watching the sun drop into the Indian Ocean standing on Cable Beach. Exploring the Kimberley bush at dawn completely alone. Just me and the light. Driving on the Gibb River Road in the late golden hours of the afternoon. Sitting in Big Bill Neidjie’s cave. Connecting to the landscape and aboriginal history like never before.

Just a few magical moments from this trip. My head is threatening to explode with feelings, memories and experiences and most of all thousands of images. It is overwhelming. This photo trip has provided some of the best moments in Australia for me ever and fantastic new friends, business connections and ideas. Also some of the most frustrating moments ever with trucks breaking down, trips getting cancelled, missing the Mitchell Plateau, 3 sleepless days of jetlag driving me crazy, hurting my knee at Emma Gorge. Some incredible ups and downs.

The entire purpose of this trip was photography of course and it is too early for me to say whether it was a success. The Kimberley light is difficult; I will write about this in a future post. I have several thousand raw files to go through and a lot of stitched panoramas. Only when I emerge from the digital darkroom can I judge the results of the trip. But we had extraordinary light some days and I know there is some art in the data I’m bringing back.

I am ending with a shot that probably means little to most people. To me it is home; it is what I’m all about. The remoteness. The sense of space. The heat. The red dirt, blue sky and white gum trees. The desolate plains.
The mysterious and fascinating Australian outback.

Outback. Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

A good photo shows that you have connected with your subject; be it landscape, people or animals. I may take it slightly to the extreme bordering on obsession as I have what could be described as an overreaction to the Australian landscape. I hope it shows in my work.

As I leave Australia and my life down under today; I feel very sad in many ways. I shall return to my home the outback as soon as possible.