Tag Archives: mindil

Crocs in the main street of Darwin! Sun drops into Timor Sea!

Food! At Mindil Beach MarketThe Mindil Beach Market is in every Darwin tourist brochure so you might think it’s overrated and over packed with tourists. But it really is good fun and in a way it’s what Darwin is all about in one little (not so little; about 190 stalls) market. It’s a big multi cultural melting pot of tourists and laid-back locals enjoying the atmosphere, checking out the many food and craft stalls, grooving to the bands, artists and well downright crazy performers performing – and everyone worshipping the sun drop straight into the Timor sea while eating $8 meals cooked by chefs like my mate on the right (yeah that’s right! I shot a photo of a non-landscape subject!). Everyone is friendly and determined to have a great time and the people are super entertaining. Tropical lifestyle at it’s best!

Mindil Beach Market I still felt tired and lazy and couldn’t be bothered walking the 4 kilometres to the beach in the tropical heat…so I hailed a taxi. Taxi driver was a character all right; sees my big camera backpack with tripod and asks “Off to shoot the sunset? You’re a photographer mate? Professional?”. “Yeah. Well semi-pro” I say. He asks “I got a digital camera too, how big is your memory card? I think mine can shoot like a thousand photos!”. “Hehehe, well mate” I say “I have about 40 gigs of CF cards, 320 gigs of external HDs, 1 laptop and blank DVDs. I don’t really plan on running out of memory!”. He shifts conversation to food and says “So much good food at the market, you like Indian food?”. “Yes I do” I say. “It’s SPIIIIICYYYYY” he then shouts like Jim Carrey in The Mask. Like I said, wildly entertaining people at the market and also driving you to the market!

Mindil Beach Market It’s hard to capture the atmosphere of the market in a photo. I’ve included a few quick and dirty edits from Lightroom with blown highlights, halos and everything! But they do sort of show you the blur of people walking back and forth between the stalls surrounded by palm trees and tropical sunset light. To see the sunset itself – read on.

Crocs on Main Street of Darwin!

Just had to throw in that headline. Since Crocosaurus Cove opened in the middle of Darwin a few months ago this headline has been featured everywhere! Crocosaurus Cove is a huge new croc zoo right on Mitchell Street. It is worth a visit, it’s really well made with some beautiful crocs in huge pools that feature super design. Like in some fish aquariums you can walk underneath the pools and see the crocs from all angles. Impressive, haven’t seen that before. Mitchell street is also backpacker hell with all the big backpacker hostels and therefore also all the big pubs. I reckon they should let the crocs out at night, cull the drunken backpacker population a bit!

Sun drops into Timor Sea! – and Australia and GND filters

Sunset at Mindil Beach in DarwinI don’t really use a lot of filters. I sometimes use a neutral density filter in Copenhagen to cut light for longer exposures. The ND filter you can just stick on and forget so it’s easy to use. Doesn’t get in my way. I rarely use a graduated neutral density (GND) filter in Copenhagen as the soft pastel light means I can manage without it and I find GND filters annoying to use. I’m not really that keen on tripods either. Or cameras for that matter. That’s why I loved the 617 viewfinder so much. I want as transparent a creative process as possible concentrating on composition and shooting many angles and hate anything that gets in the way. I would love to just swap one eye for a 50 megapixel 14-bit sensor with 2:1 aspect ratio and shoot by blinking!

In Australia the light and colours can be so intense even after sunset that a GND filter really is needed. A GND filter has a gradual cutoff meaning half the filter cuts exposure by for instance 2 stops while the rest of it is transparent. Means you can even out the light between the sky and the beach or sea for example. I still find GND filters a right bloody pain in the behind to use. Can’t see what’s going on, have to keep adjusting every time I change composition. But it means you can capture Mindil Beach dusk shots like the one above and this one (again, just quick exports from Lightroom) 

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Aboriginal art

I am very fascinated by aboriginal culture and have by now seen a lot of rock art and paintings all over Australia. Darwin has what I consider the best artists and the best art galleries. The traditional old x-ray style of Arnhem Land in Kakadu National Park here in the Northern Territory, the Oenpelli region, is my favourite style; the style most people know are probably the new dot-painting style. There are several large and gorgeous aboriginal art galleries in Darwin, the Aboriginal Fine Arts Gallery is outstanding and features some of the best Arnhem Land artists. Djawida Nadjongorle is one of the famous Arnhem artist and his outstanding work can be seen here. If I had $6500 to spare the huge Mimi Spirits Hunting painting was coming home with me!

I’ve gone bush!

Finally; now the real work can begin; the real photography! I am fully normalised, sleep fine again and Wednesday sees me on a 14 day outback trip through the magnificient Kimberleys. I have very high expectations; hope to get some fantastic outback landscapes to add to my portfolio. I won’t be online for a while so see ya on the other side! I’ve gone bush!

Mindil Beach at Dusk Panorama

Even if you haven’t been to Darwin, you may have heard of the beach in Darwin called Mindil Beach and the market where everyone goes Thursdays and Sundays – Mindil Beach Market.

I’ve blogged about Mindil Beach before when I was there in August 2007, it is a great and fun melting pot of so many cultures, market stalls and buskers and thousands of people. Then there’s the sunset. It is not just watched it is almost worshipped by the Territorians and the tourists. It is out of this world, only in the tropics will you get these colours. Dusk is even better, the colours are so intense and saturated that Scandinavian eyes used to our somewhat paler version of the world find it hard to believe these colours exist!

I recently finished stitching a panorama of Mindil Beach at Dusk that I feel succeeds fairly well in showing the magical dusk light at Mindil Beach. Click this to see the large size version on my website:

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

Mindil Beach at Dusk Panorama
Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

About the photo

I love this shot, looking at the full size version it totally brings me back to Mindil Beach – all that’s missing is the many sounds and smells of the market and the tropical heat! The colours are spot on as I remember them from Mindil in dusk light and this particular night (I was at the market 3 different nights) had the best light and one other important thing – the tide is out and went out timed perfectly with the sunset! There’s a 9 meter tide at Darwin so it’s a huge difference, either there’s no beach or a huuuuge beach! Having the tide go out timed with the sunsets leaves these tiny rivers of reflected light in the wet sand picking up all the colours of dusk! Only happened on this night! I underexposed by more than a stop to keep the red channel from blowing out.

It’s not a perfect panorama shot technically though, I did quite a few things wrong and I have spent hours and hours in PTgui and Photoshop trying to correct my mistakes, “salvaging” this pano. I didn’t have a tripod for this so I shot it handheld, but that can still work fine. It won’t work when you’re not paying attention though, I must have still been jetlagged because the horizon is all over the place from shot to shot. You would think I bloody shot it one handed looking at the files! This + the fact that it’s a very wide ‘n wide angle pano shot vertically is why the horizon is not totally straight in this shot and I had to do a lot of cleaning up in Photoshop of the stitches. It was worth all the work though, I love the shot but wish it was a bit better technically, certainly would have saved me many hours of work at the computer if I’d done my work properly in the field to begin with. I guarantee it’ll still look great on your wall though 🙂

The Market

Gotta love Mindil Beach Market, half of Darwin is there not just the tourists and it’s great fun. I’ll end this with one of my shots from the market itself, click to see large:

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

Busy night at Mindil Beach Market
Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

…and finally, a video of the market courtesy of Northern Territory Tourism at Youtube: