Nicholas Atkin Fine Art Photography

Western Australia Tour Part 5 - Karijini

Nicholas Atkin - Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The culmination of 8,000 km of driving and 3 weeks was the arrival at my final destination, Karijini National Park.


I have been very eager to get to this part of the country for several years and the main reason for this specific road trip was to photograph Karijini.


Karijini National Park is around an hours drive to the East of Tom Price, a mining town in northern WA.  The region is a major mining area, but areas such as Karijini are left in a pristine condition. The earth here is so red its almost hard to imagine.  The roads are carved into the red earth and everything that passes through the area becomes covered in a red dust film. 


                              Pilbara Road, WA


Karijini is a park filled with red earth, jagged hills covered with snappy gums and deep gorges that have been eroded by millennia of water erosion from the annual storms that hit the area during the early months of the year.


The surface temperatures can climb well into the high 40ºs and quite often above 50º, but below in the gorges, is a different world.  Cold streams run through the valleys, and the high walls create shade throughout most of the day.  There is a myriad of different types of plant life clinging to the gorge walls and stream beds.


                              Weano Gorge, Karijini NP


Deeper into the gorges, the water erosion has carved narrow gaps through the rock, here the walls made from iron ore are colored red and blue. 


 Karijini NP, WA

                              Weano Gorge, Karajini NP

Western Australia Tour Part 4 - Perth to Carnarvon

Nicholas Atkin - Thursday, August 04, 2011

The drive north from Margaret River allowed an escape form the storm.  North of Perth the winds died down a little and as we followed the coastal road to the north the clouds started to part and the sun once more illuminated the landscape.


Surprising to me was that as we headed north of Perth, I was sure that we would soon hit the desert once more only to find that the farmlands of Western Australia reached north of Perth for hundreds of kilometers.  Interspersed with the farmland and the coast arid patches of sand appeared as though fighting the force of the agriculture and wondrous sites such as "The Pinnacles" national park out of nowhere.


                              The Pinnacles, WA



In Carnarvon, the ocean was the fascination.  Late in the afternoon, whilst scouting for a sunset shot, I found my way out to the ocean beach.  The wind had dies down and the tide was on the turn.  The unusual part of the scene for me was that the ocean was brown.  Not a dirty brown, but instead a pure mineral brown.  Later in the evening as the sun was setting, I was fortunate enough to find a clear sky, the colours of which complimented the ocean.  The image below shows the abstract brown beauty of a Carnarvon sunset.


 Colors of Carnarvon

                              Carnarvon Sunset, WA


Western Australia Tour Part 3 - Margaret River Region

Nicholas Atkin - Sunday, July 31, 2011

On from Albany and Denmark, the next destination was the Margaret River region of WA.  This area boast claim to an incredible number of vineyards and diverse agricultural array.  The whole region was green and rich browns. Wild lilies growing under the old gum trees that surrounded the fields.


The drive to Margaret River form Denmark was an interesting one. Strong gale force winds had driven across the coast and caused havoc on the region.  Several time I had to pull the Jeep over to pull branches from across the road.  The rain was driving across the land almost horizontally and my plans for the south eastern coastal region looked sure to fall apart.


The first port of call was to the old town of Busselton.  There is an old jetty here that reaches for 2km into the ocean.  The entrance to the pier has 3 old pitched roof buildings that make for a very interesting feature when shooting the jetty.  This day however, there was no way of capturing a shot.  Waves were breaking over the beach wall as the hurricane winds drove the tide onshore. The beach which usually lies pristine beneath the jetty was awash with ocean froth and littered with seaweed and other flotsam.


This was the beginning of the storm.


For 3 days the winds drove onshore.  There was no lapse on the strength, but nevertheless determination found me out weathering a beating most of each day.  The battle with the weather was a difficult one to win, the wind was driving so much spray that it was impossible to protect the cameras from it.  When is was possible to hide form the spray, the wind was so strong it was buffeting the tripod so hard long exposures were virtually an impossibility.


I had been determined to capture a shot of Sugarloaf Rock in Cape Naturaliste and headed back several times only to be eventually beaten by the weather.  I did however manage to capture a couple of shots. Sugarloaf Rock stands a good 40 to 50 meters high. The shot below gives an impression of the power of the storm with the waves breaking over the rock at tremendous force.  The image below was taken from a higher elevation to the rock itself.  That means that the waves were actually higher than the actual rock.


                          Sugarloaf Rock, Cape Naturalise


Western Australia Tour Part 2 - Esperance, Albany and Denmark

Nicholas Atkin - Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The first leg of the Western Australian tour was along the southern coast.  Esperance being the first port of call and then heading west along the coast through Albany on to Denmark.


Esperance is the picture postcard place for white sandy beaches and the crystal clear aqua waters of the Indian Ocean.  The coastline of this area is full of hidden coves and beaches and seclusion is almost guaranteed if you are willing to drive off the beaten tourist track.


The coastline is also filled with sand dunes and huge white bluffs of fine powdery sand.  These have become the playground for 4WD enthusiasts along with a myriad of other off road recreational vehicles. 


 Esperance Sand Dunes, WA

                                  Esperance Sand Dunes


One of the highlights of the trip was a sunset on the third day.  After a long day of shooting, we headed back into town hoping to have some good light for a sunset over the Esperance tanker jetty.  When we returned to town, the sky was dark and covered in dense storm clouds.  Not to be perturbed I hunkered down on the jetty and waited, hoping for a glimpse of the setting sun.  The sun gods must have been watching, as only moments before the sun was to dip below the horizon, the clouds parted slightly and the suns rays were allowed to dance through the clouds and paint the scene with amazing colour.  This shot below was the result.



  Tanker Jetty, Esperance

                                   Esperance Pier, WA


From Esperance we headed west along the coast to the towns of Albany and Denmark.  This area also boasts claim to some incredible white sandy beaches and hidden coves.



                                 Two Peoples Bay, Western Australia


Albany also lays claim to a magnificent wind farm.  The turbines are perched along a coastal ridge line overlooking the Indian Ocean.  I am a huge fan of sustainable energy, and if all energy could be produced from such beautiful machines, I would be all in favour of this monolithic type of landscape. 



Blue Haven Sunrise, Esperance

                                 Wind Farm, Albany


Western Australia Tour Part 1 - The Nullarbor

Nicholas Atkin - Saturday, July 23, 2011

As most Australians, we have been looking to drive the Nullarbor for quite some time.  For those of you unfamiliar, the Nullarbor is a road that travels the length of the Great Australian Bight and is the only road available when driving to Western Australia from the East Coast of Australia.


The drive across to WA took 3 days to complete. For the most part, the drive is long, straight and has very little to keep the eye occupied. For photographers this can get a little frustrating especially when you are on a photo shoot.  Never the less we completed the journey and managed to capture a few nice shots along the way.


Ceduna Sunset, SA

                                 Ceduna Pier, South Australia


Once we reached WA we headed south to the coast, specifically to Esperance.  After 3 long days of driving, primarily through desert and arid flatland's, the sight of Esperance, the sudden revival of grasslands, pastures and trees flooded the senses and so began our time in the photographic nirvana of Western Australia.

Grand Theatre, Beijing wins Silver award at APPAs

Nicholas Atkin - Sunday, June 19, 2011

We have just heard that our monochromatic shot of the "Grand Theatre, Beijing" has been awarded with a Silver Award at the APPAs "Australian Professional Photographers Awards". 


 Grand Theatre, Beijing

                                  Grand Theatre, Beijing

I am very happy that this specific image has received this recognition.  The clean lines and juxtaposition between the contemporary "Grand Theatre" and the Communist utilitarian government buildings in the distance has always been a wonder for me personally.  Its good to see the judges appreciated the same elements.

European Roadtrip - Heading to Switzerland

Nicholas Atkin - Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Heading east through France towards Strasbourg and then head south, slicing through Germany and into Switzerland.

The drive through France was quite remarkable.  We were forced to stick to the Péage due to the heavy European snow falls, but driving through France whist it is covered in a constant blanket of snow was captivating.  As we were entering the Alsace Province we ran into the an incredible frost fall.

We tried to get off the Péage but unfortunately most of the other roads were blocked or too dangerous to stop on to take the cameras out, we did however manage to find a service station were we able heat up with a good dose of Chocolat and take a few snaps of the frost festooned trees.

With another impending snow storm, we quickly got back on the road and headed on to Strasbourg.

White Christmas in England

Nicholas Atkin - Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Our Europe trip started off a little rocky.  We were half way to London, i.e. in Hong Kong when London Heathrow made the decision that the weather was a too severe for us to continue. Stranded in the airport for hours upon hours and then shuffled off to a hotel, we  decided to leave the cameras in their cases and have some down time.

A few days later we landed in London and headed north through the snow covered country side up to Manchester.  The snow seems to  grind everything to a halt in the UK,  but it adds a great deal of beauty to an already magnificent country.

We managed to get a few photographs taken and spent a great Christmas with the family.

Polariser Dilemma - Another One Bites The Dust

Nicholas Atkin - Thursday, December 16, 2010

I am a big supporter of Lee Filters as they are an essential part of any photographers kit.

In the days of film, enthusiasts would stock up on filters and use them for adding effects to their images, but with the move to the digital era, the tendency is shoot without them and then use Photoshop to deal with the resulting problems later on.

Personally I think its better to correct the light at the photon level rather than at the pixel level in Photoshop.  Photoshop is an amazing tool that all photographers use, but supplying Photoshop with a already balanced image makes your life much easier during post production.

My kit contains the following Lee filters:

ND Filters

0.6 ND
0.9 ND
0.3 ND Grad Soft
0.6 ND Grad Soft
0.9 ND Grad Soft
0.3 ND Grad Hard
0.6 ND Grad Hard
0.9 ND Grad Hard


Linear Polariser x 2

This brings us to the title of this blog, "Another One Bites The Dust".  I have an expensive habit of breaking my polarisers.  While out shooting at Wilson's Promontory in Victoria I removed my Polariser from the filter kit, and for some reason it slipped from my hands and shattered on the floor at my feet.  This wouldn't be too tragic, but you know something is wrong when you always carry a spare one just in case you break one.  Hence that's why my kit has 2 x Linear Polariser included.

I think this must be the third one I have broken in the last year, an expensive little habit.  Mr Lee Filters, could you please create a frequent points program for these...

If you would like to know some more about Lee Filters, then I would highly recommend looking to David Noton in the UK for further advice.  He is a great supporter of Lee Filter and even has his own Chasing the Light filter kit supplied by Lee Filters.  I can also highly recommend his books and DVDs for anyone looking to improve their skills photographing landscapes.

Wanderings Through Oregon

Nicholas Atkin - Sunday, September 26, 2010

After spending a couple of days in the Palouse farming area of Washington State, we headed towards the Oregon coast in the North West corner of the USA. 

The Oregon coast line is rugged and filled with incredible rock formations and due to its climate the cool offshore breeze pushes fog banks onshore giving the area an enchanting feel, it isn't surprising that so many movies are filmed in this area.

Most recently the area has played host to the vampires of Twilight fame with the lush green forests that cover the whole state.

We spend a week exploring the forests and coast of the state.  Oregon also boasts more waterfalls than I have encountered anywhere else on my travels, it seems that you cannot drive more than a few miles before you see a sign for one set of falls or another.   Living in Australia, this is also a novelty as we only get the best out of our waterfalls during certain times of year, this certainly isn't the case in Oregon, they run with a great flow all year round.

The falls are very lush and play host to incredible carpets of green of green moss that surround them.  The highlights of the trip for me were the Columbia River Gorge and Proxy Falls areas.

We will be heading back to this area as soon as we get a chance, hopefully during the spring time to catch the winter run off.