The Flinders Ranges 2013 Part 1: a Photography Road Trip
This weekend just gone I was lucky enough to have a break to travel up to the Flinders with great friend and photography buddy Maite Petrement. A 3 & 1/2 hour drive got us to Melrose in the Southern Flinders, and with no light left for the day all there was left to do was eat cheese, drink wine and plan our adventures for the following day.
The day we left for the trip I was lucky enough to have a lens I'd ordered arrive mere hours before departing, a Canon 50mm 1.4 lens. Fast and sharp with some great shallow focus! It's very unusual to use a 50mm lens for landscape and wildlife photography. Generally you go for a very wide lens or one with a long zoom, but having a new toy I wanted to test the limitations of it and myself. Prime lenses are definitely my favourite, there's no doubt that they have a little extra quality because the glass doesn't need to move that extra bit to change the focal length. They have their perks and their challenges, one challenge being that instead of standing in one place and just using your zoom, you have to think about where you place yourself. This is a good skill to have when you want control over depth of field and scale of subject vs background, but I'll leave the technical side of that to another blog post.
Using the 50mm lens on our morning hike I found myself more interested in the small details of the landscape, rather then just the thing as a grand and mighty whole. Don't get me wrong, Alligator Gorge is gorgeous! (Excuse the pun!) But with one fixed standard lens you find yourself looking at more of the details of the rock texture, the flowers, the clumps of grass growing over the side of a ridge. The bush apricots (which are yummy!) or a tiny caterpillar that needed saving from a small creek full of tadpoles. You may even find yourself photographing a tiny green man standing on the edge of a mighty rock!
After our hike it was nice to relax in the local bike shop and cafe for a coffee and a read of local maps to plan our next photo shoot location. But let's be honest, what could be better on a warm Aussie day after a nice hike than an ice cold beer at the local pub.