The Flinders 2013 Part 3: Sunny Landscape Photography
This is the final post of my 3-part series on my recent road trip to the Flinders Ranges. In my previous post The Flinders Part 2, I talked about the best times of day to shoot using beautiful, natural light. And I said that the worst type of light for photography can be found on a bright sunny day; when the sun is high and bright and the sky is blue and free from clouds. And that's exactly the lighting we had on our final day. This light doesn't mean you can't get good photos, what it does mean is very short & harsh shadows which can cause loss of details in a vast landscape. It also means you can get very unflattering shadows on peoples faces. So the best thing to do on a bright sunny day is avoid overly shady places that will cast lots of these ugly shadows. Shooting RAW and playing with your highlights, lowlights and contrast can also help bring back some of the lost detail.
One big benefit of shooting on a very sunny day is that there is a lot of light! So you can drop your ISO sensitivity right down on handheld shots, which means less grain and more quality. We started our day with a drive up to Quorn; there are so many interesting, run-down buildings, water tanks, windmills and sheds all along the road! When we reached Quorn the Pichi Richi train was just departing! But we manage to pull over just in time to catch a couple of snaps!
We then started a drive up to Hawkers, but on the way decided to take a detour down a long dirt road. Along the way we came across an awesome ruined building! Only the front wall and side chimney were still standing in a vast, flat, empty landscape. Most of the wood had rotted away but you could see the quality the building would have once had. Beside it was a big, 3m deep pit that some sheep had the misfortune to fall into. And scattered around it were a few big, rusted metal boxes. And the remains of what looked like an old thatched roof barn that once held a big old metal machine of some kind. This machine had since rusted and fallen to pieces with the name R. Carmen, Kapunda left barely visible on an old plaque. We felt like archaeologists finding old broken crockery, eucalyptus bottles and rusted pieces of metal. But were definitely far from that! We were defeated by the sun, flies, threat of snakes and our lack of historical knowledge.
The rest of the drive provided amazing views, endless landscape covered in carpets of tiny blue & yellow wild flowers and great big boulders. It was an amazing trip, and after a cold drink and yummy lunch at Quorn it was time to drive home.