I recently returned from a 4-day aerial photographic tour to Monkey Mia and Shark Bay (August 2019). In May of this year I booked a tour and ventured to Lake Eyre for 4 days of Aerial photography over this iconic inland lake. Liking this adventure so much I decided to tackle Shark Bay. Having completed both of these aerial photographic tours inside 6 months, I though it appropriate to compare the similarities and differences between these two trips.

The Lake Eyre tours includes several flights (aircraft doors off) over selected parts of Lake Eyre. The aerial photography is principally focused on capturing the patterns, textures and colours of the landscape mainly directly out of the aircraft to the scenery below. There are many varied patterns created by nature along the foreshore of the lake. The palette of the landscape is very much one of pastel, muted colours of brown, beige, cream, interspersed with soft blues, aquas, greens, pinks and reds, leading to many fantastic abstract photographic opportunities. This is in keeping with the landscape, Lake Eyre being in northern South Australia just south of the Simpson Desert. The patterns and textures are very striking and are beautifully complimented by the pastel colour palette. During the trip, a flight is taken over the Painted Hills, an area south west of Lake Eyre near Anna Creek. This area consists of rocky outcrops comprised of clay and iron oxide. This combination, in the right light, give striking colour combinations of creams, yellows, oranges and reds. A walk through the area compliments the aerial photography overview. Again this area provides for great photo outcomes.

All of the flights on this trip are commenced either at predawn or in the late afternoon. This is to catch the best light which really enhances the patterns and textures making them really stand out and this is enhanced with the beautiful pastel colour palette that make the photos spectacularly good. There are many opportunities for taking away many great artistic photos from this tour.

Shark Bay is a 4-day excursion exploring the beautiful coastline of a small part of Western Australia. This stunning area provides great opportunities for the photographer to shoot many great shots of the colours of the water and coastline resulting in plenty of spectacular photos. Several flights (again with the doors off) are taken over selected areas of Shark Bay and the immediate environs. All flights commence either mid morning or afternoon. This is to ensure the sun is high in the sky allowing the sun to penetrate the water and reflect the wonderful, striking colours on offer. The palette is quite vivid with strong hues of blue, aqua, red, yellow as well as many variations of browns, creams and beige. Some of the areas visited are softer in palette composition ptroviding an opportunity to photograph the textures and patterns being reflected from the sea bed. Overall, this forms a strong colour palette; in its own way, quite different to Lake Eyre. Included in the trip are two sunrises at selected locations and a beautiful sunset at Cape Peron. Again these excursions provide plenty of opportunity for great landscape photos.

In summary some may say aerial photography is aerial photography however, whilst complimentary, these two tours offered by Tom Putt Photographic Tours deliver quite different photographic opportunities and the keen photographer will come away with many gallery quality photographs from two iconic locations in Australia. I highly recommend people interested in tackling this style of photography seriously consider both of these tours.

Kind regards,

Michael W

Keen Amateur Photographer & Participant on the Lake Eyre and Shark Bay Aerial Photography Workshops, 2019.