Karijini Road - Karijini, The Pilbara

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After many years of travelling to Karijini to photograph this incredible landscape, I've longed to capture the wet season here. Unfortunately I've never been able to get here at the right time of year. Usually by the 1st of April, the clouds disappear. So when I arrive in April, no clouds. BUMMER!

In 2021, a cyclone battered the WA coast, causing severe damage to Kalbarri to the south. The cyclone crossed the Australian mainland, dragging moisture from the ocean across to Karijini. For the two weeks I was there, I witnessed rain almost every day. Unheard-of for Karijini in April. 

On this day, I was chasing slow-moving storms in the east when my intuition took me out onto the main road. Driving into the eye of the storm, I told myself that if the sun came out, I would stop.

From my years of shooting landscapes, I knew the contrast in light between light and dark would create an incredible image. The clouds were incredibly black ahead, giving me an unnerving feeling. I really wasn't that keen to go much further. 

Just as I was starting to waiver, the sun popped out. PERFECT TIMING. I pulled over, quickly grabbing my camera. My mind goes through a process of recollection - how have I not got this right before so I don't make the same mistakes again??

Whilst these images may appear to be random, they often are not. I purposefully stood in the middle of the road to create symmetry. I zoomed out as much as possible to create converging lines to lead the eyes into the frame towards the clouds in the distance. I walk towards the line in the centre to have this feature in the foreground that otherwise would be empty and boring. 

Once I have the framing right, I then need to make sure I get the exposure correct. I need sharpness front to back. I need the clouds to not be too bright otherwise I'll loose the detail and mood. I need them to not be too dark, otherwise I'll look the intricate detail in the darkness.

As soon as the sun came out, it disappeared again. That's it. I check my camera and just hope I've got it right. Here it is.


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