Outback Australia quinta essentia

The quintessential. The essence. No; I am not only writing this follow up post to the quintessential Outback Australia photo because I really like those two words! I am also writing this follow up post because I happen to be obsessed with Outback Australia and in my quest for the perfect outback image I want to share two new releases and some techniques.

First release brings forth many of the outback elements that I love. Red rock and earth, a few gum trees, spinifex grass, all bathed in golden light on a huge wide open desolate desert-like plain with a blue sky. Location is the 54km dirt road leading into the amazing spectacular Purnululu National Park (look for Purnululu in one of my next posts). This day offered no clouds but in a way that brings a simpler and less busy shot with more focus on the 3 main element. Blue sky, red earth and gum tree. It is shot late afternoon and I chose a classic composition with the road as the leading line into the photo and the large gum tree at a “golden” third. It is a single shot image cropped to a panorama. The more I look at it; the more I like it and feel drawn into it:

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Path to the Outback
© Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Next up is one of the classic outback subjects; the windmill. This particular windmill is not all that exotic; it’s simply found outside of Derby in The Kimberley. I am featuring it here as I want to talk about the processing. This was shot in them middle of the day with the harsh Kimberley sun baking the landscape. My processing here is inspired by the brilliant Australian western The Proposition. This movie features the outback itself as a strong character in the movie through brilliant cinematography. I read an interview with the cinematographer sharing how he desaturated the blue sky to an almost pale grey and then saturated the ground to achieve a scorched red earth quality and push the feeling of harshness and heat. Inspired by this I have created this image where the blue in the sky is heavily desaturated and the red and orange of the earth and the golden spinifex grass is saturated. I feel this works well and helps push a feeling of a harsh, bright and very hot and sweaty environment!

Click to see large size on my gallery! Copyright Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

Outback Windmill Panorama
© Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

I invite you dear readers, to link to your favourite Outback Australia image, either your own if you have one or another artist. I do buy other photographers outback art so who knows; your image could end up on my wall!

13 Comments on “Outback Australia quinta essentia”

  1. i do quite like the first image Flem. really feels like you're there.

    i prefer the subject of the second image. really sums up the country as you were aiming for. the desaturated sky achieves the effect you were after, but for me personally i'm not a big fan of desaturated skies like this. so in the end still like the first image the most out of these.

    i think you already know my favourite outback image. i reckon it's still your devils marbles shot.

    there are some pretty cool images in here though http://www.redbubble.com/outback-australia-art-an

  2. Thanks very much Stephen. I know the processing on the second shot will be hit or miss for people. I find it gets boring if everyone of my shots have a blue saturated sky so I go for whatever look I feel suits the image best. In this case I like the desat sky.

    Thanks for the Redbubble link, I think I'm even a member of that group but need to find time to update my Redbubble profile.

  3. Hi Flemming,
    Your right the top image does tempt you to know what is around the corner.

    As far as quintessential outback shots for me, I haven't really been in the 'outback' yet. But certainly for tourism the devils marbles works on me.

    But I usually affiliate outback with 'droving' so Fiona Lake's aerial images, especially looking directly down on the stock looks great. http://www.fionalake.com.au/

    And I went out on a shoot with Mike Leonard once, some of his boabshots do it for me, but boabs I find are not uniquely Australian like Eucalyptus. http://lenscape.com.au/galleries/category.php?id=

    And a Thorny Devil against bright red sand.


  4. Hi Tom,

    Thanks for your comments! I agree about Fiona Lake, I gotta get her book as her station images are fantastic. I was born on a farm so yeah anything from a station with drovers and stock really say outback to me as well.

    I didn't know Mike Leonard, thanks for that link!

  5. Personally I'm not a big fan of the desat sky, I think it only works sometimes.

    In the bottom image the windmill looks a little "laid back" to me. is it a wide shot and not a pano.

    Hey Flemming , I'd like to see some pictures of your countryside in your area. For someone on the otherside of the world your blog is all about Australia.

  6. Hi Merv, you're spot on, it's a 17mm shot cropped and not a stitch.

    If you browse back in my blog you'll see posts about Denmark (a few, I love Australia, Denmark not so much).
    But as I'm obsessed with Australia and am developing all the shots from my recent 5 weeks in Kimberley and Kakadu most of the latest blog posts and the up and coming are about Australia. That's my passion, my mission. I do have a few Danish landscapes for you here: http://www.pbase.com/flemmingbo/landscapes

  7. Hi Fleming,
    I just thought I`d say hi and thanks for the inspiration as I`m heading off to the Kimberleys tomorrow morning until Christmas. I love the Story bridge images as well, I was in Brisbane recently when they had a week of severe storms, so I couldn`t get the shot I wanted, however the waterfalls were definetly flowing! Take care and have a good Christmas.

  8. Hi Michael and thanks, if I can provide a bit of inspiration I am stoked! Had a look at your website and images KNP111 and KNP105 are brilliant, the sort of outback images I love.

    Have a fantastic time in the Kimberley mate!

  9. Like em' a lot mate… your style shows through thick as hell in these shots. Im a bit confused about your "quest for the perfect outback image"… every shot is differently looked at by different people. If you can get the universally appealing shot all photographers have been begging for i will be impressed!!! I do like your obsession with the outback though… RIGHT ON!

  10. Thanks very much Sean. The quest is for my perfect outback image, the one I think is perfect. I doubt it'll be perfect for everyone else but I'll settle for being perfect for me 🙂
    The outback is where it's at for sure!

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