Jarlmadangah and the Full Moon

“Blackfella headlights” cracks Billy and we all share a good laugh. I am at Jarlmadangah aboriginal community. Billy from the community is telling the story of how they went hunting yesterday in a very banged up 4WD with no brakes and no lights. They caught a big beast but then getting home proved difficult as the total darkness caught up with them and the car with no headlights. Problem solving was easy, simply sit down and wait for the full moon to rise and then drive home – blackfella headlights:


This is just a quick having fun image from our night shooting of a million stars, a boab lit up by our campfire and the blackfella headlight. Yes, the moon is shot with my 400mm lens and then added in Photoshop. You can call it cheating but it’s the only way to recreate the scene. The moon is shot on the same night, it was just of course smaller and more to the East and the Blackfella Headlight was so bright one could read by moonlight. And of course, drive a car as Billy proved!

I spent two nights camping at the Jarlmadangah aboriginal community in their gorgeous country with my friends Rob from Purely Unreal Kimberley Dreamtime Adventure and Nigel Gaunt of Red Dirt Photography. Many thanks to Rob for taking us out there, what a sweet adventure we had. It is a special feeling and adventure to visit the community and then bush camp in the stinking sweaty hot Kimberley outback in the wet season. It was 40+ during the day and still around 30 degrees at midnight. The million flies attack you like a giant black wall from some horror movie. But then you lie on your back at night staring straight into a million stars and there’s no experience like it. On our first night we climbed a rock possibly about 500 meters up and camped out under a million stars and a full moon. The climb was fun but took it’s toll carrying gear, food and sleeping bags and the weight of hundreds of flies on our backs. The rocky surface also proved a hard mattress to sleep on but it was all worth it. The next day we camped among large boab trees and here we are attempting to sit still for a 30 second exposure with a full moon about to rise:


More stories and video from our outback excursion still to come.

PS. I seem to jinx cameras presently. Walking in front of me Nigel kept dropping things like his lens cap. Then walking on a rock edge the Nikon simply fell off his tripod and would have been weightless for a good 10 seconds before hitting ground level. By sheer luck the camera fell into Nigel’s hand and he caught it saving the camera, unlike Christian and the Phase One which I possibly had a hand in jinxing. Sorry mate. Secure your cameras when walking next to me. My Jedi mind tricks seem a bit out of calibration.

17 Comments on “Jarlmadangah and the Full Moon”

    1. cheers mate, and indeed it was a hot adventure although the heat did not bother me that much. Flies in my eyes, ears and nose, now that bit I could do without 🙂 Those outback flies are desperate for any moisture.

  1. Hi Flemmimg

    Great to hear you also enjoyed the wet season adventures always available with KDAT…to those that are game enough, a trip can be organised almost any time of the year.

    Oh yeah, Flemmimg T.T.F.U. and looking forward to catching up nexy time your are in the Kimberley and thanks for the invaluable lessons on photography. Cheers Rob Bamkin KDAT

  2. Another enjoyable episode of Flems excellent adventures :o)

    Pretty good going sitting still for a 30 sec. exposure.

    <cite>My Jedi mind tricks seem a bit out of calibration</cite>

    I know just how you feel. Still looking for the right syntax for the recalibrate command to return something better than "illegal parameter", right?

    What you might need is a soft reboot…with a size 12 flip-flop ;o)

    1. Thanks my dear friend. Size 12 flip-flops (which the Aussies inexplicably call thongs) may do the job, if not there is always the old hard reboot (like for instance caused by removing the UPS serial comm cable haha) which will come if not sooner when the solar flare hits in three years. Incidentally, I know where I will go after the solar flare has destroyed all electronics in the world – back to Jarlmadangah, where survival does not depend on Supermarkets and internet but on old skills.

  3. Hi Flemming,

    Fantastic shot mate. As time goes on I'm getting more and more attracted to the bush. I still love my oceans, but the bush is starting to draw my interest.

    What did you guys eat around the campfire?


  4. When Australians travel and get a bit homesick for our beautiful weather, somehow we usually forget about the flies. If that's the worst of being out there, we're doing OK. Glad to see you are enjoying more adventures and hope to catch up when you are further down south.

    1. On the second night we slept under mossie domes. I woke up after the beautiful sunrise and it was all gorgeous and so so quiet. That is, until I had to get out of the dome and bzzzzzzz one million flies kamikaze attacked me hehehe, it's all part of the great outback experience. TTFU as we say. See ya down south !

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