Fantastic Four Fotographers of the Southwest

Once in a blue moon great teams come together. The Fantastic Four Fotographers of the Australian Southwest is one such great team. Christian Fletcher, Neil Pritchard of Spool Photography, Antony Spencer from the UK, and yours truly make up the team and we, The Fantastic Four, had a fantastic four days fotographing the Southwest of Australia.

We went from Dunsborough to Esperance and back again via the Stirling Ranges. We had a brilliant time, captured some great light and images and everywhere the Fantastic Four went, people loved us. Especially when we provided entertainment to half a campsite by spending 15 minutes figuring out how to pack Christian’s too-smart tent! Unfortunately I caught a vicious stomach bug, spent all of Tuesday in stomach cramps and just wanted to die every second. I was back in action Wednesday fortunately, cannot keep a superhero down for long. I am reporting to you from True North Mark’s lovely boat at Rottnest Island so this will have to be brief and just contain a few images from the Tales of the Fantastic Four.

First up we have the striking colours of Esperance, stock image heaven:


Secondly, my favourite image from the trip, I assume probably only Christian will also love this, but the trip through farmland provided a heaven of altered landscapes under a beautiful sky:


These images very much showcase how I shoot landscapes presently. Panoramas are yesteryear’s thing as far as I am concerned, I am into very simplistic straight on squared spaces, shooting into the horizon. The fewer elements the better, and the more altered the better. Telephone poles, silos and old sheds rock! Nothing funnier than having Antony and Neal look on bewildered as Christian and I fired away, Antony admitting “seriously, I have no idea what you’re capturing”.

Thanks to Christian, Neil and Stony Tony for an awesome time. Thanks also to photographer Dan Paris in Esperance, was great to meet you and to see your part of the world.

27 Comments on “Fantastic Four Fotographers of the Southwest”

  1. Sounds like you blokes had a blast!

    I have been shooting like wild too! (so dont forget about my blog :P)

    I think I may have had the same bug as you cause i spent a day and a night with chronic stomach cramps a week or so ago and diziness during the night like i had never experienced!

    1. Hey Dylan, yes we had a fantastic time, fantastic four of us. I shall checkout your blog soon mate, I am just so behind on reading at the moment as I am busy busy being a nomad photographer 🙂
      That stomach bug has been doing the rounds apparently, many people have had it.

  2. Was a great trip Flembot. Bummer about the bug. The good thing is I didn't get it. I think you and I are on the same page when it comes to photography these days. You see great minds do think alike.

    The tent was just for show mate. I knew how to collapse it all the time. I enjoyed getting covered in gravel dust and sweat. Nice images however, wait to you see mine. My Jedi powers were strong on that weekend.

    Cheers to Spoolie and stony Tony, you fellas were great to travel with.

    P.s. You forgot to mention that Tony is uk photography royalty after winning the top prize in their most prestigious competition. He is also related to princess Dianna. We mix in the right circles. He might make us Lords. I want to be Lord Vader!

    1. Great minds do indeed think alike…which is probably how we both ended up forgetting the softbox on NYE 😀 😀
      Bring on those images, you know your Jedi skills are no match for Luke Skywalker, the one who can walk both sides of the force!

      Oh yes, how could I forget to mention UK LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEARRRRRR…..TONY THE STONY, I mean Stone the Tone….and he's related to Lady Di. If I wasn't already a Jedi I could be Lord Skywalker!

      The Tent Show was hilarious, please let us do a repeat performance 😀

  3. Howdy Flem … I'm liking those first 2 images from the trip of yours, well captured. I should have a couple of images up on the spoolphotography wordpress blog this evening, just have to knock out a sunday meeting first …

    thanks again for the invite on the trip, I had a blast with a ton of laughs and it was so good to travel with like minded photographers that do nothing but shoot shoot and shoot … and boy did we shoot the shit out of the south …



    1. Thank you Neal, and thanks for a brilliant time – was really great to meet you and our team just clicked, shooting the shit out of every beach, dune, telephone pole and mountain we came across!

  4. Sounds like the fantastic four had a blast. Good to hear.

    The first image definitely shows of the colours of esperance. Beautiful place.

    The second image I feel just lacks one more compositional element. Maybe a small house on the hill, or something just to balance things out.

    You've had me pondering at the image for an awful long time. Great success!

  5. Nice work flembot – I'll never forget those Esperance colours either. The second image doesn't quite have it all for me, maybe the foreground fence or 'flatness' ? Would maybe work better in BW perhaps. I agree with square and enjoy that format as well (I had a nice collection going until recent events) for me it's either square or 3:1.

    Stomach bug = kryptonite huh.

    all the best,

    1. Thanks for the comment Tone. Stomach bug was very much Kryptonite, bloody hell that was bad.

      I believe that there's a perfect crop for every image so I never crop to a specific format, and these are not perfectly square either. But I am composing very differently these days when it comes to landscapes and cropping closer to a square.

  6. Hey Flemming, happy new year, sounds like you're having a great start to 2011, touring around some of the most beautiful coastline in the world. Love your first image, second one has great clouds and the square format is great, can't say the lamp post does much for me though…

    sounds like you are just a hop skip and a jump away from my place at the moment (Fremantle), drop in on your way back through, i've got a comfy couch that you're most welcome to any time.


  7. Hey Flemming!

    Sounds like you have had a good time in the south west!

    Was nice to put a face to the name and meet you at Honeycombs! still waiting to see a photo from either christian or you of my girlfriend on the rocks haha!

    Will try catch up for a shoot with Matt when you are back in Feb!

    I too think that less is more and trying to pick a scene out of something that most people wouldn't look twice at is a rewarding challenge! nicely done here.

    Cheer, Steve

    1. Hi Steve! Yes was good fun to meet you on the beach, hope you smashed a few waves after we left you. I think Christian captured the classic Aussie guy in the striped budgie smugglers hehehe 🙂 Thanks for the comments, I'll be down South again in Feb and we shall meetup, bring your clone as well 😀

  8. Hey Flem,

    Sounds like it was a great trip with plenty of shooting! Sweet shots too, square crop is my favourite at the moment too, its all i shot in Paris. Be sure to check out some of my shots from there, be stoked to get some Flemming critique 🙂

    Hopefully catch you in Feb when you are back.

    1. Hey Matt, yes it was an amazing trip. I will have a look at your blog mate, sorry I haven't before but I am swamped in blogs and finding it hard to find the time to comment on them all. Yes, lets catch up in feb when I am down South at some point.

  9. Sounds like you 4 had a blast!

    On simple, square formats, you'll be going medium format film before we know it 😉 I will follow your evolution with much interest.

    1. Certainly a medium format camera is perfect for this and a Hasselblad or Phase One would be ideal for my landscape work (and rather useless for my travel work). They need to come down about a million percent in price though 🙂

      (and so good to see you back on my blog 🙂

  10. Well I love Esperance so the first definitely gets my attention Flembot! The square crop is a nice addition too. And jealous you got cool clouds when you where there too haha.

    The second I don't quite get either sorry. I guess for me anyway, these types of shots work more in the atmospheric sense, nice and dark, B/W, heavy vignette, and clouds that look like they'll rip you apart. I know you've tried to get the opposite of that (and the normal), but I have to agree with the others above too sorry.

    And seeing as though you're meeting everyone else we'll definitely have to meet when you're back up this way in a couple of months haha. Fly into Newman and i'll drive you up to Broome, shooting the shit out of the place on the way in Neal's terms haha 😛

    1. Hi Stephen, I got to see your beloved Stirling Ranges too. Totally covered in clouds though, we saw Bluffs Knoll for a very short time.

      For me, the first image is a nice stocker, but booooring. The best is super frigging bloody fantastic and I know no one else gets it and it will never sell and I do not care at all.

      If I have the time on the way up that Newman plan is quite alright, we shall see in the beginning of March. Or come up to Broome late March when I am back from the True NOrth trip.

      1. haha, and that's what it's about at the end of the day isn't it. if you're happy with the image then that's it. 🙂

        and yeah i'll be looking at a Broome trip as well once you're up there. I hope to before then as well, get up there and get some storms that you were so good at conjuring when you were there…… see if I have some minute powers too lol.

    2. oh and all that more is more heavy vignetting, angry clouds, black and white etc. is old news…I am here to tell everyone that less is more. Tread softly with those images everyone, stop bruising and hurting those pixels!

  11. Come on Flem – Panoramas are the way of the future, not the past!!! haha

    Sounds like you guys had a cracking time down there. Esperence is on the bucket list when I visit WA next… thats for sure!!

    1. No Tim, panoramas are so last year, square images that no one gets at all is the future ! Woohoo, freedom, liberation, no more pressure to produce pretty images, ugliness is the way to go 🙂

      1. Oh this sound like the topic for an interesting blogersation. Panoramas… well they are certainly popular at the moment, but they really are the past, panoramic cameras have been around since the invention of the camera and have moved in and out of fashion many times over the past 100 years, just like 3D photography. But then, from a viewers point of view a pano is easier on the eye and they certainly work well for landscapes. Digital has made creating panos much easier now too, but its all about stitching, and that is very gear oriented… so whilst i like panos, both making them and looking at them, i also agree with Flemming, its much more fulfilling working within a single shot rather than stuffing about with levels and tripods and swinging heads. i cant agree with Flemming about the ugliness thing tho, but then, ugly is in the eye of the beholder

  12. Hey mate,

    It was definitely an amazing trip and yes the company was equally good! Love the images mate but I also think you should clone out the telegraph post and cables! 🙂

    The squares work really well and yes the Esperance shot really is stock heaven!

    Good to hear that you are completely over that bug, didnt look pleasant but at least the dunes weren't as epic as those Namibia ones, after seeing your images I have to get there at some point!

    Christian, I'm not too sure about the lord thing! If you send me your phase though I will see what I can do! 🙂

    Really hope you can make it up to Norway Flembot, I guess that all depends on where you decide to make "home" in the near future? you are welcome on any trip for sure so yeah lets definitely keep in touch!

    All te best mate and have fun in Cambodia!

    1. Thanks very much Tony, Norway is definitely on after seeing your awesome Northern Light shots!

      (I so wish I had the tent-folding escapade on video, that was just rolling around in the dirt funny!!!)

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