Boab's are iconic trees in the Top End of Australia and mainly found in the Kimberley Region and on the western side of the Northern Territory. Judbarra / Gregory National Park is about 13,000 square km on the Victoria River Highway near Timber Creek. The park is a transitional between the tropical and semi-arid areas of the Northern Territory and features boab tree’s in many areas of the park.
I had been at Bullita Homestead in the centre of the park reading up on the history of the early pastrol days but decided it was not going to be the site of my evening shot. I headed north out of the homestead area and into Limestone Gorge with it’s calcite flow’s. Given the time of year and the 40 degree heat visitors to the park were few and far, so I knew I would probably have the gorge to myself.
As I drove into the gorge I could see the cloud formation to the west and knew there was a possibility of something special as the sun dipped to the horizon. So pulling up in the carpark I ran up the escarpment with my bag and tripod to get a better view of the approaching sunset. Time was short so I ended up running around the plateau at the top of the escarpment looking for a “something” to enhance the cloud formation.
Off in the distance I could see the top of a boab and for some reason thought it had potential, so a quick jog to investigate. It would work but it was part way down the escarpment slope. Quickly getting down there I worked out a shot and got ready. Unfortunately getting ready meant digging a hole in the rock and dirt with nothing but my hands and a rock. Why? Because of all the angles I needed to get the tripod as close to ground as possible but the slope meant I could not see through the viewfinder. I needed a hole to put my head into. By this time I had worked up quite a sweat and was really short on time and things we lookig good so could not afford to miss the shot.
Well I made it and captured “Drovers Glory” and named it after a nearby stock camp.
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Paul's Landscape Photography Tip
Never be satisfied with the first thing you see. Sometimes you know a spectacular event is about to happen before you. As a photographer you have 2 choices. First one is get the easy shot knowing an amazing sunset will be all you need, or challenge yourself to make it better. I regularly do this and in doing so have pushed the boundaries too far and ended up with nothing, but when it does pay off - all the misses are worth it.