Water is the life blood of the Australian outback and it is brought to the surface by windmills, solar and diesel pumps to keep an area in production. In the case of Australian stations it is for provision of water to the cattle industry. This images tells the story of the importance of that water the routine walk to the water point for the cattle. In the distance cattle can be seen walking from the grazing areas to get to the water point and the subtle dust line emphasise the dryness of the land, whilst clouds threaten relief from a long dry season.
This image was captured on the Sandover Highway which runs from the Plenty Highway near Alice Springs, north east to the Queensland border near Lake Nash. I enjoy the spaces in between the highlights, and the areas most people just drive past and not give much of a second thought. The Sandover Highway is one of those roads which joins two places but does not have much along it. Except the magic of the Australian outback which you have to understand to enjoy. Whilst driving backwards and forwards along this road I found this turkeys nest situated in the middle of an open plain and giving great views of the area.
Knowing the cattle would eventually come into the area, I arrived early, parked the car away from the trough and sat atop the turkeys nest waiting. A steady stream of cattle wandering in from the grasslands for the precious water. Being patient and waiting without causing a disturbance so the cattle can drink without feeling threatened is my main goal, and in the case of this image it was great because the sky developed more than when I had first arrived and gave me the finishing touches on the image.
Paul's Landscape Photography Tip
Be there early. Take the time to enjoy the place you are in and the scene before you. By being early you will be able to sit and analyse the scene and make some decisions without being rushed. This is quicker and more productive than using photoshop to fix something because you rushed in and out and missed the rubbish pile on the side of your image.