29th June 2015
Red Dirt Photography offers small group tours in a 4×6 LandCruiser that not only show off some of the beautiful scenery around Broome, but also help improve the photography skills of the participants. I managed to get a half day tour at fairly short notice. The next full day tour with vacancies was more than a fortnight away – we would be gone by then.
Nigel is an accomplished photographer who has a gallery in Broome. The photos on display are absolutely amazing and I highly recommend a visit to this gallery, even if you are not interested in the photography tour. Visiting the gallery is free – however should you decide to buy one of the photos, expect to pay big money.
Nigel not only is a great photographer, he also is very good at communicating with people about photography principles. He first took us to the wharf at the Port of Broome. His aim was to get everybody off fully automatic mode – not something that I needed… I learned photography when cameras didn’t have a light meter and nothing was automatic. The first big improvement was the use of an external light meter which gave you alternative shutter speed/aperture combinations for the light available.
Still his talk was entertaining and the participants soon got the hang of it. I was more interested in improving my composition skills. Nigel soon got into that part of the talk. Here he is talking about leading lines and gets us to practice what he teaches.
As we were standing on the jetty a large ship was passing by. Nigel talked about various ways you could take a photo of this ship. Here are three quite different shots that I took, guided by Nigel’s comments.
We then descended the stairs that lead to the beach next to the port. This area is lovely with rocks, shallow water and apparently good fishing from the rocks. Well worth a visit.
Nigel continued with his instructions and showed how something in the foreground can greatly assist in improving a photo. Getting close up to the rocks it is amazing how much difference a small change in angle can make.
The wharf itself served as a lesson in photography.
We changed location and Nigel drove to Cable Beach – actually driving onto the beach. The sun still was relatively high in the sky, too bright to take a photo of the sun. He showed us how to use a spinifex grass in front of the camera to hide the sun, all the same getting a sunset photo.
The daily camel rides were on the way back and we approached them from different angles, Nigel always explaining what to look for. Here we stand in the water, attempting to get the reflections of the camels in the receding water.
While waiting for the sky to darken, Nigel showed us how to do light painting. Here he uses a sparkler, swinging it in a big circle so that we could utilise long exposure time to catch these amazing patterns.
Finally it was dark enough for us to have a go at photographing the stars. Nigel suggested some settings and taught us how to adjust on subsequent exposures to achieve a good result. I have tried this kind of thing in the past, but was never successful. I am pleased with this result.
We learned so much in the 5 hour tour. I hope some of it will show in my future photos.