Welcome to Life Images by Jill

Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world.
Through my blog I am
seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.
I am a Freelance Journalist and Photographer based in Bunbury, Western Australia. My published work specialises in Western Australian travel articles and stories about inspiring everyday people. My passion is photography, writing, travel, wildflower and food photography.
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Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Photography on the Bibbulmun Track, Western Australia


Here are some hints for combining photography and bushwalking. The article is based around the Bibbulmun Track, but are still relevent for any bushwalking.

The Bibbulmun Track is Western Australia's longest walking track. It extends 964 kilometres from Kalamunda in the Darling Ranges near Perth, to Albany on the south coast.
There are many opportunites for photography on the Bibbulmun Track, but you must decide what your prime aim is - is it for bush walking where you might take a few photos, or a serious photography expedition.

The Track is easily accessible as it passes through nine towns. Vehicle assess points make it suitable for a short stroll, day walk, or overnight hike. The timber overnight huts are conveniently placed about 16 to 20 kilometres apart, a comfortable day’s walk.

Have an estimate of how much time you need to walk the distance you intend to walk, whether on a day walk, an overnighter or a weeks walk. We estimate about 15 minutes per kilometre, but this would be more if over difficult terrain. It is better to start walking early in the morning to get the most out of your day. This will allow you plenty of time to get to the next hut, and still have time for photos along the way, or after you reach the hut. Stopping for breaks every one or two hours and for lunch, will also give you an opportunity to take photos.

You need to learn to take photos quickly if you are walking with a group of people. If they don’t share your passion for photography they might not want to wait while you photograph yet another wildflower.

A small digital camera is best. Remember every camera lens you take is extra weight you have to carry. The longer you walk the heavier your backpack will feel. My Canon Power Shot Pro 1 is ideal for both landscapes and super macro photography for wildflowers, as the lens is integrated into the camera. I have a small camera bag that the camera just fits into and still has room for spare batteries, memory cards and basic cleaning equipment. The strap can adjust to go around my waist so my camera is easy to access without stopping walking.

An inbuilt flash alleviates the need to carry a flash and extra batteries. Carrying a tripod is extra weight. I usually prefer to take photos hand held, but I do have a tiny fold up tripod, or you can use the side of a tree to brace your camera. Use available light.

If you are walking for an extended period of time, carry extra batteries and memory cards, photograph carefully and only take as many photos as you need to record your trip. Work out how many photos fit onto a card. You might have to go through your photos and delete unwanted photos to make room for others. If you are staying overnight in accommodation or towns along the way, this would be a good opportunity to recharge batteries and have photos downloaded to cds. And make sure your camera is turned off when you return it to its bag. Batteries have gone flat before!

Make sure your camera bag is waterproof and has a rain cover, and carry a plastic bag to put your camera into if it rains – you can still take photos with a plastic bag around your camera. I also sprayed my camera bag with water repellent and it has a cover similar to rain covers on back packs.

My camera is an essential part of my equipment when I am out bush walking and the Bibbulmun Track offers an excellent opportunity to get away for an afternoon or a few days.

For this full story, see Australian Photography Magazine, August 2009 and an edited version in Bibbulmun News August-November 2010 edition.

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