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.
I am a photographer, writer and multi-media artist. Through my blog I am
seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.



Thursday, 4 October 2012

Flying High With My Camera

On Sunday we enjoyed a 45 minute flight over Bunbury and surrounds in a 4 seater light aircraft – the flight was a Christmas present from our son, and we had waited till spring to book a flight.

The day was perfect – the paddocks and hills were green, the ocean was sparkling blue, and the brilliant mazarine blue sky spread around us from horizon to horizon.  As we flew along the coast from Bunbury we could see the white waves lazily making patterns on the beach below us, and Cape Naturalist was a dark smudge between ocean and sky in the hazy distance.

 As we took off from the Bunbury Airport and relived that amazing feeling of leaving the ground, I couldn’t help thinking about my friend and former work colleague Ken Mosedale who had taken me for my first flight years ago when I was 21.

Tragically Ken was killed just over 12 years ago at 10.10pm on Monday 4 September 2000.  Ken was piloting a Beechcraft King Air 200 taking seven workers to the Sons of Gwalia mining operation at Leonora. Tragically the flight, which became known as the ‘Ghost Flight’, never arrived, crashing 65km south east of Burketown in Queensland.  Air Crash Investigators found that minutes into the flight the cabin depressurised, the pilot and passengers blacked out, and eventually the plane crashed when it ran out of fuel.  What a tragic loss of life.

Now in the digital world I always hope for a window seat when I fly so I can try to capture the patterns of the land with my camera.  The resulting images taken through the scratched double glass are often a disappointment however in a digital world it doesn’t matter how many photos you take - and sometimes you come up with something very special.  Even clouds can produce interesting photos.

The view from the air is a never ending fascination. The red dirt and mountain folds of the Kimberley. Rivers snaking across the land.  The network of roads and towns.  The thin line of sand and ocean breakers as you leave one landmass, and then again as you cross into another. The stark difference as you leave an agriculture region and enter the savannah – the change a sudden defining line across the landscape.  The patchwork quilt of trees, paddocks, crops and scattered homesteads. Tracks through the scrubland leading to a camp or waterhole in Africa.  

Kimberley landscape, Western Australia
One long night as we flew from London back to Australia across Asia, I was fascinated by the circles of village lights, the light tendrils trailing outwards, then blackness, a few scattered pinpricks of light and then another circle of life.
Sometimes I manage to capture a magical photo. Somewhere over Asia I took what I call my Himalaya photo. The mountain peaks reaching up through the clouds to the warming glow of the sunrise.  

My Himalaya image
A few years ago I saw a stunning set of aerial photos taken by photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s for his book “Earth From The Air”, a ten year project involving 3000 flying hours by helicopter over 76 countries. Lakes of flamingos in Africa, dyed cotton fabrics drying in the sun in India or the intertwining coil of a highway interchange in Los Angelos, they all capture the life beat of the planet, its people and nature.

But the photo that struck me the most was the ashes of a tree in the Gorowi Kongoli Mountains in Bouna, Ivory Coast, an area that evidently has the highest rate of deforestation in Africa. Taken from above, the ashes lay on the ground like a skeleton, its living shape now white ash, but still holding the shape of the tree. Around it living trees seemed to cluster as if mourning its death.  To me the photo represented the destruction wrought by man and the message that we must all work to save our planet before it is too late.

I realised the important role photographers have in recording our world for future generations. Whether they are landscapes, nature, animals, people or urban life, they are a record that people will look at in years to come.  Photographing and recording the past and the present for the future. 

To read more about Yann Arthus-Bertrand and "Earth from the Air" go to - click on the link here -  Yann Arthus-bertrand

To read more about the "Ghost FLight" - click on the link here - Ghost Flight

To read my article "Flying HIgh" from which some of the above is an excerpt - please see September 2010 edition of Australian Photography magazine.

I'm linking up to Travel Photo Thursday - click on the link here -  budgettravelerssandbox

Cape Naturaliste in the blue haze


  1. Brilliant photos as ever, and I love the way your story leads from Bunbury around the world, bringing in a well-loved character from your past as well. It's a great piece :)
    We were lucky enough to take a scenic flight earlier this year along the gorgeous South West Coast to Cape Naturaliste - I wrote about it here: http://zigazag.com/magnificent-flying-machines/

  2. Awesome Ariel photos Jill. Love the one of the burned tree.

  3. Fabulous photos Jill. Everything looks so different from the air. You've reminded me of a flight we took over the Kimberleys where the land resembled an aboriginal dot painting!

  4. gorgeous gorgeous GORGEOUS photos! I love aerial shots so much. I recently took my very first small plane ride (back in July) and it was very thrilling. Like you, I thoroughly enjoyed the views on the ride and took many photos as well

    - Maria Alexandra

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  6. I love the view from the air too. I love your Kimberly shot.