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Cliff Face – Kings Canyon – Central Australia

This brief article features an image of a cliff face made on a day when temperatures toped 43 degrees Celsius at Kings Canyon, Central Australia. I had to lay down and shoot in an almost side ways position to be able to compose this scene from the top of an adjacent cliff towards the end of a long 7 hour walk. From memory the walk is supposed to take less than half that time. But taking pictures, particularly with a tripod bound medium format camera, does tend to slow one down a bit.

Hasselblad 500C camera and Hasselblad 80mm f2.8 Plannar lens with Kodak Professional Ektar 25 film

Hasselblad 500C camera and Hasselblad 80mm f2.8 Plannar lens with Kodak Professional Ektar 25 film

The image was made with a Hasselblad 500C camera and Hasselblad 80mm f2.8 Plannar lens with Kodak Professional Ektar 25 film. This particular film is inherently high in contrast and normally a poor choice for bright, reflective subjects. However, as the cliff face was in shade, I framed out the sky so as to achieve a much more manageable contrast.

Today’s medium format digital cameras can manage very high contrast scenes without the loss of shadow or highlight detail. But we can only work with the equipment and technology we have at the time.

I like the fact that the sky has been excluded from the composition. The fact that such a common background element has been removed provides the viewer with a slightly unusual 2 dimensional scene. As a result the eye moves around looking for areas of shape, texture and local contrast so as to bring a sense of 3 dimensional space back to the scene. The fact that the viewer’s attention is engaged in such a way is a win for the photographer. In a world filled with countless images, the longer anyone looks at your photographs the more likely they are to be remembered.

© Copyright All Rights Reserved

Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

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3 Responses

  1. Gorgeous image. It really captures that amazing “just cut” texture of walls of Kings Canyon.

  2. Hi and thanks so much for taking the time to comment. Kings Canyon really is an amazing place. I’m almost certainly going to take a photo tour group there later in the year. Central Australia remains one of my most famous destinations.

    All the best,

    Glenn

  3. Hello!
    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language 😉
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo

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