Full moon above Mt Gillen at Alice Springs

Capturing the Majestic: Photography Adventures in Alice Springs

Alice Springs, in the heart of the Australian outback, is a photographer’s paradise. With its vast, rugged terrain and unique natural features, it offers endless opportunities for both portrait and landscape photographers. One of the most spectacular sights to capture in Alice Springs is the full moon rising over the radio towers that sit on Mt Gillen.

Mt Gillen at Alice Springs with a full moon setting in the background

PRO-TIP: “A telephoto lens can help capture the moon’s details and make it appear larger in the photo.”


The radio towers that sit on Mt Gillen also offer a dramatic backdrop for portrait photography. These towering structures provide a contrast to the natural beauty of the outback and can create an industrial, urban vibe in photos. Photographers can capture the towers from a distance to create a sense of scale.

For landscape photographers, the full moon rising over Mt Gillen offers a breathtaking sight. The stark landscape provides a dramatic contrast to the soft, glowing moon, creating a stunning image. 

Mt Gillen at Alice Springs with a full moon setting in the background

For those who are interested in improving their landscape photography skills, I offer both private and group lessons.  These are a great way to learn new techniques and explore the unique beauty of the Alice Springs region. I have the experience and knowledge to provide you provide guidance on camera settings, composition, and framing. Private lessons can help photographers of all skill levels improve their craft and capture stunning images.


In conclusion, photographing the full moon and the radio towers that sit on Mt Gillen in Alice Springs is a unique and rewarding experience for both portrait and landscape photographers. With the right techniques and equipment, photographers can capture the beauty and drama of this unique location, creating unforgettable images. Whether you are an experienced photographer or just starting out, Alice Springs offers a wealth of opportunities to explore and improve your craft.

Want to know more about photography workshops?  Contact me now to find out.

Capturing the Magic of Mount Johns at Sunrise in Alice Springs

Alice Springs, located in the heart of Australia’s Red Centre, is a photographer’s paradise. With its diverse landscapes and natural wonders, this remote outback town offers an endless array of opportunities to capture the beauty of the surrounding wilderness. One of the highlights of any trip to Alice Springs is visiting Mount Johns at sunrise, a time when the mountain is transformed into a magical wonderland of colors and light.

Mount Johns at Sunrise

Photographing sunrise can be a challenging but rewarding experience. To get the best results, it’s important to be prepared and to have a plan in place. Here are some tips for capturing the magic of Mount Johns at sunrise:

  1. Get there early: Sunrise is a busy time, and you’ll want to make sure you have plenty of time to set up your camera and find the perfect spot. Arrive at Mount Johns at least 30 minutes before sunrise to give yourself enough time to find the best location and set up your camera.

  2. Use a tripod: Sunrise is a low-light situation, and you’ll need a steady camera to get sharp images. A tripod will also allow you to use slower shutter speeds and capture the movement of the clouds and the changing colors of the sky.

  3. Experiment with compositions: Sunrise is a time of dramatic changes in light and color, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different compositions. Try shooting from different angles and perspectives, such as shooting from the top of the mountain or from the base, to capture the unique beauty of Mount Johns at sunrise.

  4. Use a polarizing filter: A polarizing filter can help to reduce reflections and increase the saturation of colors in your photos. This is especially useful when photographing sunrise, as it will help to bring out the vibrant colors of the sky and the surrounding wilderness.

  5. Use a long exposure: If you’re visiting Mount Johns at sunrise, consider using a long exposure to capture the movement of the clouds and the changing colors of the sky. A long exposure can also add a dreamy effect to your photos, making them more interesting and engaging.

In conclusion, Mount Johns at sunrise is a must-see destination for any photographer visiting Alice Springs. With its magical light, diverse landscapes, and natural wonders, this mountain is sure to leave a lasting impression. Whether you’re a seasoned photographer or just starting out, capturing the magic of Mount Johns at sunrise is an unforgettable experience. So, pack your camera and hit the road – you’re in for an unforgettable journey!

Backburning on the range

Looking out across the valley and into the hills where they are doing back burning the image is outstanding.

The image is also kind of a trick, what I mean by that is that the compression of a super long lens has brought the hills close to the houses when fact it is actually at least 10 km away, compression of the super-telephoto lenses is one of those things which can use all sorts of situations we want to bring the background into the foreground and give that impression that they are close.

It is something that is used a lot to give that deeper feel to the image. It also means that if you do have a long lens chances are that no one else can take a photo like yours as a super long lens, especially quality lenses cost a bomb but when you use them they worth every cent.

CANBERRA ACT, AUSTRALIA -February 6th 2020: Backburning on the hills around Tidbinbilla as seen from the South Canberra Suburbs of Conder

Two Sides To The Orroral Fire

As the fires rage through the country we all look to the authorities to keep us up to date, informed and safe.

As mentioned in my previous post I have been volunteering as part of a fireteam helping to defend rural properties, this also means I have exclusive access to these rural properties that are currently under threat in the Southern areas of the ACT (Australian Capital Tettoriy).

Just like 99% of every Australian, I am by no means an expert on fire activity and movements, nor do I have any idea of how to really tackle such an enormous job of controlling, steering and eventually extinguishing these fires. What I do know I have the ability to use the equipment I have at hand to get visuals of the firefront and its movements as it crawls along with the mountain ranges like the snowline melting after the winter.

I have at my home a great view of the eastern side of the fires and a northerly view from the farms. Capturing, watching and reporting these fires out to people that are in their path has allowed me to keep these people informed so they can make the right decisions but the side effect of taking photos so they can see what the fire is doing, is that I do get to take some incredible photos and the ones sit at the top of the pile are the sunsets.

Here is just one of them.

In the photo below you can see to the left half has the fire in the hills while the right after is yet untouched.

As I look at this image I can see and feel the destruction the fire has had on the impacted areas. I look and wait knowing it will pass to the other side bringing with it a renewed pressure to bring this fire under control.

The other interesting this about this image is the cloud formations above the fire ground on the left of the image to the clouds in the yet untouched areas.

To me, it looks like the heat of the fires have pushed the clouds up where on the right the cloud cover is flat. I’m a sure someone much much smarter than I that can tell me if what I am seeing is actually what is happening here. 🙂

For the locals some more details in the photo:

From left to right, you can see the firefront moving as it snakes its way from the Tharwa village towards the Corin forest area and then onto Tidbinbilla. Mount Tennent is out of shot to the left, while the valley to the left of the hill in the middle is the Corin Road and the hills in the far right is the Tidbinbilla nature reserve and the Brindabella Ranges.

On the right is the untouched bush and on the left is the out of control  Orroral Fire
On the right is the untouched bush and on the left is the out of control Orroral Fire

Fires Rage Across Canberra

For anyone that doesn’t live in Australia, this country has been under attack from bush fires for almost 3 months.

They have burnt more forests than you could ever believe and as I type they continue to burn and all across the country.

Here in Canberra where I live we have up until the last few weeks have been immune to the rages of this years bush fire season however given that everything is burning around us it was a ticking time bomb.

And it was our turn. The fires have take out most of the Namadgi National Park and have come close the the urban fringes of Canberra.

People all across this country have been out helping others be it through boots on the ground fire protection, donations, supplies, putting people up in houses or emotional support.

Having been one of those people trying to help from afar and feeling very powerless to assist as the fires come closer to Canberra, I like many others put out the offer off assistance.

For me, that takes shape in helping rural landholder mates and others to understand the fires but also be part of their active fire team to defend their properties when and if the fire reaches their boundaries.

The other part of this is to be able to photograph the fire as it moved and shaped around the landscape, allowing them to understand fire moments and when they might be impacted.

In helping these farmers it also gives me exclusive access to view points that most of the public is not allowed as the entire rural south of Canberra has been blocked due to safety concerns.

I have a few different photos of the fires that are happening as I type but I wanted to share this photo with you as it seemed so comforting watching it move and shape its way around the hill that it is hard to remember the death that this fire is bringing to the landscape and the native wildlife.

For the locals this photo was taken the night of the 2rnd of February 2020 from Tharwa facing the fire that was moving on the north side of the fire and into Corin dam.

Talking with the locals that have both lived in the area for many decades and have been in the fire service for many decades they say the risk of this northward moving fire has the potential of moving from the rural landscape into the urban interface and causing loss of houses and property.

Will that come true, who knows but what I can say, sitting back and watching this fire at night and from a distance has given me a new found respect for the fire but also the beauty that it brings, though things like the night fires but also the rejuvenation of life with the bush land after the fire.

Right now the night time allows us to take stock, and look at the positive side before the daylight come where we know so will the destruction of bushfires.

The northern edge of the Canberra Bushfires moving from Tharwa to Corin Forest