> Places > Karijini > Karijini 2 > Introduction

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The plan

In mid 2012 I decided that I'd like to head back to Karijini again for another photography trip. The previous trip in 2011 was fantastic, and I felt like I could spend another couple of weeks there at least.

I sent out a general invitation through PhotoAccess and to cut a long story short, in July 2013, Steven Shaw, Helen and Phil McFadden, Stephen Best and myself arrived in Paraburdoo ready to start two weeks of camping and photography.

The plan was fairly straightforward and worked really well. We flew into Paraburdoo and hired a couple of 4WD dual-cab utes. We spent the first night in the Paraburdoo caravan park, and the next day driving to Tom Price to stock up on groceries, park passes and fuel, and then on to Karijini National Park. Our second night was spent at the Savannah campground, but the remaining nights were spent camped outside the park along a bush track.

That arrangement worked so well that we kept that base camp for the whole two weeks.

And the results?

After the trip we had a show-and-tell dinner back in Canberra. I was surprised by the diversity of images we got. Despite the fact that we were in danger of tripping over each other in a few places, we all got quite different results. Sure, we all got enough long-exposure running-water images to sink a ship, but there were also some stand-out abstracts and landscapes as well. We all had either full-frame or APS-C DSLRs or MILCs, but Stephen Best also brought along a medium-format pinhole camera, which he ended up using almost exclusively.

I've processed all my images using darktable,  an open-source photography workflow application and raw developer. This is the first time I've used it, and I'm very impressed. I think I'll be using it from now on.

Breakfast time
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Breakfast time

Muzzy's Hardware in Tom Price was kind enough to lend us a little table, which made the campsite a bit more civilised. We bought some cheap folding chairs from them too, which we returned with the table, so maybe next time we can borrow those as well.

We hired two dual-cab utes, and despite some mechanical problems (a dead battery in one), and less than stellar performance from both the other vehicle and the rental company, I think they were a good choice. You can fit three people and camera gear in each one, and chuck all the less delicate gear in the tray. With the tailgate down they provide a good surface to cook and sit on too.

Keeps the sun off your head
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Keeps the sun off your head

My advice - take both a tripod and a hat. The tripod will improve your photography by slowing you down so you compose more carefully, and will allow long exposures.

You can use the hat to collect donations to fund the purchase of a new tripod that weighs less than the one you already own.

My home for about two weeks
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My home for about two weeks

It really helps to have a free-standing tent here. There are very few places where you can get pegs into the ground easily. The ground is covered with fractured, iron-rich rock. It also pays to have an extra groundsheet or two that you're prepared to sacrifice - it'll keep your gear cleaner and avoid wear and tear on the tent floor
A termite mound just a few metres from my tent.
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A termite mound just a few metres from my tent.

I'm surprised these little critters were able to find this much actual soil in a place that seems to be made of pure rock and gravel.