Weano Gorge Pool, Karijini, Western Australia
I'm still thinking about this one. Not sure if I like the warm rocks in the middle or if it is too strong. Thinking, thinking, thinking...
For such an amazing place, it can be really challenging to capture an image that properly shows what an incredible location Karijini is. Weano and Hancock Gorges are down below Oxers Lookout, the quintessential overview that everyone who visits has to shoot. We usually shoot it once or twice because the walks into both gorges begin here, and we usually do both gorges.
I'm not sure which gorge is better either, but I digress. Weano is an easy walk in, but then it tends to get a little wet! You definitely have to wade the first pool up to your waist, and then you have a choice of walking around the edge of the pool or just taking the plunge and swimming through. I take a dry bag to put my camera backpack in and take the plunge these days - the water is refreshing and it takes no time at all to dry at the other end.
Past this pool is a short walk and then a series of narrow slots that are easy to walk or climb through, opening up into a small pool (seen above) before into a much larger pool, imaginatively called Hand Rail Pool because there's a hand rail to help you get into there. If you're taking a tripod, make sure you take a backpack that lets you tie your tripod on, leaving both hands free for the handrail and the ladder down to the pool. With two hands, it's very easy and very safe.
So back to the little pool above. The photograph is taken with an ultra wide-angle lens, equivalent to a 14mm or thereabouts on a full-frame DSLR. By sitting back against the wall and bringing the tripod in towards me, I could fit the full circle of the pool into the frame. It's a simple composition. It possibly needs a little something more, like a penguin swimming through or something like that.
Or perhaps a splash of light. This is one of the challenges shooting in the gorges. If you go during the middle of the day, direct sunshine can create incredible contrast between the highlights and shadows, making it difficult to get an adequate exposure. By shooting in the early morning or late afternoon, we don't have the problem, but the light is flatter and you have to create your own energy. Perhaps a sunbeam of light will do it, but that would mean copying one of Christian Fletcher's Freaky Fotoshop Fudges, and I couldn't do that!
What I did notice when exploring the image in Capture One was how the image responded to different white balance settings. The raw file was processed twice, the second time with a much warmer white balance setting is and this explains the different colouration.