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Making The Effort...

Big Mertens from above. Roughly an 80m drop.

The Mitchell Plateau certainly gives me lots to work with as a photographer, there's no doubt about it. I feel incredibly privileged to be up here for five and a half months. But the photos themselves don't just happen - there's no inevitability to it. I have to get out there every weekend and keep chasing. I have to drive that drive and walk that walk, and beat the shit out of my car along the way. You get to the right place at the right time and then the weather chooses not to cooperate. The sun disappears behinds the clouds or you find yourself soaked to the bone in a torrential downpour. Or nature turns it on and gives you the best sunset you've ever seen. There's nothing predictable about it this time of year. It's a game of repetition and a game of trying new things. And it all starts on a Saturday afternoon when the day is hot and the hammock looks very inviting. It's all about getting off your ass and having a crack at it. You play the odds and sometimes you get lucky. And sometimes you don't. Sometimes you come home tired and wet and sticky and empty-handed but it's a fun game. It's a game of making the effort.

This is something I wrote on the same theme a couple of years back in Guatemala....

While The World Sleeps. Jan 18, 2016.

When the alarm goes off at 5:30am it means only one thing. Time to grab the camera and get my ass out of bed for sunrise. It's always a gamble. There's a chance I'll walk away with that one-in-a-million shot or, chances are, I won't get anything good at all. It doesn't seem like an attractive proposition while you're snug in bed but that's the game. And as they say, you've gotta be in it to win it.

For me photography is very much a game of effort. Sure, sometimes there's a little creativity involved, and maybe a little technical know-how here and there but usually it's a case of just being bothered. Being bothered to get out of bed. Being bothered to stop and look. Being bothered to see things differently.

In the Kimberley that sometimes involves hours of driving, hiking and camping to be in the right place at the right time. It might involve waking up in the dark, kayaking across a river and climbing to the top of a gorge just as the sun pokes its head over the horizon. And even then there's no guarantee. The sun might disappear behind clouds as it often does. Or I might not find a good shot. But it's a fun game. And as Ken Duncan - one of Australia's great landscape photographers - likes to say, the harder I work the luckier I get.

Here in Guatemala that means waking up this morning half drunk after 2 beers and heading outside to discover dull grey skies, randomly wandering the streets and eventually choosing to wade out into the water with my shorts hiked up like a weirdo. And all the time I'm just hoping that I find something interesting - create something interesting - in the process. It doesn't always happen but when it does it feels like you discovered something special while the rest of world slept. And given enough time it's like building a jigsaw puzzle of how you see the world - little fragments of passing beauty. It's not a bad way to start the day. If you could be bothered.


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