Geoff Thompson's picture

Breakaway to the Breakaways

This is one spectacular spot near Coober Pedy, South Australia's famous opal mining town where people live underground to beat the heat.The breakaways will take your breath away.Stitched panorama with a minimum of fuss.Canon 400d.This is one view of a spectacular area.

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I can imagine that this must be a spectacular view. However, this image doesn't convey a sense of depth or scale and the lack of shadows renders the subject flat. You know what the scene looks like in real life, but I have no idea and have to go by what I can see in the image.

A couple of things you can try:

- Wait for better light, you shot this picture in overcast conditions and hence the light was diffused (= no shadows). Your best bet is probably to wait for light coming from the side, that is, the sun needs to be low in the sky. The effect will be a more 3d-ish look.

- Include a foreground object, those shrubs may be jsut what you were looking for. If you can find a spot where they add up to a line or a curve leading towards the rock that would be the icing on the cake. Use a wide-angle to exaggerate the size of the foreground object, if necessary - I have no clue how large these shrubs actually are. Careful not to go too wide and making the rock look tiny.

- Wait for a windy, cloudy day and then shoot with the sun low in the sky, preferably with the wind coming from or blowing towards the rock, then take a long exposure. Depending on how fast the light changes you may need multiple exposures, e.g. one for the rock (short exposure) and one for the sky (long exposure).

Geoff Thompson's picture

Thanks for your thoughts Thorsten. I take your point that you have no reference point for the scale of the scene. It is a spectacular grand vista. We were standing on a cliff top or higher vantage point and looking down. I have some other shots included that give you some idea.The clouds were moving reasonably quickly alternating from casting a shadow over the scene to brilliant bright light.We were there for a couple of hours so I would have many similar to what you are saying.The brilliance of the colour and light was breathtaking. We were mesmerised. I don't know whether you have been to Australia but many artists and photographers say they are blown away by the light.It was not overcast when this was shot and the sun was not casting hardly any shadows. In other shots it was starting to.I wouldn't have wanted to be there any other time but earlier in the day and evening might be interesting.

No Geoff I haven't been to Australia yet, but it appears to be a truly stunning vista! Of these additional pictures I like the first one most (more shadows here than in your original picture), I just feel the urge to dash down to the tree in the bottom left corner and make it my foreground object. Like I said, I don't have an idea what the terrain is like, but that's one thing that immediately pops up in my mind.

Is this place far from where you live?

Geoff Thompson's picture

Thanks Thorsten. every where you look there, there is a great scene to photo graph. It's about 900kms by car. I could drive there in a day but best to have an overnight stop on the way.You could probably fly there in a regional airline. It is straight up the centre from Adelaide where I live in South Australia.There are many great places closer to where I live which can be spectacular as well.This pic shows the vantage point where I was mainly shooting from.It is quite an elevated spot.

Geoff Thompson's picture

I thought I would post this one Thorsten to give you a better idea of scale.