In my first blog post I mentioned I would be actively attempting to become a press photographer this year. This morning, news of ROE8 protests had me down at Bibra Lake in the cold rain (I forgot to pack a rain jacket) and taking photos. Below are the pictures I made:

ROE8 Protestor stands on a vehicle to get passing motorists to take notice.

Police and protestors

Police follow the bulldozer into bushland as it begins to clear trees.

Police follow the bulldozer into bushland as it begins to clear trees.

Protestors link arms and sing together

Protestors link arms and sing together

"Ducks not Trucks" One of many protest signs at today's ROE8 protest.

“Ducks not Trucks” One of many protest signs at today’s ROE8 protest.

Protestors consoling each other.

Protestors consoling each other.

Protestors spend their morning sending their message to motorists with signs.

Protestors spend their morning sending their message to motorists with signs.

Police form a barrier between protestors and the large bulldozer soon to be used to clear bushland.

Police form a barrier between protestors and the large bulldozer soon to be used to clear bushland.

One of many protest signs at today's ROE8 protest.

One of many protest signs at today’s ROE8 protest.

In my last post I mentioned that I went on a trip to Alice Springs and back and I thought I’d share a few spots I really enjoyed shooting. Due to time and weather constraints we missed a few locations (and a few shots) but hopefully this list will help someone going along a similar route get a bit of an idea of what you’ll see.

Nullarbor

This was my first time driving through the Nullarbor (via Eyre Highway) and even though people tell you how boring it is and that there’s nothing to look at, you still need to see for yourself just how flat the treeless plain is. I didn’t find it boring at all however as my personal taste in aesthetics tend to lean towards the minimal.

Leanna seen exploring the treeless plain. This desolate scene is reminiscent of the view we had hour on hour as we crossed The Nullarbor.

Leanna seen exploring the treeless plain. This desolate scene is reminiscent of the view we had hour on hour as we crossed The Nullarbor.


Great Australian Bite

Along the Eyre Highway just as you cross into South Australia from WA are a few lookout areas where you can see the bottom edge of Australia known as the Great Australian Bite. The cliffs here are quite striking and unlike most coastal scenes in Australia.


Salt Lakes

Driving from Perth to Alice Springs you’ll pass by and through multiple salt lakes. I love salt lakes, especially the overly white ones because as soon as you can put any kind of subject matter in that environment, immediately the contrast allows for an interesting shot.

On another note however if you’re not capable in 4wd (and/or have no method of recovery) I’d highly suggest not venturing out onto a salt lake in your car. On one occasion we got stuck a metre from the road (self recovered in no time at all though using rocks and a shovel) and on another occasion we helped alongside 6 other vehicles to pull out some tourists who had been stuck for about 45mins before we were the first to stop. The recovery took over 2.5 hours and luckily happened near a road. Just remember that although the surface might seem stable to walk on, as soon as you get a heavy car on there that surface gives way to thick mud that sucks your car in.


The Breakaways, Coober Pedy

One of the best spots of the whole trip was The Breakaways in Coober Pedy which I’d happily describe as a photographers playground. The area is about a 30 minute trip north of Coober Pedy and is best during golden and blue hour.

The Breakaways is a collection of different rock formations and as a photographer you really are spoilt for choice. Most people will view the Breakaways from the lookouts on the top however there is a road that leads to tracks below that can take you through and around all of the formations. Do stay on the tracks with your vehicle though and be sensitive to the traditional land owners when shooting. The tracks when dry are suitable for 2wd vehicles but in the wet you might have a bit of trouble and only venture down if you have a 4wd. If in doubt get out of your car before the descent down and have a look (remember though that the surface terrain out in these areas might seem stable but if there’s been some rain as soon as you crack that surface you get sucked into that mud).

Otherworldly formations found in The Breakaways.

Otherworldly formations found in The Breakaways.


West McDonnell Ranges

Once in Alice Springs you are surrounded by the west and east McDonnell Ranges. Both are amazing (especially to someone from Perth where the world is flat, so flat) however the West MacDonell Ranges are amazing and I don’t want to say better but yeah, they’re better. There are so many different land formations including, gaps and gorges. We only got to see Glen Helen, Simpson’s Gap and Finke Gorge National Park as we got flooded in, however those spots were amazing with special mention to Finke Gorge National Park (Palm Valley) which I didn’t get many shots of because I was sure I would be returning in a couple days to explore it further which unfortunately never got to happen.

Simpson Gap in the West McDonnell Ranges.

Simpson Gap in the West McDonnell Ranges.


Kings Canyon

On the way to Uluru we stopped in at Kings Canyon, unfortunately we didn’t have time to do the entire rim walk of the canyon but we did get to the top in time to take a couple shots during sunset. As well as a gorgeous sunset we were also greeted by a double rainbow which made it even better. Although we didn’t get to do the rim walk I did see some photos my brother-in-law took while he was up there and based on his mobile photos would definitely try and make time to get up there next time.

Double Rainbow at Kings Canyon, Norther Territory

Double Rainbow at Kings Canyon, Northern Territory


Uluru & Kata Tjuta

Uluru, the heart of Australia. It’s definitely an experience you need to see at least once. We went and drove around the base of the rock and then back to one of the lookouts for sunset. I would have loved to try both sunrise and sunset lookouts but we were pressed for time. Watching Uluru change colour as the sun sets is an experience not to be missed and I’d recommend a tripod and some dinner (which how we did it) to make it even better. The next day we went to see Kata Tjuta at sunrise which was also a very visually pleasing experience as we watched the formation of rocks change colour while the sun rose.


There’s so much more that I’d love to write about the locations of this trip. If you’re thinking of doing a trip like this I’d simply suggest you give yourself adequate time to check out everything because you never know what you’ll see. Australia is a great country full of very different experiences and I feel blessed to call this beautiful place home!

20 January 2017

Hello!

If it’s your first time here welcome, my name is Brad Gurney and I’m an amateur photographer who runs a small brand agency in Perth called GURNEY Branding.

Blogging has never come easy to me, I find it quite difficult to create posts about my own life or interests but hey new year, new me I guess. This post is kind of here just to serve as a way of kicking off the blog but I will use the following words to open up a little about what I feel 2017 looks like for me.

2017

January is truly already underway and I’m a little late to the table with a 2017 post but regardless I’m posting something anyway. The way my 2016 ended and 2017 started was phenomenal due to the fact that I spent that time on a road trip from Perth to Alice Springs and back with my amazing wife Leanna, friends and family. It was a fantastic trip with plenty of highs but also some lows (having a wheel and axle come off your car in the middle of nowhere in outback South Australia seems a bit like a low) but it was an experience I wouldn’t trade.

Wheel bearing failure at its finest.

At least the sunset was good while I was waiting in my 3 wheel Jeep.

On a side note I’m always looking for cool spots to shoot and have as much trouble researching as anyone so look out for a future post where I’ll provide some notes on the following places: Nullarbor, Great Australian Bite, West McDonald Ranges, Palm Valley (Finke Gorge National Park), etc.

But enough about the more than 8,000km journey that bridged 2016 and 2017 and onto what I hope to do with my photography in 2017.

What I hope to do in 2017.

Simply get better. I’ve been shooting on and off for a good deal of my life but decided to get a bit more serious as of mid 2015. Since then I’ve watched myself grow as a photographer and enjoy learning new things while continually getting a better understanding of how cameras and light work.

Grow my Instagram following. I know that sounds superficial and it probably is, however the feeling of growing an audience that in some way appear to enjoy the content you produce is very pleasant. As of right now my current follower count is 679 and I hope to have near 1,500 by the year’s end. So feel free to follow my Instagram @cometotheunknown.

Enter into freelance press photography. My favourite photos are old black and white photojournalism photos especially war photos. Leanna won’t let me go to war (funny that) so I’m more than happy to try and find a gig here in Aus or maybe overseas for special assignments. However the timing of this pursuit couldn’t be worse with the current changing landscape or mainstream media (most importantly to me newspapers and magazines). So finding a job with no formal training will prove interesting but the good news is that I’ve already started putting together a bit of a portfolio. You can see some of the photos here on the site.

Tell important stories. Photography is special it gives the ability to capture a moment whether it be 1/4000 of a second to a bulb exposure. We can use that image to remember, tell a story or communicate a message. I love telling stories (which is also probably why I love photojournalism) so I’d love to help important stories be told with my photography in 2017. Whether that be through a freelance press job or personal projects, if I can help an important story be told I’ll hopefully be there.

Phew the end. Finally.

Yes I know this has been a very me heavy post but hey it’s my first blog post so I guess it’s kind of fitting. I look forward to sharing my journey through 2017 with you and hopefully your’s will be as good as I hope mine will.

All the best!

Ps. here’s a photo of Uluru taken on the first day of 2017 which is somewhat fitting for this post.

Uluru at Sunset

Uluru at Sunset