Echidna Chasm Kimberleys Western Australia

Echidna Chasm Kimberley, first published in my large format colour Horizon Calendar 1999 and later in my greeting card set. Photographic print available.

Echidna Chasm Kimberleys

Echidna Chasm Kimberleys starts as a wide flat creek bed entrance into the East Kimberley Bungle Bungles. A short 10 minute walk down a rocky creek bed and soon narrows into chasm walls on either side.

As you walk further into the massif the walls become deeper. High above the sun hits the top of the walls, bouncing reflected light further down into the chasm’s depths. Eventually, the Echidna Chasm terminates at a narrow point only a few feet wide, the walls become so narrow that only a faint crack of overhead light is admitted deep inside.

Photographing inside gorges and chasms is by its nature pushing you into high contrast lighting situations. You have the deep shadows inside the gorge. As your eyes adjust to the lower light levels you see into the shadows with ease. Above you, the light intensity increases. There is bounced light off the side of the walls. Even higher is the light coming directly from the sky, where the sides of the gorge open up. Your eyes squint as you look upwards into the brighter light. Your eyes and brain work to make many images into one continuous composite image in your head. Film does not work like that.

Composition is the key to overcoming this problem when using colour transparency film. Put simply, you avoid contrast extremes by limiting your contrast range in your composition.

First published in my large format colour Horizon Calendar 1999 and later in my greeting card set,  Echidna Chasm Kimberley is an example of how reflected sunlight in chasms can look like an object directly lit by the sun.

Echidna Chasm, Horizon Calendar 1999.

Wista 4×5 field camera with 210mm lens using Velvia 4×5 50 ISO film. Photographic prints are available.

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Since 1989, Alex Bond has published cards, calendars, books, and posters under his imprint Stormlight Publishing. His images showcase the West Australian environment. Bond's handcrafted, silver-gelatin, fibre-based prints are personally made by the author in his darkroom.

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