Skink Bluff Knoll

Rare find - 2 laminated 70x48cm posters of Skink Bluff Knoll Stirling Range, published 1995, found hidden away in a print folio

Camouflaged King Skink

Beautifully camouflaged against the lichen-flecked rocks, this King Skink warms itself on the summit of Bluff Knoll. The morning had started off with relatively clear skies, with the rocks receiving plenty of sunshine right up until mid-afternoon. With approaching cloud cover this skink was making the most of the latent heat stored within the summit rocks.

Bluff Knoll is the highest peak located within the Stirling Range National Park, about 90km north of Albany and the Southern Ocean. At 1099m above sea level occasionally gets a very light dusting of snow. Bluff Knoll and the Stirling Range National Park is an island surrounded by farmland. It is of worldwide botanical significance.

Stirling Range Poster

I first published Skink on Bluff Knoll in my Stirling Range postcard series in 1994. In 1995, I published it as a poster. Like all my postcards, the poster was printed here in Perth.

On the day I made Skink Bluff Knoll Stirling Range I had with me a 35mm film camera. It was an Olympus OM4Ti with 24mm Zuiko lens and I was using Velvia 50 ISO transparency film.

Back in the day, it required drum scanning. This was before film-to-plate technology and photoshop came to town. From the laser drum scans, four large film separations the final size of the poster, had to be made. The poster is 70x48cm and came up very well and is printed on quality A1 paper.

It was an exciting time to be making such a large drum scan and film separations from the relatively new 35mm Velvia. (My first poster, Winter Stream, Bluff Knoll, published in 1993, was made from a 4×5 inch Velvia image – that was pretty amazing too!)

For most publishing photographers, colour slide or transparency film was the standard. It was easier to compare the original with the colour image off a printing press.

Velvia vs Kodachrome

Velvia, with its fine grain, high resolution, colour saturation, and fast and convenient E-6 processing turnaround time made it hugely popular for publishing work.

By contrast, Kodachrome film turnaround took much longer. Kodachrome films had to be sent to Kodak Melbourne for specialised K-14 processing and could take up to 2 weeks to return to Perth.

A well camouflaged King Skink warming on a rock at the summit of Bluff Knoll 1099 metres, Stirling Range, foreground white daisies, middle ground green hill and valleys, distant view to cleared farmlands

Skink Bluff Knoll Stirling Range Poster

Only two remaining


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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