Outback landscape photography; a tour in black & white

Landscape photography is one of my favourite things to do when visiting the Australian outback. I am a particular fan of black and white landscapes because to create strong photographs you really need to pay special attention to the textures, light & dark tones and composition. Although I do love those immense outback colours, and I will devote some more exploration time to some full on colour – I promise. Communicating the mystery of the outback is also something that is quite fun to translate through mono photographs. I recently ask a friend if these photographs might be getting a little dark and the response was that ‘it depends on the caption!’. So there you go – its entirely up to you 🙂

This series of photographs is from the south east of Australia, where my husband and I went to visit some family. This time, however, we set ourselves a goal to re-discover some relatively familiar territory. We decided that during our holiday we would find places within a one to two hour drive of our location that we had never visited before. It was amazing just how much we hadn’t seen! Our explorations mostly took us to some wild national parks, edged by super clear oceans (check out ‘Little Dip Conservation Park’ and ‘The Bridgewater Blowholes’ if you’re headed that way). On our journeys we also discovered multiple lakes and fields of beautiful wind turbines; I love these majestic architectural structures against the grass and sky. Next time your on an adventure, consider looking around the familiar for something new – its surprising just how much you find!

General landscape photography tips

  • Try to keep the horizon straight unless you are purposefully looking to tilt it.
  • Consider using a wide angled lens to capture more of the scene, look at some great lens recommendations for Nikon.
  • Use smaller apertures such as f/8 – f/22 to capture more depth of field, but understand any lens weaknesses across these apertures.
  • Try experimenting with longer exposures by fixing your camera to a tripod, particularly if you’re photographing water as you will get some interesting motion blur.
  • Vary your perspective by crouching and climbing.
  • Consider bringing a tripod and taking a range of different exposures of the scene to merge into an HDR photograph in Lightroom or Photoshop CS6.
  • Be wary of sitting in ant nests!

Below are some of my favourite landscape photographs taken with my lovely Sigma Art series 35mm f/1.4 lens, no tripod or exciting photography accessories, just some trusty 50+ sunscreen applied liberally with a patient husband for company!

Black and white landscape photographyBlack and white landscape photography 11Black and white landscape photography 4Wind turbine by the roadBlack and white landscape photography 3Black and white landscape photography 5Black and white landscape photography 6Black and white landscape photography of a salt lakeBlack and white landscape photography 7Black and white landscape photography 1Black and white landscape photography 8Black and white landscape photography 10Figure in outback