Behind the photoshoot at Split Rock – Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary

In this issue of Campfire, we jump back to 2016 for a look at one of our favourite photoshoots.

If you haven’t visited the Northern Flinders Ranges, you need to add this one to your bucket list.

Australia has some absolutely stunning locations and as a 4×4 enthusiast, I can say, we definitely live in the lucky country. We also have some amazing people who love this country we live in and are prepared to go that extra distance to help you achieve your goals.

This is a story about ‘Teamwork’.

When I’m out and about chasing images, I’ll go to a lot of trouble for the ultimate shot. My wife Gabrielle has heard it all… What’s Michael doing up there? Why is he so excited about that scene? What is he looking at? etc… but when they see the final shot… it all makes sense.

Over the years I have figured out that not everyone understands my vision. But I love that people still make so much effort to support my passion helping me do it right.

On a trip into the Flinders Ranges and in particular, the Northern Flinders, I spoke with Doug Sprigg from the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary about a specific shot that I was chasing. We have had the opportunities of photographing here before and therefore I knew the location quite well. During our conversation, it was easy to get him as excited as me because he’s a photographer and he gets it. He actually understood the image I was trying to achieve.

Doug has now given us approvals and the special key to the locked gate which enables us to access the beautiful track heading out to Sillers Lookout.

Our goal here though is to create a beautiful panoramic at Split Rock as the sun breaks the horizon. With the distance to be travelled to get to the site and the preparation required to create this image, we had better get up early for this one.

We started at 4 am and loading the vehicles, we drive a short distance, we lowered our tyre pressures to protect them from damage and provide additional grip, unlocked the security gate and proceeded along the track. With the GPS co-ordinates locked into our Hema, we headed towards the location and although we were moving quite slowly as the track is quite rough and there was so much wildlife about including some Yellow-footed rock-wallabies. But I knew we would arrive in time. Now we never arrive at a location at the time of sunrise, you need to be there well before that. We will be needing to clean the Mazda BT50 so that it is spotless, prepare all the lighting gear and get ready for a very busy morning.

One of the most important ingredients for what we do is the team behind the scenes who help me make it happen. I simply could not produce such great images without them. I ask them to be in the vehicles at stupid hour and without fail, they just show up. My team are simply amazing people.

We arrive on location, heading a little further down the tight track to turn around and face the correct way and like magic, everyone gets out of the vehicles and just gets into it… everyone seemed to be both riding on my excitement and also in total awe of the mystical environment we are busy working in. What a fabulous place… I remember Deano stating “I can see why you picked this place Michael”.

We still have to do this justice and create that everlasting image which is why we are here after all.

I have to admit, being able to create imagery like this is not only a passion, it’s what I live for, what I am here for… it keeps me alive. The image we created was one I am extremely proud of, proud of my team, proud of myself.

On a photoshoot like this, we achieve so many image goals. Some images are requested by the client, and some are dreamed up back at home, or maybe in a place far away from the location we will be shooting in. We are big on planning and I do feel that images are actually created in my head well before we at even at the location. I think there is something very special about photography and the creation of an image. It’s your opportunity to capture a moment in time… but also your chance to tell a story through a camera.

Check out our “behind the scenes” video here.


Just like sitting around the campfire, we would love to hear what you have to say.

You can be involved simply by entering your comments below.

Also… we will be featuring stories about photography tips and tricks, 4X4 preparation, build planning and maintenance, as well as featuring inspirational locations for you to visit in your 4X4. So please get involved and let us know what you’d like to hear about!

If you have any requests for stories to be featured in campfire or would like to provide feedback about this article, please send us a message on our social links:

Instagram: @offroadimages

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Website: www.offroadimages.com.au

As 4X4 enthusiasts who live for the opportunity to create awesome imagery anywhere in Australia, we know that our vehicle assets are covered wherever we travel to create that shot, as we are insured by Club 4X4.

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Comments 2

  1. always great to see what goes on behind scene ; but how did “shoot” get into the art of photography ?
    In the bad old days and sadly today also, too many ”shot up” or “shoot up” the landscape when out ”shooting” .

    the wording worth another thought ?
    I have personally photographed many people but I never shot anyone.
    The wording worth a second thought now ?
    Perhaps the editor/management would like hear more privately about the horrible words “shoot/shot” used in the art of photography .
    The best (worst) I have heard was about an animal lover ”shooting wildlife” to help protect them — WHAT??
    Cheers

  2. Hi Ian,

    Thanks for raising your concern. The word certainly didn’t flag any alarms from our side, but we appreciate your comments. Some quick research tells us that the word ‘shoot’ derives from the early days of film/photography production when cameras were hand-cranked – hence the term.

    You learn something everyday, hey? We certainly did.

    The Club 4×4 Team

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