The Island Stack

About the photo

Lawn Hill Gorge is in the Boodjamulla National Park in far North Western Queensland, Australia. There’s a spectacular gorge carved through the limestone with fantastic walks around the cliffs. One evening I was coming back well after sunset when the glow from the clouds on the horizon lit up the cliffs. It was so dark I had to steady the camera on a tree during the long exposure. Luckilly I had a very fast lens because I was using slow film. I used the trees in the foreground to frame the shot and exposed to saturate the colour in the cliff while leaving the trees black.


How it was taken

I used a Pentax Super A, 35mm SLR on manual. I removed the motordrive and steadied the camera against a tree trunk. Exposure was about 1/8 sec at f1.4 with Pentax SMC A series 50mm lens. I had no tripod but by holding my breath and using the tree the shot worked fine. Fortunately there was no wind to move the trees. The film was Kodachome 25. This was the best slide film ever made. There’s no grain and the colours are amazing plus it lasts in archive forever. It was scanned with a drum scanner.