Louise Denton Photography

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Table Top Track - Litchfield National Park

Darwin and the Norther..., TravelLouise Denton

A run down day-today of my experience of the Table Top Track in Litchfield National Park August 2015 including some images from the walk.

I've just returned from hiking the Table Top Track in Litchfield. The hike is a 39km, multi-day bushwalk, in a loop around the tabletop of Litchfield National Park.

We chose to complete the walk in four days, leaving early from Florence Falls on Saturday morning.

The Tabletop Track can be accessed by one of four different link walks; Florence Falls (approx 1.8km to the tabletop), Walker Creek, Wangi Falls or Greenant Creek (6.3km and very difficult from what I hear). We walked anti-clockwise and ended the walk back at Florence Falls on Tuesday…..

Kakadu National Park Intro

Darwin and the Norther..., TravelLouise Denton

I'm always looking for places to go in the Top End region, new places to explore and photograph. I was recently looking for some information on Maguk (or Barramundi Gorge) in Kakadu National Park and although could find the basics from the Parks Australia website - http://www.parksaustralia.gov.au/kakadu/ - I found it difficult to find "real life" experiences on exploring and the location. When I say "real life" experiences, I mean blogs from travelers of where to go, when is best to go, different routes and walks, experiences on what people saw, what was great, where to look for certain things, etc etc. There's actually not much in depth, local information in a "kakadu blog" google search. What does show up are mainly short excerpts from people just doing the highlights of Kakadu as part of an extended trip.

Anyway. So what I want to start doing is sharing my experience and knowledge of these places in Kakadu….

First Impressions - Tamron 150-600mm F5-6.3

Tutorials and TipsLouise Denton

A few weeks ago I bought the new Tamron 150-600mm f5-6.3 Di VC USD lens to use on my Canon 5D Mark III. I mainly shoot landscape and nature photography, and this lens was an upgrade from my Canon 300mm F4 L lens mainly for use on birds and other wildlife. The zoom range may also come in useful for me for more distant storm and lightning photography.

I was nervous to try out the new Tamron lens…

Jatbula Trail - Part 1

Darwin and the Norther..., TravelLouise Denton

I’ve just returned from a hike in the Katherine region known as the Jatbula trail - a combined photo-trip/remote camping getaway! This walk is the first multi-day bush walk I’ve done in years and the first one my partner had ever done. The first thing I have to say about the Jatbula is that it was AWESOME! We loved it! The walk was really interesting and travelled through a variety of Top End habitats. Maybe we appreciated the varying landscape a little more than an interstate or overseas visitor, as we could really notice the smaller differences in the vegetation and the types of habitat as we were a little more familiar with the area.

We travelled through open woodlands on top of the escarpment, where we saw some amazing open views across hills, cliffs and buttes. There were monsoon pockets, bushfire-burnt regions, 2-metre high grasses, mushy marshy floodplains, amazing rock formations and colours, creek crossings and some of the best waterfalls I’ve seen in the Top End. We saw so many birds too (but thankfully only one snake and no face-to-face encounters with buffalo)!

For anyone considering walking the trail…

TIPS | Photographing Darwin's waterfalls | PART 1

Travel, Tutorials and TipsLouise Denton

The country surrounding Darwin has more than its fair share of waterfalls. Our landscape is patterned with rivers and rapids, gorges and escarpment. Our landscape goes through extreme seasonal changes: whilst our waterfalls are perfect for a refreshing dip in the dry season (as long as they are crocodile free, of course), they become a deathly torrent of raging flood waters in the wet season. Our waterfalls are some of our most loved attractions - loved by tourists and locals alike. So how do you go about photographing these natural wonders….

A quick trip - Edith Falls, Nitmiluk National Park

Darwin and the Norther...Louise Denton

As most of you who follow me on Facebook will know, things have been a bit hectic recently and I have had very little time to get away to take photos. My partner and I decided to grab one night away whilst we could, before the Christmas rush starts! We left Darwin at around 5am, to get to Robin Falls (near Adelaide River, NT) for dawn. We were a little bit late, but turned out to be near perfect timing - we walked along the creek to the falls, arriving when the light was shining perfectly on the rock face. Bad news was, there was absolutely no water in it!…

TIPS | Lightning Photography in Darwin

Tutorials and TipsLouise Denton

Over the last few weeks, I have lost count the amount of people that have asked me "how do you take photos of lightning?".... It is a hard question to answer! I think my questioners expect a quick one or two sentence answer.... but it's not that easy (as anyone who has tried, will know).

Sure there is "luck" - a lot of the time you have to be in the right place at the right time. Sometimes it just so happens that you have a camera with you when out and about, a storm hits, and you get that "lightning shot" - you've got that one shot, and people think it's easy to get lightning bolts in photos. The challenge is getting another one.....

Those that got away July & August 2013

Darwin and the Norther...Louise Denton

June and July were pretty quiet months for me in terms of getting out and taking photos: not only am I very busy with the tourist season and making stock for markets, but we are also nearing the "biggest" part of our house renovations - the kitchen! We've been working hard to get ourselves a working kitchen, and we are still going..... the end is now in sight, so another few weeks and the house should be complete.

Because of that, it's been impossible to find time to get further afield for photo exploring (boo hoo). I've been staying fairly local. And unfortunately the sunsets in my opinion are a little more "uninspiring" at this time of year. The sun goes down, and that's that. Wet season is a million times better for sunset photography - every Darwin sunset in the wet season is different! Rain, cloud, red cloud, passing showers, blue clouds - fast clouds, slow clouds, fluffy clouds, smooth clouds....! I like clouds :)

But now.... Now things are improving! Even a couple of showers. Already!!

Anyway, because of my slow photo-taking around Darwin this last couple of months, I have grouped the July and August unseen photographs together. Trust me, as the storms build up and the skies get crazy, the tourists slow down and the lightning comes out.... I will be out at least once a day and there will be a lot of photos!!

Long after the sun disappeared below the horizon, Nightcliff Foreshore

A couple of sunset watchers relax with dinner, looking over Nightcliff Jetty

An evening sea kayaker at East Point

One lonely yacht against a smoky dry season sunset sky (Fannie Bay)

A couple of mangroves at Lameroo Beach, right in the Darwin CBD

An interesting looking tree, with a whistling kite, at Lee Point. I need to revisit this tree with an awesome sky and a low tide

Black and white, or colour? For the below:

Managed one short boat trip out to Corroboree Billabong this month. More a trip for the rellies though, than a photo outing. Found a few crocs though!

A recent sunrise - looking back toward Nightcliff Pool

Magnetic Termite mounds, against a charred backdrop - exploring the rural area!

The sunrises are starting to improve!!

One of my favourite trees, unfortunately on a bland background.....

One of my new favourite spots, I think! The following three photos are from Berry Springs, NT.

berry springs vertical copy berry sp copy berry sp roots2

Lemon Bellied Flycatcher

Vestey's Beach, sunset

These shots have not been published online anywhere else, so if you have any comments on any of the photos, please feel free to reply to my post below!

To see the other photos I upload regularly, find me on Facebook - "Louise Denton Photography"

If you make it to Darwin, NT, Australia, be sure to say g'day in my market stall at Mindil Beach Markets or Parap markets!

Have a great weekend. :)

TIPS | Seeing Stars?

Darwin and the Norther..., Tutorials and TipsLouise Denton

A few of you who follow me on Facebook or Flickr will see I've had a couple of recent attempts at taking photos of the stars. This was all sparked by me hearing about the Perseid Meteor Shower. I've never heard of it before this year - it is an annual shower, that provides regular and spectacular meteors for us viewing down here on Earth. Every year it peaks around the 11th of August, and I decided to try and catch my own meteor on camera.


PHOTO ESSAY | One morning, at Fogg Dam

Darwin and the Norther...Louise Denton

I've just bought myself a Canon 1.4x Extender for my 300mm F4L lens, and I thought a trip to Fogg Dam would be the perfect place to test it out - great bird life, lilies, and bugs galore.

Fogg Dam is quite close to Darwin - only around a 45 minute drive for me, down the Arnhem Highway toward Kakadu National Park. It is signposted at the start of the "Wetlands" Region, a few kilometres before the "Windows on the Wetlands" visitor centre.

Fogg Dam is no longer a "used" dam, but it is catchment for wet season flood waters which attract hundreds of birds in the dry season as other waterhole dry up. Fogg Dam generally stays wet all year around, but obviously wet season is when it is at it's fullest. The current water levels there are quite low, due to a lower than average rainfall last season.

Fogg Dam is a lovely rest stop for tourists on their way to Kakadu or other further-to-reach places. There is a look out over the floodplains, a couple of short walks and a couple of platforms for birdwatching (and croc spotting!).

At the right time of year, Lotus Lilies blanket the billabong in a brilliant shade of pink. Unfortunately for me on this visit, their brown remnants did not make for gorgeous landscape photography! There did look to be a few new buds sprouting though, so maybe they are a little slow this year.

Small lily at Fogg Dam

This morning's sunrise was an awesome "outback" sunrise - the sun glowed bright red as it peeped over the horizon. Unfortunately I was busy taking some wide angle shots of the pandanus silhouetted against the misty red sky. I managed to get my telephoto lens ready (and new teleconverter!) just in time - before the sun moved too high in the sky.

sun1

sunrise1

For me, a visit to Fogg Dam is never really about great landscape photos. Don't get me wrong, the landscape is special! I've just never found that angle to show it off to it's best. Something to work on, I guess! For me, Fogg Dam is all about the bird photography.

Birds flock here in the hundreds, and sunrise is a perfect time to catch them on their morning commute. Magpie geese in huge flocks, pairs of Forest Kingfishers, swooping Rainbow Bee-eaters, squawking Darters, Egrets, honey-eaters, flycatchers, finches..... There is so much variety here, kites and goshawks, jabirus and herons.... and a resident White-bellied Sea Eagle.

This morning was quite exciting for me actually! I discovered a couple of new species, chatted birds with a couple of keen bird-watching tourists, and found some juvenille crimson finches.

baby crimson finch

Darters are common in and around Australian waterholes. In the short "dam wall" section this morning I spotted around a dozen. The below photo was taken from the dam wall itself, I managed to earn the trust of this bird and sat only around two metres away from him for a good twenty minutes or so!

darter portrait

The Fogg Dam resident White-bellied Sea-eagle

The below photo I figured to be a Grey Goshawk - a bird I had not seen this close before. Someone please correct me if I am wrong on my identification of this bird. I figured the distinctive red eyes (and awesome eye liner!) were a give away to it's ID, but I could be wrong. (And yes, the colour of those eyes is real, not "photoshopped"!)

EDIT: Ok, I am now thinking the below is actually a Black Shouldered Kite, due to the stronger eye markings and beak colour.... If someone could help me out, please do!

hawk

And below another semi-new one for me - a bronze winged cuckoo, I believe. I have seen these birds before, but any previous shots I have were from the front and did not highlight their awesome shiny feathers! I also saw a couple of Rainbow Pittas this morning, but unfortunately couldn't get a shot of one.

cuckoo1

dragonfly1

dragonfly2

Both of the walking paths at Fogg Dam are easy and full of local wildlife (the good and the bad!). Both are quite easy trails, but my favourite is the shorter of the two - I always find different birds down this trail!

spider colour

skink

leaf panning

The above abstract is of a palm leaf, blurred by "panning" with the camera. I quite liked the lines and the smooth blur mixed with the bright green!

honeyeater1

All in all, a great morning at Fogg Dam!

Sunrises are definitely my favourite here - and if the conditions are right there are some great opportunities for foggy morning photos too. (Maybe that's why they called it "Fogg" Dam?!)

Some other Fogg Dam tips:

  • Watch out for large salt water crocodiles!
  • Watch out for large "golden orb spiders" in their webs, carefully constructed across walking trails!
  • Watch out for Water Buffalo
  • (Not everything here is scary, honest)
  • Bring your mozzie repellant!
  • Look for the sea eagle in the trees at the start of the dam wall, just where the woodland opens out.
  • Great place for storm watching (toward the east)