Aurora Expeditions photographer Quentin Chester says you need at least two lenses to capture the big landscapes and big horizons that the Kimberley Coast offers.
“I shoot with basically two lenses. One is a telephoto to get hold of some of the wildlife. But I also use a wide angle landscape lens. We’re often walking in close contact with rock overhangs and rock formations that give you this great foreground of spectacular textures and colours.’’
Good light is the other thing that’s crucial to getting the best photographs.
“The light’s good at this time of year (July),’’ he said.
“There’s not a lot of the murky days that you have in the wet season.
“From a photography point of view, it’s great to be up early or working late when you have that transitional soft light. The sunsets in the tropics, being so dramatic, just make it a wonderful place at those times of the day.
“When Alasdair (McGregor) and I worked on our book (Horizons of Stone) we would have a siesta for about two, three or four hours in the middle of the day. We’d be up very early and working until dusk because that’s the most beautiful time from a physical point of view, but also from an image point of view.’’
Chester, who first came to the region in 1990, said it was particularly poignant that for the most part, the Kimberley Coast is devoid of people.
“We don’t have people out here anymore. The world’s moved on. The Aboriginal people have strong connections to these environments, but there’s no-one living in these places and looking after them like they used to.
“From a white fella point of view, yes it’s fantastic wilderness, but there’s also this echo of loss that there aren’t people here anymore. It’s the sort of funny feeling that puts the sword to that 1980s vision that we had of pristine wilderness because in many ways all of these places were an artefact of Aboriginal life and culture. They were managed landscapes. They were burnt and fired and looked after over tens of thousands of years so its an interesting dilemma for someone who loves nature to recognise that it’s also a human place.’’
Aurora Expeditions Kimberley cruises from Broome to Darwin and vice versa from May to June 2016 and 2017.
The 11-day “Kimberley Coast ” cruise lands daily along the coast visiting highlights including the Horizontal Waterfalls, Montgomery Reef, Raft Point, King Cascade, Bigge Island and King George Falls. Fares start from $7790 a person twin share for 2016 sailings.
The cabins are clean and comfortable, but basic.
The Coral Expedition I has a main dining room that serves home-style meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
These images were taken by Quentin Chester on our July 2015 sailing.