Since I had arrived in Australia I had stuck to the coast. I had never seen the outback before, in fact I had never been to a desert before, so I was excited to see the natural environment that makes up most of Australia. Especially Uluru as it is one of the most iconic scenes of Australian nature. The trip did not come without its problems though. As people often go to Alice Springs and go on a tour to Uluru from there I thought it would be relatively easy to get between the two. However I looked and the bus tours were rather expense. Not only that but they were all fully guided so I was concerned that I might not have enough freedom to go off and get the photos I wanted. Also I would have to get up at 5 and I was so exhausted by this point I could not face another early morning. I therefore decided to book the flight. It cost £250 ($457AUD) which I thought was a total rip-off but it was not much more than doing the journey by bus.
On my first day at Alice Springs I did not do a lot. I just walked around the town a bit to get a feel of the area. It was extremely different to the other places I had been in Australia. It has a population of about 22 000 so it felt quite small. It also felt like a small town, as there were was not much to do in the form of entertainment, however, I was looking forward to seeing Uluru with my friend Lyn the next day.
I woke up and flew to Uluru. There was a tourist settlement there along with a settlement for the local Aboriginal people, this was once a tourist resort as well but was handed over to the Aboriginals when the new one, I stayed in, was built for them to live in. Lyn went to a dinner where she sat and watched the sunset on Uluru. Unfortunately I was unable to join her as the tour was full. Instead I booked a bus to the viewing platform of Uluru, to watch the sunset on it. It was absolutely stunning to see. As the sunse,t the colouring of Uluru changed and it looked completely different. I would say this is the best option if you are a photographer as you can photograph freely without interruption; it is also a lot cheaper. I got a few photos of the colour change that happens over sunset. I also tried to get a time-lapse of the sunset. Unfortunately my tripod had broken and I don’t have an intervalometer which made it extremely hard for me to do. I did attempt to do so though and when I arrive back to England I will attempt to put it together. Due to the problem with my tripod, my camera moved a lot so I can’t be sure my footage will be useable. I would recommend making one if you have the correct equipment though. If you do mange to get a good time-lapse don’t hesitate to contact me as I would love to see it.
Feilds of Light
The next morning I woke up and went to see the fields of light with my friend. Fortunately there was space on this tour so I could join my friend this time. Fleids of light is a piece of art by Bruce Munro created by putting lights in the desert. It was a very unique piece of work and looked quite spectacular against the desert at night. It was perfect for photography. As the lights were not very bright a long exposure is needed to fully capture the beautiful artwork. Although if you use a long exposure; I left the shutter open for 10 seconds, you can get some stunning photos. The best time is just before the sun starts to rise though as you get a faint glow peaking over the horizon; as it is still dark you also can see the lights in the foreground. To capture the glow which is not visible by eye you need to use a very long exposure (10+ seconds).
As the sun rose we retreated up to watch the sunrise. Form the platform we were standing on you could see the Fields of Light and Uluru behind it. The sunrise was just as, if not more spectacular than the sunset. Again the colours of Uluru changed as the sun rose. If you go to photograph Uluru, I would say a tripod is a necessity as when the sunrise begins you need a long exposure to correctly expose the photo.
You could even see Kata Tjuta from where we were standing. Unfortunately I did not get to see it properly as I only booked a night at the resort. I wish I had booked longer. If you ever go to visit I would definitely recommend booking two nights if not longer. Before I went I thought it was one pf those places where you go and see the main attraction, then there is not much else to do and you quickly get bored. This is certainly not the case and because of my wrong assumption I missed out on seeing sites such as Kata Tjuta. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there despite it being a rather short trip.