A Kimberley Photography Adventure

On the Verandah Logo@ Digger’s Rest Station

Photography Adventures in The Kimberley

When? June 10-16, 2015.

Where? Digger’s Rest Station, Kimberley, Western Australia is the centre of your adventure.

How Much? 2015 price is $2870 (incl GST) per person. This does not include your transport to Kununurra airport.
What are the inclusions?  See the On the Verandah website for inclusions.
Early Bird Discount? $100 for bookings before 31/12/14.

What will I do?

Kimberley landscape by Tc Nguyen
Kimberley landscape by Tc Nguyen

Be ready for before sunrise departures to capture the sun’s rays as they splash onto the surrounding ranges or along a billabong.

We usually nd ourselves back at Digger’s Rest for lunch (most days) and downloading and tweaking the mornings captures.

After lunch, depart in time to get ready for a Kimberley sunset and then return to the  station for tea and camp-re drinks.

Depending on the group’s desire a “night under canvas” at one of the water holes is available too with Bush cooking at its nest!

What locations do we go to?

With On The Verandah’s Andrew Kerkeros & Rachel Dillons’ more than  30 years of experience in the Kimberley, in the country they love and appreciate, and your photography leader there is a long list of interesting landscape and wildlife locations in the area that Digger’s rest station covers.

Kimberley landscape by Tc Nguyen
Kimberley landscape by Tc Nguyen

Each day’s locations will be worked out the day before with the decision depending on the groups preference and weather/light considerations.

A day trip is generally taken to the Historic port town of Wyndham where some amazing characters live and the spectacular 5 Rivers Lookout is a sunset must.

Special Opportunity

Only for 10-16 June – you will also be able to try your hand at Unmanned Aerial Vehicle photography using a quadcopter and Point of View camera for movies and/or timelapse.

Who’s in charge?

Your transport and logistics are by On The Vernadah’s Andrew & Rachel, with Digger’s Rest Stations’ Roderick & Alida for all your non photographic needs at the homestead.
Your Photography Adventure Leaders will be Gregory Foulds & Franz Scheurer.   Both with a vast range and depth of experience in all forms of photography and lm work.

What about refunds? Travel insurance is always advised and On The Verandah’s Refund policy is on their website.

Where do I sleep?

The first six bookings get rst dibs on a bush hut (twin/double bed), after that you  may be required to share with one other (same-sex) in the Digger’s Rest Station bunkhouse.

Book now @ On the Verandah or phone Gregory Foulds on +61298181684 or Franz Scheurer on +61412233201

What should I bring photographer gear wise?

The Cockburn Range by Bewlley
The Cockburn Range by Bewlley

Remember, Kununnarra is a long drive if you forget a battery!

  • Battery chargers and leads for all your  electrical driven
    equipment (The station runs Solar 240V)
  • Power board to re-charge multiple items.
  • Back pack camera bag for day use. It gets very dusty!
  • Tripod.
  • Shutter release cable for time exposures.
  • Polarising lter.
  • Laptop with your  digital editing  software.
  • Additional camera lenses.
  • Instructions for your camera if you have it.
  • Backup camera memory cards & suitable Card reader.
  • Portable hard drive capable of storing at least 500GB.

If you can’t or don’t want to carry a laptop then you can use  your Photography Leader’s computer to download your day’s efforts to your portable hard drive.

Are there Alternate dates?

Bull Catcher- in action by Andrew Kikeros
Bull Catcher- in action by Andrew Kikeros

If these dates don’t t your schedule then you can sign on for an  adventure led by the well known Western Australian  photographer Bewley Bill Shaylor.

If you have a group of 6 to 9 then we can  organise other dates in the Dry Season for you.

See the On The Verandah website for other dates.
O n T h e V e r a n d a h w e b s i t e

D i g g e r ‘ s r e s t S t a t i o n W e b s i t e 

Picture Credits: All images copyright as captioned or by On The Verandah

Digger’s Rest Station – Bush-hut interior
Digger's Rest Station Bush hut
Digger’s Rest Station Bush hut
Kimberley landscape by Tc Nguyen
Kimberley landscape by Tc Nguyen
Kimberley green frogs by Tc Nguyen
Kimberley green frogs by Tc Nguyen
Kimberley billabong by Rachel Dillon
Kimberley billabong by Rachel Dillon
BullCatcher detail by Rachel Dillon
BullCatcher detail by Rachel Dillon
Rachel Dillon - Cattle Yard Dust
Rachel Dillon – Cattle Yard Dust
Kimberley Map
Kimberley Map
Diggers Rest Camp Cooking by On the Verandah
Diggers Rest Camp Cooking by On the Verandah
Kimberley Landscape
Kimberley Landscape
Horses in dust by Bewlley
Horses in dust by Bewlley
Cow in dust by Bewlley
Cow in dust by Bewlley
Bewley by Cang
Bewley by Cang
Cattle in Morning Sun by Andrew Kikeros
Cattle in Morning Sun by Andrew Kikeros

To Be Sharp or To Be Blurry, which is it to be?

To Be Sharp or To Be Blurry, which is it to be?

One of the many things to consider when composing your picture is deciding on what part of your subject/scene/composition you want as sharp as possible.

A Tilt/shift lens mounted on 35mmcamera
A Tilt/shift lens
Technical Camera with full movements
Technical Camera with full movements

The Theory

With the exception of the Lytro camera there is only one Plane of Sharpness that will be in focus and, unless you use a tilt/shift lens (assuming you’re using DSLR or other non-technical camera), the plane of sharpness will always be parallel to the focal plane of the camera (we’ll ignore LensBaby lenses for now).

There will be zones before and after the plane of sharpness where the sharpness is acceptable. Depth of Field (DoF) is the distance between the beginning and end of acceptable sharpness – This also depends on the amount of enlargement you intend to use on the image. The impression of  greater DoF comes from small enlargement  compared to a larger image size when viewed from a normal distance for the size of display/print.

You need to do a combination of things to guarantee sharpness in your shots, namely;

  • use a rock solid camera support, which could be a tripod (for portability) or
  • any support you can put the camera on such as a “bean bag” to cradle the camera on a solid surface.
  • Ensure there is no subject movement.

Tripods are just three legs with a top to hold them together and provide a camera connection.

Some do’s and don’ts of tripod usage are:

  • Try and avoid extending the center pole as this negates the ‘solidness’ of the three legs on the tripod.
  • Use a ball type for the tripod head. Pan and tilt are really best for movie cameras.
  • Use a remote shutter release – wireless preferred or connected cable type.

    Diagram showing plane of fous perpendicular to focal plane of camera
    There is only one plane of focus.
  • When no remote shutter release is available use  the camera’s self timer. Some cameras have a “shutter delay” menu setting that delays firing the shutter until a small time after the mirror rises to absorb mirror slap vibrations.
  • Use the mirror lock up function, if available, which may be manually operated (count about 3 seconds before using shutter release for vibrations to cease) or, as noted before, you may be able to program a delay after shutter release is pressed and the mirror is raised before the shutter operates, some cameras refer to this function as Exposure Delay Mode.
  • For lenses with with Vibration Reduction (VR) or Image Stabalization (IR) test to see if this needs to be OFF when when camera is not hand held.
  • If your VR or IS system has two modes then one of them is for when you are in a moving vehicle. Learn which is for what situation.
  • Zone of Acceptable Sharpnes is called Depth of Field
    Zone of Acceptable Sharpnes is called Depth of Field

    Regardless of the quality of the VR/IS system it is of no use when your shutter speed is faster than 1/300 to 1/500 sec. You will need to experiment, but turn it off when the shutter speed is faster than the threshold speed you have determined. Otherwise you may find the VR/IS system degrades the sharpness!

  • Unless other composition reasons demand it use an aperture that is two/three stops down from wide open. This reduces to a minimum any lens aberrations that exist.  And in any case for small sensor sizes, (this means anything including or smaller than FX size (24x36mm /1×1.5”) as diffraction becomes apparent at smaller apertures.
  • It’s axiomatic to say, but use a good quality lens in the first place.
  • Select the lowest ISO the camera has (often called it’s native ISO) – when using a camera support the resulting slow shutter speed should not pose a problem unless your subject is moving.
  • If your camera supports Live Mode and you can zoom in on the image, use this feature to check focus or take a test shot and using Zoom on the image in Playback mode to check focus and DoF is what you want.
  • Post Shooting – if your image edit program supports luminance sharpening use that in preference to RGB layer sharpening.

Hand Holding

If a camera support is not available or viable for the shot then the following tips should give you a greater percentage of sharp shots.

Diagram of The ratio of acceptable sharpness in front and behind plane of cus
The ratio of acceptable sharpness in front and behind plane of cus

Use the fastest shutter speed with the aperture that reduces aberrations (generally one or two stops down from wide open), unless you are looking for a blurred foreground/background to make the subject stand out.

As a Rule of Thumb, the minimum (slowest) shutter speed that you can use is dictated by the focal length of the lens you are using. Note the focal length you are using and the shutter speed is its reciprocal.  For example, 300mm focal length means a minimum shutter speed of 1/300 sec, 150mm == 1/150 sec.  If the calculated shutter speed is not available use the next fastest one.  This assumes a stationary subject. For moving subjects use the reciprocal of the lens and adjust according to the table of speeds below.

Of course if you have a very fast ISO set you will be able to use faster speeds.

Subject @ 15m

Subject Speed (km)

straight on

Oblique 



3   6 1/20 1/40 1/60

Foot races

32 1/100 1/250 1/400


6 10 1/250 1/400 1/800

High Diving

80 1/300



Bicycle racing

40 1/150 1/400 1/1000

Trotting horse

8 16 1/80 1/150 1/250

Racing horse

40 48 1/150 1/300 1/900


60 1/150 1/300 1/500

Fast train

90-120 1/300 1/600 1/900

fair weather waves

8 20 1/200 1/400 1/600

Waves in gale

100 160 1/600 1/800 1/1000

Slow cars

8 16 1/50 1/100 1/150

Racing cars

130 320 1/500 1/1000 1/2000
  • What if you have set the optimal aperture but with the current level of light and ISO you cannot use a suitable shutter speed? Increase the ISO until you get the shutter and aperture values you need.
  • Try using Continuous Shooting mode (set to 3 shot burst), you may find that the middle frames of the triplet will be the sharpest.
  • Wrap the camera strap around your forearm or around head to provide extra steadiness.
  • Lean on something solid, which may include a person.

If you have your bean bag support that can be placed on a railing or post to support the camera

But the most important thing is to practice any and all these tips and techniques before you really need to use them.  When you do need to shoot The Great Shot you won’t have to worry about blurry or un-sharp shots.