This is Raft Point on Western Australia’s Kimberley coastline. “The biggest drama for this was that I was shot out of a moving Zodiac, so it was a real challenge to be stable.”

     

    Photo Credit: David Rennie

    This little kingfisher just appeared, says David. “His colours where exquisite. I had only ever captured one quick shot of one five years earlier.”

    Photo Credit: David Rennie

    A puff of smoke spotted from Darwin.”My mind said: volcano??? Nah fire!! Had to be. I so wish it was a volcano.” This was the passengers’ first view of open water. The start of an amazing exploration of the Kimberley Coast and an adventure. 

    Photo Credit: David Rennie

    An early morning as the sun begins to colour the sky. “I wandered around for quite a while trying to find a way to incorporate the Lindblad ship into the shot,” says David.”I really like this; it’s 5am-ish and there was another like-minded person out to see the sunrise. I first thought ‘get out of the way!’, but they added to this image in the end.”

     

    Photo Credit: David Rennie

    Sun set at sea. “You can’t use a tripod easily on a zodiac so a lot was handheld,” says David. “The challenge here is getting a setting that gives you a fast shutterspeed and a good quality image.” 

     

    Photo Credit: David Rennie

    Adam Crop, says David, is an amazing man who came up with the idea of having a drone with camera on the trip. This was the drone’s maiden flight over King George Falls. “He asked if I would work the camera whilst he flew. What an honour! What a buzz! That night when we showed the other passangers, they were amazed at what this little machine captured.” 

    Photo Credit: David Rennie

    This image was shot from a helicopter flight to Mitchell Falls in northern Western Australia. “On the way there I was able to get a door less side seat which was great,” says David. “The biggest challenge was the wind, you had to have the camera strapped to your body and face, there are rotor blades behind you!”

    Photo Credit: David Rennie

    “Everywhere you looked there were patterns of whites, creams, blues and every shade of green. This is a small portion of an amazing river cutting through the land. It snaked and curved in all directions. I could not see the start or the end,” says David. 

    Photo Credit: David Rennie

    Coming back from the Ord River trip we stopped at the old Durack homestead, living in the back part of the homestead block was a bower bird and its bower. I had to crank ISO to 1000, f2.8 1/400th’s and pray. There were three or four of us just lying in the dirt. For me this was a highlight of the trip.

    Photo Credit: David Rennie

    King George Falls. “The major challenge with this area was not to get the gear wet, as there was so much spray from the falls,” says David. “It was gloriously refreshing so you were forever shoving cameras and lenses up shirts or stuffing them back into the waterproof camera bags. This was  a basin and the shadows were major on one side, so you had to wait and get the light right; shooting into bright water and dark rocks is hard enough but some times you had a seconds between wet lens and dry lens.”

    Photo Credit: David Rennie

    The passangers were exploring the Hunter River when word got out that there had been a croc sighting. Excitement filled the zodiacs and then, nothing, says David. They waited and then the other four zodiacs moved on. “I was showing people how to get a water-level shot from a zodiac. Back arched over the side, camera over your head, shooting upsidedown about two inches of the water. Feet hooked into the side ropes, all good. Get a little tap on the leg, ‘look right’. It just appeared.”

    Photo Credit: David Rennie

    The tag board was the most important item on the ship. When we returned we turned them back to blue, and everyone knew we were back on board. Simple, but oh so important. It became a sacred ritual that everyone took seriously.

    Photo Credit: David Rennie

    On the way back form Montgomery Reef. “The day started off overcast and dull, so shooting the reef was a bit of a bummer,” David says. “On the way back the sun did its job and these small islands just lit up. I just loved the colours, the clouds, the sun; it was magical in the moment.”

    Photo Credit: David Rennie

    On the Ord River trip David was most amazed with the little critters. I didn’t bring a macro lens so this was taken with a 70-200mm f2.8 shot at 200mm f4. When travelling and you have to carry everything yourself, so you have to use what you have, says David. He took three lenses; a 16-35mm, 24-70mm, 70-300mm; a flash; tripod; remote; three filters; five batterys; 6 x 64gb cards; a compass; a one litre camel pack and a screaming whistle.

    Photo Credit: David Rennie

    The rising sun as the captain navigated the ship into Wyndam, WA. 

    Photo Credit: David Rennie

    Vansittart Bay. “It was hot,” says David. “It was even hotter on land, but it was scorching on the rocks. I had to lay down to get this shot, and it was great for 10 seconds. I couldn’t believe this beautiful vine could live on that heat. I watched everyone just walk over them, for me I needed to capture this to record it.”

    Photo Credit: David Rennie

Kimberley Coast through the lens of David Rennie

By AG STAFF | September 5, 2014

Bird photographer David Rennie shot these images while on the trip he won for being selected the 2013 Australian Geographic ANZANG Photographer of the Year. His prize was a spectacular cruise with Linblad Expeditions along the Kimberley Coast.