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Winter in the Australian desert is sometimes accompanied by morning ground mist. Its uncommon and does not last long but when it appears it provides an ethereal touch to the landscape. In this shot I wanted to have the mist provide a backdrop to this single remnant of ancient landform to provide a visual metaphor of both the transient nature of life but also of climate change, for climate change is what produced this strange formation. Its layer upon layer of ancient dried lake bed, put down over about 60-70,000 years as a lake dried, refilled, and then dried again, only to completely disappear about 17,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age. And although its now surrounded by salt bush and desert it was once a lush and thriving landscape of wildlife with an abundant human community thriving in this area.
The mist was at times very thick and tended to condense on my lens leading to many lost shots - I did end up with many shots ruined due to this condensation. However, this was taken as the sun was rising and burning off the mist, and my lens was clear and clean. But a hazard of early morning photography are the shadows that can enhance a shot, or not. In this case my shadow fell into the composition and no matter where I stood I could not eliminate it, so I had to crop but the effect was to have the ‘mud stack’ off centre which tends to direct the viewer out towards the barren misty plains. I also enhanced the sunrise impact on the misty sky; it was tinged with orange but I raised this a little to highlight the grey of the mud stack.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor