Visiting and Photographing Engraving Sites

Important

The engravings are very fragile and are corroding quickly. Just marking them with chalk can badly erode them. While you are encouraged to enjoy them and to photograph them freely, please respect their fragility, their beauty, their historical and cultural importance, and their sanctity. In particular,

  • Do not walk on them
  • Do not attempt to "Improve their look" by scratching them, drawing chalk along them, filling them with dirt or sand, or urinating on them (yes, amazingly, it happens!).
  • Do not attempt to create your own engraving nearby.

It is a punishable offence under Australian law to damage or deface the engravings.

Finding the Sites

It can be difficult to find the sites. Against each site description, I give directions to find it, and the latitude and longitude of each site (to an accuracy of about 4m) which will enable you to find them easily if you have a GPS.

Photographing Rock Engravings

To show the grooves clearly, they need to be lit from a low angle, preferably perpendicular to the groove. So, for a really good photo, visit them near dawn or dusk when the Sun is low in the Sky, and try to get them with no shadows from nearby trees or yourself. Don't try to use a flash on the camera - it just flattens the image. But a remote flash at an angle can work well - see below.

How we photographed them.

To take the photos shown on this web site, we built a five-metre-high tripod (see below) from three telescopic swimming-pool poles, and suspended a digital SLR camera (Canon EOS 350D) from this so that the photos are taken vertically above the engraving. Rather than having to wait for dawn or sunset (when shadows tend to spoil the photo anyway), we place a remotely triggered flash a few metres away, at a height of a metre or so. To photograph in full sunlight, we use a battery-hungry 1kJ Elinchrom studio flash (which is about six times as bright as the Sun!) but on overcast days a modest consumer SunPak flash suffices.

 

One of the resulting images (the emu at Elvina Track)

the emu at Elvina Track

All material on this page © Ray Norris 2007 except where otherwise indicated.
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