Patience, perseverance and a measure of good luck all go into our best photos.

Photo Mieke Boynton

Along with a reasonable grasp of the mechanics of your camera, patience, perseverance and good luck are the keys to the exceptional photography you see on the pages of this magazine and the images selected for our annual calendar and diary. They provide a sweeping snapshot of rural and regional Australia from wild and windswept coastlines across hot and thirsty deserts to vignettes of farm and station life.

The photographers whose work is showcased spent weeks on the road and travelled thousands of kilometres in pursuit of the perfect shots. Kimberley-based Nathan Dyer travelled to the NT’s Victoria River District to cover mustering on Wave Hill station. By being in the right place at precisely the right instant he was able to capture Connie Woods in perfect harmony with her horse. Victorian photographer Mieke Boynton and OUTBACK associate editor Ken Eastwood harnessed the power of the ‘golden hour’ for their shots.

But the award for dedication goes to Cooma-based Charles Davis, who is better known for his misty alpine images and rare captures of wildlife in the snow. He travelled to the Red Centre to catch a stunning study of 1,000 budgerigars perching like leaves on a dead tree, which features in the 2024 OUTBACK Diary. Then he waited until the birds murmurated (the acrobatic feat of changing direction simultaneously) and pressed the shutter for the shot that graces the September spread for the 2024 OUTBACK Calendar.

“A mate who was working on a film shoot out there tipped me off,” Charles says. “When I heard they were congregating, I dropped everything, flew to Alice and went out every morning. It’s about preservation as there are predators everywhere waiting to grab the budgies. By sunrise, there would be 30,000 of them gathered. It took a week, but I finally caught that second when the chatter pivots. It’s quite disorientating to witness, a bit like a flash of light and it’s remarkable to see the survival instinct.”

With OUTBACK’s calendar on your wall and diary on your desk, you can share these experiences and stunning locations vicariously, no matter where you live. 

This story excerpt is from Issue #151

Outback Magazine: Oct/Nov 2023