Film and Photography
This month’s National Geographic magazine features the amazing work of Sydney based photographer Murray Fredericks. Called Salt Flats, the images look like a collection of computer renderings, however, they actually show the 3,700 square miles of featureless landscape that is Lake Eyre, the lowest point in Australia. On the rare occasion that the lake fills up, it becomes the largest lake in the country and 18th largest in the world. Over the course of eight years, Fredericks visited the lake every winter and camped there alone for five weeks. In winter, the heart of the lake completely dries up under the harsh sun, wind and cold, allowing him to capture these desolate images with intense, saturated colours. In the image above, at first light, predawn colours are reflected and distorted by a rare rain puddle in the highly saline lake.
Above: “Cleanly divided by the horizon line, this frame was shot half an hour after sunset. Seen here through my 8-by-10-inch view camera, the clear light of the desert blends right into its reflection on a bit of salty rainwater.” – Murray Fredericks
Above: “In this three-hour exposure during a full moon, the two brightest stars in the sky are described as arcing lines. The cracked bed of Lake Eyre, meantime, resembles nothing so much as a lunar landscape.” – Murray Fredericks
Above: “I took this shot as dawn was breaking, focusing my camera on the black line, which is the lake’s edge. I had never seen this shade of yellow before—nor have I seen it since.” – Murray Fredericks
Above: “Pilots who fly over Lake Eyre had told me about a red hue that sometimes appears when the bed dries. I later learned that it’s caused by an organism that lives only in supersaline environments.” – Murray Fredericks
Above: “The black line is the edge of the lake, miles away from where I was standing. Working in such a space, I was keenly aware of variations in hue. In this shot, taken just after dusk, I was fixated on the subtle transition of orange to deep blue.” – Murray Fredericks
Above: One of Fredericks’ solo pilgrimages to Lake Eyre was made into a short film by Michael Angus.