How to Capture Australia’s Rugged Country and Mountains

Eugene Tan is the iconic Bondi-based photographer behind the lens of popular Instagram account, Aquabumps. In his latest photography series, he shares his impressions of Broken Hill.

Article by Eugene Tan

The Line of Lode Miner's Memorial in Broken Hill. Photography by Eugene Tan of Aquabumps.The Line of Lode Miner's Memorial in Broken Hill. Photography by Eugene Tan of Aquabumps.

We had three days and we made the most of the short time we were on the ground. We visited Silverton where Mad Max was shot – I am a big fan of that movie. I definitely recommend visiting the Mad Max Museum while you’re there. Have a beer at The Original Silverton Hotel – you’re pretty sure to see a donkey while you sit on the verandah. You can get a good coffee at the Silly Goat Café and be sure to check out the Mundi Mundi Plains lookout to embrace the outback of Australia. The Living Desert and Sculptures is where to spend sunset.

Photography by Eugene Tan of Aquabumps.

I love the mining history of Broken Hill. Shooting some of the old mining factories from 1885 where they mined silver, lead and zinc was unique for me – with not a person in sight. There’s land as far as the eye can see; flat, dry land. The days were clear and blue – I thought it must never rain but then a few days after we left they got 140mm in one afternoon.

Walking the streets of Broken Hill and neighbouring town of Silverton is like stepping back in time. Donkeys, emus, horses, goats roam the streets of Silverton – pretty unique. There are a lot of outback artists and galleries – I liked checking these out, following the steps of the great Pro Hart who lived in Broken Hill for 77 years.

An old mine in Broken Hill. Photography by Eugene Tan of Aquabumps.
The Line of Lode Miner's Memorial in Broken Hill. Photography by Eugene Tan of Aquabumps.

The dirt is red, the sky is blue and trees only grow on the creek line so it was an interesting landscape for me to shoot – big open spaces, a stark contrast from the thousands of people on Bondi Beach I usually shoot.

It’s all about the light for me – the natural light, so the sunrise and the sunset. I still made the most of these times of day to shoot and loved the diversity of Broken Hill. The desert sculptures was a highlight and experiencing somewhere that feel intrinsically Australian was nice to shoot for a change.

Broken Hill. Photography by Eugene Tan of Aquabumps.

How to Capture Tasmania’s Spectacular Columned Cliffs

Photographer Pete Harmsen hikes to Cape Raoul, the least-known of Tasmania’s famed Three Capes

Article by Christa Larwood

Three Capes of Tasmania walking trail is a seven-kilometre walk, from the waving gums to fern-thick temperate rainforest. (Photography by Pete Harmsen)

Dried gum leaves crunch underfoot as I make my way through a forest of rustling eucalypts. My guide, photographer Pete Harmsen, leads the way, his camera swinging on its strap with each step. At the top of the hill, he beckons me forward to where the land drops away, revealing a knee-weakening view of Tasmania’s soaring southern coast – sheer cliffs of green-tufted grey and gold stretching far into the distance.

(Photography by Pete Harmsen)

This is Cape Raoul, one of the Three Capes of Tasmania’s famous walking trail, yet compared to its eastern cousins, Capes Pillar and Hauy, this remarkable peninsula receives a fraction of the visitors. “It’s becoming better known now, but it’s still possible to have it all to yourself,” Pete says, lifting his camera to take a shot.
As a photographer, Pete relishes the variety in this seven-kilometre walk, from the waving gums to fern-thick temperate rainforest, a broad plateau where sun-bleached trees lean flat to the ground, and of course, our destination – the very point of Cape Raoul, where towering columns of dolerite thrust up from the water like colossal, rust-tipped spears.

(Photography by Pete Harmsen)
(Photography by Pete Harmsen)

Here, we are surrounded on three sides by the Southern Ocean, and stand to watch the clouds scudding and roiling on the horizon, throwing a patchwork of shadows onto the water below. “That’s Storm Bay,” Pete says, gesturing towards the east, “and it’s a good name – you get a lot of wild weather in this part of the world, and you see it all from up here. It’s never the same view from one moment to the next.”

As if it has heard him, the wind grows suddenly stronger and the clouds draw in. Turning reluctantly from the view, we make our way back under a leadening sky, leaving Cape Raoul to the wild winds and surf it has stood fast against for millennia.

(Photography by Pete Harmsen)