Tuesday, 23 October 2007


An early start today, whilst the sky is still dark, and the stars still clear in the sky. And this in aid of Seeing the Rock at Sunrise, a recurrent pass-time in this part of the world.

There's a lot written, and spoken, and rumoured, about Uluru at sunrise; the way the rock glows and changes colour. I think it depends on the type of dawn; the clouds can change the colour of the sky, and presumably the rock too. For me, it was a tremendously pleasant experience, and I'm glad I just stood there and took it in, rather than trying to capture it photographically. A short time afterwards, though, I did indulge myself and take this:

This is one of my favourite pictures of Uluru. I took it just after dawn, having stood in pretty much that spot and watched the rock change colour as the sun dragged itself above the dusty, sandy horizon behind me.

I could trim it down, but I rather like the fact that you can see the photographer (that's me, folks) - you can see how early it is by the length of my shadow. And I haven't done any other work on the picture, either; it's exactly as my camera recorded it. I love the paleness in the sky, as the sun is still rising. I love the colours and shadows on the rock. You can make out the dark stain of a water channel in the middle of that deep shadow on the left, and the distinctive face of the Mala man, killed by Kirpan whilst protecting his people.

I love the ground too, which becomes stoney rather than sandy just to the left of the viewpoint, and had gathered some water in little puddles from the rain the evening before. I tried to take an arty shot of the reflection of the rock in the water, but couldn't quite get it right. I don't mind.

Sunrise at Uluru is special - Uluru is special. I suspect the definition of that will differ wildly between most visitors.

But, damn, it's worth the trip.

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