A Bird’s Eye View

Photography by Damon Smith

Australia’s vast salt lakes and wild desert landforms have been captured in a stunning series of aerial photographs by a photographer from the South Coast of NSW.

Damon Smith, based near Berry, two hours south of Sydney, is a film maker, photographer and adventurer who usually has his feet firmly planted on the ground as he explores the wildest places on earth but often he also has his head in the clouds… literally.

Damon pilots his own small aircraft, one that he lovingly built himself, and this enables him to capture amazing photographs of the earth from above.

He has recently completed a stunning series of aerial photographs of Australia’s vast salt lakes, remote deserts and wild coasts. To do this Damon chose only the days that had the weather and light he was he was seeking, often just after storms had moved through, with clearing fog and golden morning light. Even so this may have meant waiting in one location for days before the right elements of weather, light, landform and beauty to come together to allow the creation of a superb image.

This unique and beautiful image tells the story of receding flood waters across a vast salt lake in the remote Australian outback. Damon has captured a view that few people see for here there are no roads. Ground access is virtually impossible and the only way to see this scene is just after sunrise from the air.

At this magic hour of revealing light and calm air, there is beautiful clarity and superb colour, shape and form to be seen in the landscape from above.

After almost 30 years of traveling the world’s wild places making adventure and wildlife documentaries for National Geographic, the BBC, Australian Geographic and Australian commercial television stations, Damon is happiest photographing in Australia. “There are no border guards with sub machine guns, the people are friendly and I can travel for thousands of kilometres without hindrance. There is incredible diversity in the Australian landscape: from mountains to deserts, from the tropics to snow. There are superb wilderness areas, many only a few hours travel from or capital cities.”