25 Sep MRE In A Can
You’ve got the bully beef or the mutton stew.
And cans of plum and apple jam too.
There’s a tablet of salt and a biscuit of wood
And you end up feeling fed-up good.
Or you can go to Margaret River and have a different sort of MRE Experience. Here’s a few bits of the local flora that I found on a recent weekend trip. I was fortunate in being able to poke around a bush track that abutted a forest.
Every district has someone who is interested in it – a long-time resident or a zealous newcomer – and who is generally shyly bursting to tell you all about it. The thing is to find them and to give them a chance to do it. It may involve a little money, but the expertise you get in your exploration will make the expenditure well worthwhile. Any day you learn something is a good day.
Expect to get dirty in some places, and tired in many more. You’ll generally have to walk it some part of the way but if you pick the right season to go, the trail you take may not need to be too long. Western Australian wildflowers and native plants can be prolific in a very short radius. Of course that radius of action may be a loooong way from the metro area so be prepared to travel anyway.
Take a camera…is the advice that a camera shop writer would give…but then you are reading a camera shop weblog column so you kinda figure that. Think carefully what camera you will take…if you are going to be toting it yourself up mountains or down creek beds. By all means equip yourself for every eventuality, but do it eventuality-lite. Many bits of equipment function very well in different modes and you may not need to take the gold standard lens if there is no gold to be found anyway.
Take a flash, LED panel, or reflector card. At some stage of the game you’ll be fighting the light and you’ll need an ally. Practice in your own garden to cope with overhead full sun, complete shade, or dappled hell. remember that many things that make you despair when seen on your camera’s LCD screen will yield to post-processing. To be fair, many things that make you despair during post-processing would have yielded to a bit of sensible shooting in the first place…so learn to use those extra light sources.
Take a tripod, or monopod, or chain pod. Learn to do the schutzen hold. Practice breath control. You may not become an award -winning wildlife photographer but you might be able to get a good job with the snipers. If all else fails, get a mirror-less camera with the most image stabilizing on it that you can. 4, 5, 6 or more planes of action should help, and if you find that any attempt to pan the camera to take a picture of the family dog running by results in it dumping you on your head with a whirring noise, you’ll know you’re onto a winner. If you are photographing a cactus and it’s running past you, ease up on the peyote…
My thanks to Jo Armstrong and for the Sunday in the bush and the Margaret River Experience.
Note for the techs: Fujifilm X-T10, Zonlai 23mm f1.8, Classic Chrome simulation, on-camera popup flash.