Exploring Uluru with the Canon Collective

Many years after first visiting Uluru – with my mother and sister in 1973 – I was lucky enough to finally return and this time, with some camera gear at my disposal.

While my visit with my family may have been some 43 years ago, I still remember vividly now the burning desire to return that I felt upon having to leave and continue on our journey back then. My thoughts upon waving goodbye to Uluru this time were certainly no different – it is truly a magical place.

This shot in particular is one of my favourites from my recent experience, facilitated by the Canon Collective. It captures the first light reveal of artist Bruce Munro’s Field of Light art installation, which is created from more than 50,000 slender stems crowned with frosted glass spheres which illuminate as the sun rises over Uluru.


To take this shot, preparation and an early wake-up time was absolutely critical – the window to get the shot was very tight, as you have only around two minutes where it is dark enough to capture the lights, Uluru and the stars all in the one image.

My weapon of choice was the EOS 1DX camera body, with a EF 16-35mm f4L lens, set at ISO 400, 35mm, f/4.5, 5.0 seconds. Assisting me along the way and through the critical seconds was Jay Collier, and I really am thankful for his help to achieve this image of Uluru.

I can promise you, it will not be another 43 years before I return to this special place, it certainly was an experience I will never forget.

For more on my experience at Uluru which included the taking of this shot, please feel free to check out my blog on the day here

Written by Richard Smith.

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