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Lake Eyre Photo Tour April 2016

TESTIMONIAL SUE CHAPLIN

Sometimes, out of the blue, comes opportunities that should be grabbed with both hands and are not to be missed. It could be the location, the timing, the activity or just the sponteniety that makes it special. Joining Julie Fletcher on her inaugural Lake Eyre Photography Tour was one such opportunity that I definitely didn't want to miss, after all there is only ever one inaugural trip anywhere, and I knew this was going to be special.

The timing was perfect - being South Aussie born and growing up in the driest state in the driest continent on earth, I knew that to see water in Lake Eyre was a rare event, something that not everyone gets a chance to see and possibly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me. Wet Season rain flowing down from the north and fortuitous rain in the far north of South Australia a couple of weeks prior to the trip made it even more special, the outback was awash with green, the cattle fat and rivers and creeks flowing into the lake making it a spectacle to behold.

Our tour group consisted of 5 avid photographers of varying skill levels and we were treated to some of the most amazing locations in which to hone our skills. Julie shared with us her favourite places, giving us the opportunity to emulate some of her famous and popular outback shots, from high above the lake to starry outback skies, bullet riddled car wrecks and the most special of all, her favourite and 'secret' spot on the lake that is inaccessible and unknown to the general public. This place is unspoilt and pristine, its rugged beauty in daylight stark contrast to the soft pastels of the lake at dawn and dusk and the most amazing salt bed you will ever see. I would rate this special location in my top 3 travel destinations, up there with the beauty of the Maldives and the adrenalin rush of walking the rim of an active volcano at night in Vanuatu. It has a presence that is indescribable, a serenity that belies its harsh and arid location, and a beauty that is felt, not just seen.

Julie's love of country and her chosen field is palpable. Her ability to work with workshop participants of varying skill levels is masterful and encouraging. Her down to earth approach makes it easy to learn and she is determined that everyone WILL learn something, even those like me who march to the beat of their own drum and do things their own way!!!

If the opportunity ever presents and you share a love of photography and our amazing country, a workshop with Julie won't disappoint, regardless of its location. If you get a chance to see Lake Eyre in all its glory, just go. It is a rare occasion that all things come together and put on a show like we were treated to.

So, location, check. Timing, check. Activity, check (who could resist 3 days of photography with no interruptions!). Spontaneity, check. And if I get another chance, I'll be there with bells on.....

 Sue Chaplin (Darwin NT)

(second trip with me Sue was on our Red Centre Trip back in 2015)

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