Thousand Kilometre Images …

Often the easiest part of making images is pressing the shutter … and the hard part is getting to the right place to take them!

Such was the case this week on a job for ‘The Australian’ broad sheet.

The object was the take pics to accompany a story by Brisbane based journalist Sarah Elks on the subject of the controversial and now doomed Queensland Wild Rivers legislation and the opinions of grazier Scott Harris at Strathmore Station between Georgetown and Croydon in remote north west Queensland.

It entailed a round trip drive of well over a thousand kilometres dodging rock spitting road trains …  a substantial amount on corrugated gravel roads … which equated to almost fourteen hours behind the wheel over two days. A few of the native wild life met their demise over those hours including a rather fat bird of prey who obviously over indulged feasting on a road side roo carcass, failed to gain sufficient height on take off and smashed into my windscreen. Had to confess the rather large crack from top to bottom of the screen to the hire car company on my return.

Grazier Scott Harris and his wife Kerry were extremely gracious hosts and we spent dinner in the evening with their crew planning the best scenario for images.

Strathmore muster by helicopter and quad bike (not a horse in sight) and we made a plan to make the images of the choppers mustering stock across the Einasleigh River at dawn.

At first light we took off in the Robinson 22 helicopters and watched the sun peak over the horizon from a thousand feet.

The mustered cattle did their part as Scott and contract pilot Mike Fleming coaxed them across the river and the images were made. ‘The Weekend Australian’ ran with a large image on page 1 and a further 3 images and story on page 5.

The Australian also ran a ten image slide presentation “Helicopter Cattle Muster” on their web site which can be viewed here.

Below I’ve posted a grab of the image of  The Weekend Australian’s front page, another of page 5 … and an image of grazier Scott preparing to take off pre dawn.

Images © Brian Cassey