A few years ago, I had an opportunity to take a second trip to Western Australia, one of my favorite locations in the world. One of the stops on my itinerary was Hyden, WA; a place famous for the geological feature known as ‘Wave Rock.’ This ancient granitic formation, which is thought to be around 2,700 million years old, has been captured through the lenses of a lot of photographers from around the world. However, one curious thing that I’ve noticed is that most photographers tend to –seem to, anyway– only cover the famous aspects of the formation and stop there. What I found during my visit, was that there were a multitude of other aspects of ‘the wave’ that I found to be much more intriguing, albeit less well known.
One thing that I soon discovered after climbing on top of Wave Rock was that granitic dome offered a spectacular view of miles upon miles of rugged bush land. Additionally, the surface of the rock was filled (at least during my visit) with several ephemeral pools bursting with all sorts of interesting plant and animal life. The pool featured in the photo above contained sundews, tadpoles, insects and other interesting creatures. Further on, I came to several collections of huge boulders surrounded by gnarled scrub vegetation. These structures made for excellent photographic subject matter in the nice filtered light of an approaching storm.
Early the next morning, as I explored the fog-laden landscape surrounding Wave Rock, I photographed an eerie beauty of a ‘salt lake’ to the tune of honeyeaters, magpies & wattlebirds. This moment was followed up with a magical encounter with a pair of kangaroos, which silently bounded out of the mist just a few feet from where I was standing.
As I left Hyden, I remember thinking how strange it was that I had never seen any photographic representation of all of the very wonderful things that I had discovered there. I was reminded of just important it is for photographers and artists to push past the obvious and seek imagery that is unique to our own experiences. For all of the amazing wonders in the world, such as Wave Rock, there are a million more things just as amazing, waiting to be discovered, if we are willing to put in the effort.