Derby, Western Australia
The wet season of the Kimberley region in remote North-Western Australia usually runs from November until April. It is a time of revival for the sunburned land. After months without rain, water courses freely through the long river beds and deep rock pools. Life is renewed. The local Aboriginal tribes believe the clouds, storms and rain represent a visible expression of the Wandjina, ancestral Dreamtime spirits who created the world.
Each afternoon, I sat on the barren marsh surrounding the small outback town of Derby, to witness the power of the Wandjina. One day, I spotted an active storm far in the distance, moving quickly, shifting and evolving before my eyes. As the sun dipped below the horizon, the front-lit cloud turned an unusual magenta hue. On this occasion I had left my lightning trigger at home, so I shot continuously, selecting a shutter speed long enough to catch a lightning strike, yet fast enough to minimise cloud movement. I was fortunate to capture a bolt that burst through the low-level clouds with energy and vigour, in perfect counterpoint to the rising moon. The elements in this photograph come together to convey the harsh beauty, remoteness and spirituality for which the Kimberley is famed.