Australian landscape photography

Anatomy of a Photo: Heaven On The Hill

‘Heaven On The Hill’ was the first time I composed an image and thought, why not just go a little wider ? ‘Heaven On The Hill’ was the first of my 4:1 panoramic landscape photography images. In landscape photography, the panoramic format was first brought into vogue by the Linhof 617 panoramic film camera, and the serious landscape photographers of the 90’s. Fuji film and Fotoman produced their own 617 panoramic film cameras not log after.

This large format film camera produced a 3:1 panoramic image. A little further down the track, the camera manufacturer Fotoman created an even wider 4:1 panoramic film camera. It was the panoramic images I saw created with the 4:1 Fotoman camera, that inspired this image.

‘Heaven On The Hill’ as with many of my images, was created on the way to work. As I was driving up the through the hinterland to my first days work in some time, courtesy of cyclone Debbie, The first light of the day revealed a sky covered in a blanket of high-level cloud, the tail end of destructive Cyclone Debbie, a weather system that sadly took fourteen lives.

I didn’t really have a clear shot in mind as I was driving up the range, but as I rounded the bend, the trees gave way to the rolling green hills that typify the beautiful sunshine coast hinterland, and the first signs of what would evolve into one of the most beautiful sunrises I have ever witnessed.

The tree in the middle is the clear focal point in the image, but I new I had to squeeze in that old farm shed to the left, the leading lines of the driveway and rising sun to the right. The conditions were an absolute dream, no wind whatsoever. This allowed me to capture the scene in HDR, a blend of three exposures to capture the details in the highlights and shadows, only really possible with no movement in subject matter.

As the sun rose and illuminated the scene before me from right to left, I remember the light just being so incredibly golden and warming, like the doors of heaven were opening in front of me. I love the contrast in this scene, and the way the light is dancing across those beautiful rolling green hills. I love looking back over this photo and reliving that morning, such a beautiful moment in time.

Edan Raw,