The Making Of: “Maleny Fire”

Maley Fire was an image that just kind of happened. I had seen images of this tree many times previously -mostly taken by wedding photographers, I had a fair idea where this vista was located (based on the view overlooking the Glasshouse Mountains), so when I decided to spend the day scouting Maleny with Martin Canning, I knew there would be a chance we’d end up shooting this location at dusk, all we needed was a good sunset!

The Plan

Martin & I had planned to travel from Brisbane to Maleny, a short 2 hour drive. On arrival we did what most scouting landscape photogers do, we started looking for a suitable coffee shop! After ordering our coffees and chatting with the local barista we made our way over to Ben Messina’s gallery. Ben has a great gallery -a must visit location of you are passing through Maleny or spending the day.

Martin & I have both been shooting film for all our landscape work for the past two years now, so when we scout new locations we are always thinking about how scenes will work on film, considering the very limited tonal range of Velvia 50.

The Trip

The trip up the coast was nice and relaxing -afterall I was not the driver!

Finding a useful composition

As most photographers know, finding a good & unique composition is 90% of the challenge, this is amplified when you choose to use a 617 panoramic film camera. I’m always locked into the same focal range of 90mm.

I use the Fotoman617 as my primary landscape camera, the Fotoman features a removal “viewfinder” which gives me the ability to setup my camera and then walk around looking for vantage points & interesting compositions. Unfortunately for Martin he does not have this ability/feature with his Fuji. The light was the overall winner on this shoot (often the case when shooting film) so my composition ended up being very classic. In this frame “Maleny Fire”, I chose not to break up the Glasshouse Mountains mountain range with the scrub tree -whereas the frames I took later I did. The timing of the shot was also very important, I wanted the last of the afternoon light & also a hint of the fire in the distance. I managed to capture both while avoiding two wedding parties!

Dealing with Wedding Parties

Dealing with the two wedding parties was a challenge, but we respected their space and they respected ours. The location is very popular, & dusk would have to be among the most popular time to capture wedding photos – with light like this and a classic view of the iconic Glasshouse Mountains – its easy to understand why a newly married couple would want to have their wedding photos here!

Seeking Permission

Like a lot of locations, the best vantage point is often located on private property, any photographer with a even a half trained eye for scouting would pick out this tree while driving past – its is clearly visible (and photographable) from the roadside. Martin and I drove past a few times and noticed the classic “Private Property” sign on the roadside fence. I’m never one to be too brazen, so we decided once the coffees were cold we’d start door knocking.

Before long, we found ourselves lost in conversation with the property owner. We were invited inside & treated to a gallery of images from ‘days of old’ It is mind boggling to imagine how many photos have been taken of this tree during the last 30/40 years or so. Lucky I shoot film and only a 8 frames were made. I like to think that each & every ‘click’ takes something away from the landscape, by shooting film in many ways;

We take more but we also take less.

Random Outtakes

See below for a few random outtake & behind the lens images.

  • Maleny Tree - Martin Canning
  • Maleny Tree - Wedding Party
  • Maleny Tree - Fotoman
  • Maleny Tree - Fotoman
Other Images from the same shoot

Martin and I shot a few rolls each this evening. I shot 3 rolls. A few vertical frames & a few classic shots as the light changed. The below two images are also available and were captured the same afternoon/evening;

Maleny Tree (Dusk)

Maleny Tree (Dusk)

Maleny Guardian

Maleny Guardian

An image from Martin Canning

Left: Martin Cannings film capture form the same afternoon. As you can his composition is similar to mine -the main difference being the focal length used. I use a 90mm lens and Martin shoots with a 105mm, giving Martin a tighter crop, which works nicely.



3 thoughts on “The Making Of: “Maleny Fire”

  1. LizSB

    Fantastic post Kane! I love that there is no issue between the two of you with a similar composition. It’s refreshing the see there is no issue with that between two very talented photographers.

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