Tracer – On Location, January ’11

With a pending release on Mascot’s Cool Green Recordings Adelaide’s Tracer and I set off into the Aussie desert for a shoot that would later be used as artwork.

The idea was to get to Port Augusta and then keep heading north until we found red desert, as the label had briefed a visual that was clearly “Aussie”.

We drove for hours in the height of +40 degree summer heat without seeing too much of anything and then out the left window, far on the horizon we spotted a suitable amount of red desert.

Pulling up, and grabbing our gear plus plenty of beers, we started the trudge through the desert.

It wasn’t until we had walked about 20 minutes that we realised we were not much closer at all and the red desert on the horizon was a still a tiny spec – a mirage if you like.

Still, we continued on, drinking and marvelling at how damn hot it was.

Pretty soon we also noted how it would have been 100% better to not be trekking through the desert in thongs carrying instruments and loads of camera gear. Thistles pricked into our feet with every  step. Sweat was pouring. The beers were being drunk rapidly. Our clothing was being removed.

Perhaps it was the beers that helped the trek to go quicker, as not soon later we arrived at our red desert oasis.

And it was indeed a premium spot – untouched red earth with plenty of photo opps.

We polished off the last of the beers and began shooting.

A working title of “Spaces In Between” was on our minds.

Keeping the visual image distinctly Australian as per the label’s request was also on our minds.

The trek back to the car was certainly not.

Another hour or so later and as the sun dipped on the horizon we had got the shots we needed.

It was then that we noted: not a single one of us brought any water. We all remembered the beers, but water? Nah! we won’t need that. It comes out of taps anyway doesn’t it?

We looked into the distance at where we knew the car was parked – not far from the black square on the horizon in the second last shot here (taken at 200mm on a 5D so you can tell just how far it is)

And it was then that we realised it was going to be a pretty hard walk back!!

We all needed water very badly, but there was none. None of us wanted to start the trek but there was no other option, and so our clothing came off once again and we stumbled our way back.

I stubbed my feet on a hundred rocks, thistles pricking me twice as much as on the way there and it was then I wished I had worn shoes, not thongs. It was a painful trek!! I was still removing thistles a week later!

The map screen dump at the end of this gallery is literally how far we trekked – double that 2.87km for the return trip!

We finally arrived back at the car on dark and the only water to be found anywhere was a 500ml buddy bottle that had been cooking inside the car in the desert in +40 degree heat all afternoon.

We drank from it as if it were the nectar of the God’s.

To us, it was.