It was another early start for the third and final day of the Canon Collective Photographic Festival, and yet again, it was more than worth it!

This time, we were in for a real treat with the Lake Amadeus Aerial Landscape Photography activity.

The Canon Collective really pulled out all of the stops with this one, delivering an experience which allowed us to achieve some breathtaking aerial landscape images on-board a privately chartered helicopter.

Lake Amadeus is a real hidden gem of the desert. Located 50 kilometres north of Uluru and consisting of dry river beds and salt pans covering an area of 1,032 square kilometres over a span that is 180 kilometres in length, yet only 10 kilometres wide.

We were treated to 55 minutes of flying time over this beautiful sight, which delivered not only some amazing landscape photography opportunities overall, but also the chance to capture the often-bizarre abstract patterns and formations which form along the edges and interior of Lake Amadeus.

For this trip, we were each lent either a Canon EOS 5DS-R and EOS 1DX Mark II or EOS 1DX camera body, along with an EF 16-35mm f4L IS and EF 24-70mm f2.8L or 24-70mm f4L IS lens to help capture the highest quality pictures possible. I was lucky enough to be treated to 1DX mark with a 24 to 70mm f4L IS lens and it was truly a pleasure to work with such a fine piece of equipment.

Once the flight was over, there was still plenty ahead for the day – it was time for breakfast followed by a fine art edit and printing workshop to make sure we made the most of our experience that morning, while the Canon Collective also hired some cars so we could go back into the park to shoot some more Uluru images with clear blue skies.

Later that day, it was time for our finale experience – a private trip to ‘the Camel Farm’.

Boasting one of the best views of Uluru and Kata Tjuta from the one location, we were treated to exclusive use of a private dune top before and during sunset, along with performances by local traditional aboriginal dancers accompanied by didgeridoo. We enjoyed drinks and pre-dinner canapes on the dune top as we witnessed these magical displays and soaked up the ambience of Uluru at sunset.

And still, there was more for us to take-in. As the last light of the day sunk below the horizon, we made our way down the dune to the Camel Farm for a BBQ dinner followed by astro photography featuring the illuminated windmill and stage coaches of the farm for an ultimate outback astro shoot.

Helping us with the shoot was Voyage’s Indigenous Tourism Australia resident Astro expert, who took us through the details of many aspects of the Outback night sky.

Soon, it was time for us to pack our gear and head back to Sails in the Desert for a well-earned sleep before we all flew back to our homes the next day. As we made our way back to the resort for one final night, it was not surprising that the consensus was clear amongst the group – what an amazing experience, and what a perfect way had the evening been to close out what had been an amazing three days.

To see the images from day three of the Canon Collective Photographic Festival, please click …

I must send my sincere thanks to Natalie and Scott (Canon Collective Sydney), Jay (Canon Collective Melbourne), Voyage’s Indigenous Tourism Australia Sales in the Desert Resort, SEIT Outback Australia and AAT Kings for their hospitality over the three days. This has been experience I will not soon forget!