In pictures: Australia's Lake Eyre from the sky

Australia's vast Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre has been captured in a series of spectacular aerial images for a new exhibition.

Aerial photo of Lake Eyre Image copyright The Light Collective
Image caption The colourful photos of the vast Outback salt plains were taken by a group of award-winning photographers called the Light Collective.
Aerial photo of Lake Eyre Image copyright The Light Collective
Image caption When in flood Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre is Australia's largest lake, covering 9,500 sq km (3,668 sq miles) on the rare occasions when it is full
Aerial photo of Lake Eyre Image copyright The Light Collective
Image caption But it is usually in drought, exposing salt plains that span parts of Queensland, New South Wales, the Northern Territory and South Australia.
Aerial photo of Lake Eyre Image copyright The Light Collective
Image caption The photographers - Adam Williams, Luke Austin, Ignacio Palacios and Paul Hoelen - went to great lengths to get shots. Their four-wheel drive frequently became bogged during their difficult drive through remote South Australia.
Aerial photo of Lake Eyre Image copyright The Light Collective
Image caption "We got the car stuck out there for two days", Williams said. "The car would just be tracking kind of sideways to get going. It took us like four hours to get about 50km."
Aerial photo of Lake Eyre Image copyright The Light Collective
Image caption When they finally arrived in a town called William Creek, about 1000km (621 miles) north of Adelaide, the men chartered two small planes to get a rare aerial view of the region.
Aerial photo of Lake Eyre Image copyright The Light Collective
Image caption The shoot was hair-raising. Williams said the plane doors were removed to allow the men a clear shot, but that created extreme wind pressure.
Aerial photo of Lake Eyre Image copyright The Light Collective
Image caption "You're out there photographing all these details in front of this hurricane-force wind," he said. "You're fully belted in. It's like a racing harness - almost over the shoulder - buckled up in the middle. You are putting a lot of faith in this mechanical buckle."
Aerial photo of Lake Eyre Image copyright The Light Collective
Image caption But he said the heart-stopping adventure was worth it, especially given heavy rain before the shoot created some fascinating imagery.
Aerial photo of Lake Eyre Image copyright The Light Collective
Image caption "A lot of the algae was blooming and the greenery was bursting through the ground," he said. "When we got out there it far surpassed what we anticipated."
Aerial photo of Lake Eyre Image copyright The Light Collective
Image caption Williams said the artists had a specific aesthetic in mind. "We're taking quite of lot of images while we're up there," he said. "We're looking for particular details, or shapes, or things that work compositionally within an image. So each image is kind of 'complete'."
Aerial photo of Lake Eyre Image copyright The Light Collective
Image caption Later, when the images were digitally developed - or processed - the photographers added contrast. This would "darken the dark, lighten the light, give it a bit of separation" and enhance the colour, Williams said.
Aerial photo of Lake Eyre Image copyright The Light Collective
Image caption "As you add contrast, they kind of appear from the details below and that's where all the vibrancy of the images comes from," he said.
Aerial photo of Lake Eyre Image copyright The Light Collective
Image caption Each photographer would process his own work, creating subtle stylistic differences, Williams said.
Aerial photo of Lake Eyre Image copyright The Light Collective
Image caption Their exhibition is now on display at the Depot Gallery in Sydney. They have also released a book of their photos called Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre: Interpretations From The Air.

Photos from the Light Collective

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