Bruce Munro Tropical Light

Louise Denton

Louise Denton is a landscape and nature photographer based in Darwin, with her main stall located at Mindil Beach Sunset Market. With the Top End as a photographer’s paradise, Louise has spent the last six years perfecting her practice and capturing stunning images from landscapes such as Litchfield, Nitmiluk and Kakadu national parks. She is creating a unique range of images for the ‘Bruce Munro: Tropical Light’ exhibition. Here, she discusses her love of photography and Darwin and what inspires her about the wet season.

What do you love most about living in Darwin?
Darwin is a unique place to live. There are so many special things about living here it’s hard to pick just one! With my photographer’s hat on, it’s impossible to ignore how geographically remote we are and how we are surrounded by unspoilt natural landscape. Waterfalls, gorges and rivers, and unique flora and fauna with so many stunning vistas to explore and capture.  The climate here is also something I love. Of course, we have a warm, tropical climate but it’s the dramatic storms that really have captured me. Darwin has a great sense of community, too. The people are friendly and the lifestyle is relaxed, easy and outdoors.  Originally I’m from the UK so Darwin is a bit of a change but I really can’t imagine living anywhere else!

What is the best thing about the wet season?
I am regularly asked when my favourite time to photograph is, and without a doubt it is the wet season. There are many reasons for this: great skies (clouds and storms equal more dramatic light and better contrast), more water in the falls, a greener landscape and less people! However, access can be restricted by road in some areas and we do get periods of constant rain which can put a dampener on any outings.

What is something you can only do during the wet season?
See the waterfalls of our national parks at their best! It’s a great time to take a scenic flight. Or, find a coastal view one evening and watch the light show around you.

What are you doing for the Tropical Light Exhibition?
I am creating a unique range of photographic images for the ‘Bruce Munro: Tropical Light’ exhibition. This has challenged me outside of my normal body of work by focusing on the smaller details of a landscape and presenting them as an image. Each image I’ve created is connected to its own light installation, which has been inspired by an element of our stunning tropical wet season and the Darwin lifestyle.

I have been photographing the landscape and light around the Top End area for over ten years now, and it is through projects such as this which keeps my passion alive and ever-changing. My involvement in this exhibition has given me the inspiration to create images I would not have seen before.

How long have you been a photographer?
I have selling my photography as prints since I set up a stall at Mindil Beach Markets in 2011. I have learnt how to frame my own work, and over time have expanded my gear and skills to the images you see today. Photography has provided my full-time income since 2014 and I’m extremely grateful for all the opportunities that have come my way. Hopefully people have seen one of my ‘pop up’ stalls somewhere over the last few years.

How have you developed as a photographer?
The great thing about photography is that there is always room to grow. The Top End region is a huge source of inspiration for me. I have learned so much about the local flora and fauna, and there is still so much to learn. I’m constantly inspired by our skies, wildlife and rugged natural beauty. There is an endless environment to explore. So I think at the moment, my development in photography is closely tied to the new knowledge I acquire about our region. I’ll aim to shoot a specific species of tree or rock formation that I might have learned about. 

What advice would you give to aspiring photographers who want to capture Darwin and the Top End in the lead up to Tropical Light and during the event?
Just get out and about and explore. Don’t be scared by a bit of rain, but do make sure you’re prepared with a waterproof cover for your camera or bag (and yourself!).  And remember - always keep your eyes on the sky for colours, clouds and shapes in any direction.