Birrida, Shark Bay
Phase One XF 150MP, 55mm Schneider Kreuznack, f4 @ 1/1600 second, ISO 160

What is a birrida? I call them claypans or saltpans, but technically (I'm told), the things what look like claypans or saltpans up at Shark Bay are birridas. Birridas started life as small salt-water lakes between sand dunes when the water level was higher than it currently is. But as the sea level dropped, the source of water disappeared and the lakes dried out to be called birridas!

It is quite amazing what you learn when you're flying over Shark Bay! On another flight, I discovered that my young pilot was actually the son of the baker who runs the pie shop opposite my studio back in Sydney, but I digress...

While many of the images you see of Shark Bay feature the amazing water scenes, this image is taken not far from the airstrip over a huge expanse of brittle red earth and really dark salt bush (and I'm sure on another flight a botanist will tell me what they really are). And within the red earth are lots of birridas. I've isolated one here and chosen to darken the red earth right down, using a hue-saturation adjustment layer to remove the blue from the bushes. The reds can be difficult to get just right. Sure, you can reproduce them accurately, but graphically the real colours of the earth and the foliage don't quite sit together. I find removing the blue from the blacks in the bushes simplifies the image and creates a stronger border for the birrida. The birrida itself has been given a little colour help, adding in the blue surrounds and intensifying the oranges inside.

So, what do you see? I can see a blue apple with a huge mouthful removed!

And yes, we still have spots for Shark Bay if you're interested!