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Didgeridoo Dots by David McMahon

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These traditional Aboriginal instruments called didgeridoos, in miniature, were for sale at Tullamarine Airport departure lounge when I shot this image in November 2008. (8,094 views on 21 August, 2014)

The lighting in the shop at the international terminal wasn’t great for this sort of work, so I had to be creative in the way I shot this. I wanted a tight frame, to capture the amazingly intricate approach that characterises Aboriginal art.

It is art that captures all the colours of the Australian bush, or the Outback – and the interesting thing is that all the pigments are traditionally obtained from everyday, natural facets of the Outback.

First of all, I had to get permission from the person behind the counter – but she was great, giving me the go-ahead immediately.

I do not crop or post-edit my work in any way. Shot with a Pentax K100D, using a Sigma 18-125mm lens. F4.5, 1/15 sec, ISO 800, focal length 50mm.

Featured in IMAGE WRITING, June 2010.

Featured in CIRCLES OF THE WORLD, July 2010.

Featured in A LITTLE BIT OF EVERYTHING, October 2010.

Featured in PENTAX, April 2011.

Featured in SNAPTACULAR, October 2011.



aboriginal, aboriginal art, australia, australian, david mcmahon, didgeridoo, dots, indigenous, music, musical instrument

Walkley Award-nominated journalist, novelist and wedding photographer at

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  • Varinia   - Globalphotos
    Varinia - Gl...over 5 years ago

    Love the vibrant colours and varying patterns, great find !

  • Thanks very much – they were actually miniatures. I couldn’t resist the shot!

    – David McMahon

  • Dean Slockee
    Dean Slockeeover 5 years ago

    Great shot, love the colours

  • Thank you very much, Dean. I was drawn to the colours too!

    – David McMahon

  • Caroline Angell
    Caroline Angellover 5 years ago

    Fantastic! So clear and bright.

  • Thanks Caroline. I will definitely be showing some more Aboriginal art here. Stay tuned!

    – David McMahon

  • Jay Gross
    Jay Grossover 5 years ago

    Wow, beautiful work! Great patterns and color. -J:

  • Thanks very much. Aboriginal art is amazing in its colours, all of which stem from natural materials.

    – David McMahon

  • Catherine Davis
    Catherine Davisabout 5 years ago

    Great textures and colours!

  • Thanks very much, Catherine.

    – David McMahon

  • mttmaliha
    mttmalihaalmost 5 years ago

    Hi David.. would you please consider adding this to the group
    Music of the Spirit
    Thanks for joining!

  • Thanks so much, Maureen. Submitting it now ….

    – David McMahon

  • CeePhotoArt
    CeePhotoArtalmost 5 years ago

    Great color!!! :D

  • Thanks, Cee – I was delighted that they gave me permission to use my camera in the store.

    – David McMahon

  • Mike Oxley
    Mike Oxleyalmost 5 years ago

    Beautiful colours and textures, David. Works of art! Lovely capture. And this may interest you

  • Thank you very much, Mike. On my way to check out that link now ….

    – David McMahon

  • ellismorleyphto
    ellismorleyphtoover 4 years ago

    You just KNOW what I am singing….

    Didgeridoo dots, didgeriday, my oh my what a wonderful day… hehe….

    Cool photograph :-)

  • Trish Meyer
    Trish Meyerover 4 years ago

    David, you have captured the intricate decoration on these instruments very well!

  • Thank you, Trish. I’m so glad you think so. That’s great news.

    – David McMahon

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