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The best places to photograph in Australia

This article originally appeared on www.hotelclub.com/blog. which is now part of hotels.com

Great travel photographers are highly skilled in capturing the feeling of a time and place, telling stories and portraying an area’s culture, landscape, history, people or customs.  To find out their secrets to success, we asked Australia’s top travel photographers for their advice on taking great travel photos, details on how they got started in the industry as well as their ultimate destinations to photograph when at home in Australia.

Richard I'Anson

Richard I’Anson

Facebook: Richard I’Anson Photography
Instagram: richianson

Richard I’Anson is a freelance photographer who has built a career on his twin passions for travel and photography. Over the past 34 years he has travelled the world, amassing a substantial and compelling collection of images of people and places in more than 90 countries on all seven continents. He has published eleven books including four editions of the best-selling Lonely Planet Guide to Travel Photography , Lonely Planet’s Best Ever Photography Tips and the large format pictorials: Australia: 42 Great Landscape Experiences, Nepal and India: essential encounters. When he’s not on the road he lives in Sydney, Australia.

Melaleuca Forest

Copyright © Richard I’Anson – Melaleuca Forest, Bamurru Plains, NT

1. Can you tell us a little about how you got started as a travel photographer?
From the moment I received my first camera at 16 I wanted to be a photographer. Around age 21 I started shootings friend’s weddings and then I set up a studio shooting weddings and portraits. It was a five year plan to allow me to start travelling and build a collection of images. During that time I did a seven month overseas trip and lots of travelling in Australia. Then I closed down the studio and travelled for 2 years in Asia. By the time I returned to Australia I had a comprehensive collection of images to show picture editors. I still think this is the only way to become a professional travel photographer.

2. What’s been the most exciting moment of your career as a travel photographer?
Being selected as one of five photographers to have their work showcased in a six part tv series called Tales by Light, produced by Untitled Films for National Geographic Channel and Canon. The program was screened in June this year.

3. In your opinion what makes a great travel photo?
An image that makes people want to go there and see it for themselves.

4. What’s your ultimate travel photography destination within Australia? Why?
Northern Australia, from the Kimberley to Kakadu. It’s a big area that offers such a wide variety of travel experiences and subject matter with its remarkable landscapes, wildlife and rock art. Outback Australia is a world away from our big cities and urban environments and I love the contrast between the two.

5. What advice would you offer someone looking to get started in travel photography?
You have to invest time and money in travel to build a substantial collection of high quality images to license as stock and to prove to potential clients that you can do the job. Before you hit the road thorough research and planning will go a long way to getting you to the right place at the right time more often than not. The more time you have, the more opportunities you give yourself to photograph subjects in the best light.

6. What are the key points you consider to capture the essence of a place in a photograph?
I aim to cover as many different subjects in every place I visit to build a story with depth and breadth. I treat all subjects equally photographing them in the best light and always look for multiple points of view.

 

Cameron James Cope

Cameron James Cope

Facebook: Cam Cope, Photographer
Twitter: @camcopephoto
Instagram: camcopephoto

Cam Cope is the 2014 Australian Travel Photographer of the Year, and an experienced travel photojournalist who teaches Contemporary Travel Photography at RMIT University. His work is regularly published in magazines such as Australian Geographic, The Weekend Australian, Get Lost, International Traveller, Royal Auto, The Big Issue, and others. Cam maintains documentary and art practices, exhibits widely, presents publicly on his work, has published several book titles and has work in the permanent collection of the Melbourne Museum.

Australian Stockman, Lin Baird, leads a packhorse to Hell’s Gap during a traverse of Mount Bogong in Victoria's High Country.

Copyright © Cameron James Cope – Mount Bogong, VIC

1. Can you tell us a little about how you got started as a travel photographer?
At age five, Mum gave me a scrapbook and entrusted me with a great esponsibility: record the summer road-trip adventure from Melbourne to Cairns. Sandwiched into the back of our canary-yellow Volvo station-wagon, I’d never been more excited. And though I was armed at first with just a pencil and a glue stick, making images and telling stories is what I’ve been passionate about doing ever since. In terms of my industry ‘in’, I’d have to send props to Luke Wright, the then editor of Get Lost Magazine for accepting my first pitches.

2. What’s been the most exciting moment of your career as a travel photographer?
It’s hard to beat any of the ‘firsts’ I’ve had in my career: double-page spreads, front covers, paid assignments overseas, in fact even just receiving a pay check at all for turning in pictures and copy – if it wasn’t an EFT I probably would have framed it. On the flip side the most exciting/scary moment came in 2013 when I was behind the wheel of a Toyota Hilux firing down a broken-edged highway in the Western Sahara. The news came in that France had invaded Mali, and the renowned ‘Festival in the Desert’ that I had gone to cover was cancelled. What followed was a tense few weeks stuck on the border with Senegal re-arranging plans and visas, but by serendipity I ended up taking a picture with which I later won Australian Travel Photographer of the Year (2014) with the Australian Society of Travel Writers.

3. What’s your number one destination to photograph in Australia? why?
I like shooting street in Melbourne, where I live, and have done amazing assignments recently on Kangaroo Island in SA and the Furneaux Islands in TAS. I’ve done heaps of the Queensland coast and a little street work in Sydney too, but I think I most love getting up into the mountains in the Great Dividing Range – probably because most people overlook them and because they’re not what most people (particularly foreigners) associate with Australia.

4. What´s the correct protocol and etiquette involved when taking photos of people when you are travelling? Should you always ask permission before shooting for example?
There’s no rules here. Lot’s of people have different approaches and many can work depending on your style and personality. If I see a moment I usually just take the picture and see what happens, otherwise I might ask permission. Though in a way just taking the photo is in itself already asking permission, you’ll find out soon enough if they mind! And I’m usually happy to delete an image if there’s a protest. If I have the time I like to treat my camera as a tool for making friends and creating scenarios where I have the social license to shoot much more than just a moment on the street (i.e. later in someone’s home or workplace), or that person might become an informal guide to me, smoothing the way to photographing other locals. The key is to just own what you’re doing, don’t pretend to be doing something else unless it’s a dangerous situation. People read a lot into body language, if you are hiding behind your camera, maybe you’re doing something suspicious? If you’re direct and approaching about it, maybe they’ve nothing to fear?

5. What are the key points you consider to capture the essence of a place in a photograph? The word essence gets thrown around a lot in travel photography and I’m still not sure what it really means! I’m just looking to make images that work, so I generally hunt for great light, shadows, colours, places and buildings that frame people doing something (hopefully) interesting. In amongst that unexpected moments happen that add something slightly less tangible, elevating the images. There’s a lot more I could mention, but that’s what my new short course in travel photography at RMIT University is for.

6. What’s your number 1 tip for amateur travel photographers?
There’s no substitute for spending the time.

 

Drew Hopper

Drew Hopper

Facebook: Drew Hopper Photography
Instagram: drewhopper
500px: Drew Hopper

Drew Hopper is a fine art travel and landscape photographer based in Australia. Captivated by the diversity of cultures, people and landscapes, Drew travels far and wide to capture pictures that define his experiences with the vision that they will impact and inspire an audience in a way individual to each person. With almost a decade of industry experience behind him, Drew has developed a photographic style that is unique, simple and compelling. His goal is to create powerful imagery to tell a story and convey a sense of discovery.

New England National Park

Copyright © Drew Hopper – New England National Park, NSW

1. What’s your number one destination to photograph in Australia? why?
My number one destination to photograph in Australia would have to be a place close to home – New England National Park which is located on the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales, Australia. It’s an expansive and diverse park that links the New England Tablelands with the Coffs Coast hinterland. The undisturbed wilderness make it a unique place to shoot with over 1000 species of plants including the cool temperate rainforests of Antarctic beech draped in hanging moss. Simply stunning for nature photography.

2. What’s been the most exciting moment of your career in photography?
Backpacking through Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos was a special moment in my photography career. I visited some incredible places and took some of my first travel photographs, from there my wanderlust set in.

3. What advice would you offer someone looking to get started in travel photography?
Be sensible with your money. Don’t go out and purchase expensive camera gear with the belief it will make you a better photographer. Invest your time and money on getting you to a new destination and practice your photography.

4. What advice can you give amateur photographers to capture great travel photos?
Be patient, observe the light and study your compositions carefully before pressing the shutter. It’s easy to click the shutter, but it takes a keen eye to capture great images.

 

LisaMichele

Lisa Michele Burns

Facebook: The Wandering Lens
Twitter: @wandering_lens
Instagram: the_wanderinglens

An Australian travel and underwater photographer currently based in France. Lisa founded The Wandering Lens, a guide to photographing the world aimed at inspiring travellers to creatively capture their adventures.

Whitesunday Islands

Copyright © Lisa Michele Burns – Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsundays Islands, QLD

1. Can you tell us a little about how you got started as a travel photographer?
I was working as a journalist when I got the opportunity to write for Lonely Planet during a trip to Marrakech, Morocco. This magical city visually inspired me and from that trip onwards, I knew that photography was where I wanted my career to go. I approached every travel magazine I could think of and gradually built up a portfolio of published work as I travelled all over before opening a landscape gallery in Australia and then launching The Wandering Lens, a guide to photographing the world.

2. What are the key points you consider to capture the essence of a place in a photograph?
Rather than visiting every tourist hot spot in the guidebook, take time to look around and discover the landscapes and atmosphere of a destination. Light plays a big part in capturing the essence, as does the composition of a photograph.

3. How do you select the perfect location for your next shoot?
Most locations I shoot are based around water clarity, especially at the moment while I’m in Europe working on a project in the Mediterranean. Otherwise it’s all about the landscapes, mountains, lakes and possibilities of a little adventure off the beaten track.

4. What’s your favourite destination to photograph in Australia? why?
It’s hard to go past the Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef where I lived for the past five years. The vibrant colours where the reef meets rainforest, the underwater world alive with marine wonders and more than 70 islands to explore.

5. What are the main software tools you use when processing your photos?
I use Lightroom to batch edit and colour correct then Photoshop to do any other little touch ups an image might need. I prefer to keep photos looking nice and natural but of course I need to edit to ensure they look professional and are consistent in quality.

6. What advice would you offer someone looking to get started in travel photography?
Grab a camera and set off on an adventure. It’s not about having the best equipment, it’s about finding your creative eye and capturing destinations with a unique viewpoint. To stand out in the world of travel photography you need to find a niche or explore places that inspire people to travel. The Eiffel Tower for example is incredible to photograph but it’s also been done a billion times…think about how you can be different to the other 5000 tourists viewing it on the same day.

7. Anything you would like to add?
Travel photography is gaining so much speed thanks to social media. Visual apps like Instagram, Steller and Trover are allowing photographers to showcase their work like never before. It’s a great way to interact with other photographers and creatives too, wanderlust is a pretty strong bond!

 

Nick Rains

Nick Rains

Facebook: Nick Rains
Google+: Nick Rains

Nick Rains has been a professional photographer for the past 31 years and has worked for well known publications such as Australian Geographic, Outback, GEO, Sports Illustrated, TIME, BBC and many others. He has worked in all genres of the industry covering sports, news, celebrities, travel and commercial but now concentrates on documentary photography both in Australia and overseas. More recently Nick has become involved in training other keen photographers, sharing his wealth of experience and knowledge and, in addition to writing travel and photography articles, he is a Leica Ambassador and Principal Instructor for Leica Akademie Australia.

Sugar Loaf rock

Copyright © Nick Rains – Sugar Loaf rock, south west WA

1. What’s your number one destination to photograph in Australia? Why?
For sheer variety it’s hard to beat the south west region of Western Australia. Beaches, forests, vineyards, rolling hills, rocky headlands, azure water, there is huge range of subjects to photograph in, unusually for Australia, a relatively small area.

2. Can you tell us a little about how you got started as a travel photographer?
Travel photography is a very broad term, it covers so much. But having done almost every other type of photography over the past 30 years or so, I found that I enjoyed documentary work, particularly in the field of people and places. I also enjoy meeting people from other cultures and trying to tell their story in images.

3. What’s been the most exciting moment of your career in photography?
There have been many, but working in Fremantle in 1986/7 during the Americas Cup was awesome, as was publishing my first book in 1997. Winning Travel Photographer of the Year in 2014 was pretty special too! If I was to pick one specific moment it might be the first time I went up in a helicopter, armed with a big white sports lens, to shoot the yacht races off Fremantle. My mind was going “I’m a real photographer now!”

4. What are the key points you consider to capture the essence of a place in a photograph?
Subject and context must work together. A person, as a subject, should exist in a place that supports that subject. A face is fine on its own but a portrait amongst some other elements is even better. The subject and background need to work together to tell a story.

5. What advice would you offer someone looking to get started in travel photography?
Travel! Look at what is being published online, on sites like 1X, 500px etc and particularly in proper printed magazines. Master the craft of photography so it’s second nature. Travel photography as a career is hideously competitive because there are so many people taking technically proficient images – you need to come up with something that distinguishes you from the masses.

6. In your opinion, what makes a great travel photo?
A moment caught perfectly, with great expressions on people’s faces (or a gesture of some kind) plus a good balance of elements in the frame and some sort of story going on that’s fairly easy to read. It’s a big ask but for an image to stand out these days it needs to be really stunning.

 

James Horan

James Horan

Facebook: James Horan Shoots People
Twitter: @jameshoranphoto
Instagram: jameshoranshootspeople

Sydney lifestyle, editorial and tourism photographer James Horan is originally from Ireland and now calls Australia home. James fulfills the needs of editorial, commercial and corporate clients with an eye for detail, a sense of humor and a style rooted in documentary photography. Much of his personal work focuses on the quirky side of life. When not on assignment or working on personal projects James loves spending time with his 6 month old daughter Mackenzie and wife Megan, drinking big mugs of tea, eating cake and wishing he had hair, a dog and a field of Donkeys.

Vivid Sydney 2015

Copyright © James Horan – Vivid Sydney 2015, NSW

1. In your opinion what makes a great travel photo?
Difficult question but I love seeing photographers shooting differently, find your own style and don’t follow the herd.

2. Can you tell us a little about how you got started as a travel photographer?
I worked as a professional photojournalist in Ireland for 15 years. I moved to Australia three and a half years ago. I felt that I had had enough of shooting news. One of my old contacts saw on Facebook that Tasmania was my first stop and hired me to shoot the Frommer’s guide to Tasmania. Awesome month long assignment! I now shoot for Destination NSW, Bridge Climb Sydney, Tourism Australia and many international magazines and corporate clients.

3. How do you approach taking photos of people when you are travelling?
Camera in hand always smile, start a light hearted conversation, complement everybody (everyone likes to be complemented).

4. What are the key points you consider to capture the essence of a place in a photograph?
I always work on instinct, I work quickly. If I see something that catches my eye I shoot it. But I try to shoot by highlighting my subjects by eliminating distraction with my framing.

5. What’s your favourite destination to photograph in Australia? why?
I’m in love with Sydney. It has so much to offer. Amazing beaches, national parks, great food, two of the world’s iconic structures sit side by side. Happy friendly, healthy people and I’m really lucky to live here.

6. What’s your number 1 tip for amateur travel photographers?
Smile, be friendly, ask questions, wear comfortable shoes and get up early to catch the great light. 7. Anything you would like to add?
Don’t worry about having the latest and greatest equipment just get out there.

 

Millie Brown

Millie Brown

Instagram: milliebrownphotos

Millie Brown is an Australian travel photographer who currently divides her life between France and Australia. Millie’s combined passion for travel and photography, her curiosity for the world, its diverse cultures and its people has seen her shooting in Europe, South East Asia and Australia, and her images have been published in magazines such as Delicious, Qantas; The Australian Way and Departures.

Outback Australia

Copyright © Millie Brown – Flinders ranges, SA

1. Can you tell us a little about how you got started as a travel photographer?
From a very young age I loved taking photos, however it wasn’t until I went to live in Paris later in life that it became my ‘way of life’, my all consuming passion and obsession. It was while in Paris that I started to carry a camera wherever I went, Paris and Parisian life enthralled me. I haven’t put the camera down since.

2. What’s been the most exciting moment of your career in photography?
I don’t have a one special moment in photography, the most exciting moments are always when I am shooting, when I capture that moment, when everything comes together to make something special. For me nothing in photography is more exciting than getting the photo. It doesn’t matter to me if no one buys the image or if no one else appreciates it. If I feel I have captured that tiny second of life in the way I envisaged and if it means something to me then that is enough, it’s my personal reward and thrill.

3. What´s the correct protocol and etiquette involved when taking photos of people when you are travelling? Should you always ask permission before shooting for example?
Always be respectful when taking photographs of people. When I am wanting to take a portrait of a person either close up or a wider environmental photo I will always ask for permission out of respect but also to get a connection, an emotion, if there is no connection then the portrait cannot be as strong. If I am in a country where I don’t speak the language I will always make sure I know how to ask for this permission. However having said that, there are actually times when I don’t ask, this may be when I am in a street and I see a scene, a vignette of life that I want to shoot or for example an event which involves many people.

4. What’s your favourite travel photography destination in Australia? why?
This is a difficult one! Australia is such a diverse and incredibly beautiful country as we all know. Recently I started a project on outback Australia (a broad subject) and to begin I went to the Flinders ranges in South Australia. It’s like no where else I have been to, the landscapes are extraordinary, the red dirt, the light, and the working and social life of the people . There is definitely something special about people living in the outback, they have a resilience and a connection to nature and the land that seems palpable, and they also seem very easy to connect with.

5. In your opinion what makes a great travel photo?
One would have to say of course a sense of place, but then there is so much more than that. It should entice, make the viewer want to experience whatever it is they are looking at. There should be a strong emotion in a travel image.

6. What’s your number 1 tip for amateur travel photographers?
Do your research, understand a little about where it is you are going, about the culture and the people and what it is you would like to shoot. Check out any events that may be happening while you are there. Get up before anyone else and hit the streets! Be open and friendly, start conversations and be respectful. Keep gear to a minimum, travel light (something I haven’t as yet mastered completely)!

7. Anything you want to add?
I am so thankful for my passion for photography because it has enriched my life in so many ways. I have started conversations I may never have started without my camera, I have met people I may never have met otherwise, and it has helped open new doors and worlds to me. I have always been an interested person, curious about the world, other cultures and for people’s stories, but photography has heightened all of this.

 

IlyaGenkin_ProfCrop

Ilya Genkin

Facebook: Ilya Genkin Photography
Twitter: @igenkin
Google+: Ilya Genkin

Ilya Genkin is a self-taught photographer, born and raised in Kazakhstan where he lived most of his life. He moved to Australia in 2004 and now lives in Sydney. He specialises in landscape, travel and stock images taken in Australia and worldwide.

Sculpture Symposium, Broken Hill, NSW, Australia

Copyright © Ilya Genkin – Sculpture Symposium, Broken Hill, NSW

1. How did you get started in travel photography?
I got started in photography back in 1980. I started it as a hobby but later, during mountaineering in Northern Tien-Shan Kazakhstan, landscape photography became my true passion. I’ve been inspired by the beauty of the high mountains and by numerous landscape and nature photographers, from great names such as Ansel Adams, Galen Rowell, Art Wolfe, John Fielder and many others. In 2004 my family and I moved to Australia and that provided a powerful spur to my photography passion.

2. What’s your ultimate travel photography destination in Australia?
Australia’s North West region probably.

3. How do you select the perfect location for your next shoot?
I browse on Instagram, Flickr, 500px where others users can upload photos and tag their location. I also read different books and magazines. Once I find a promising place I do some research – how to get there, sun patterns in the area to choose the right time of day to shoot etc. Sometimes while driving around or hiking I discover interesting locations or an angle, I later return at the right time with better light.

4. In your opinion what makes a great travel photo?
One of the goals of travel photography is to give viewers a feeling of what it was like to be in that location. For me the sense of a place is the most important thing. There should be great light and a solid composition as well.

5. What in your opinion is Sydney’s best kept secret photographic gem?
It’s really difficult to name any of Sydney’s best kept secret photographic locations. All spots are well known. But I would say probably Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Mostly you’ll find Sydneysiders go there for shooting while tourists prefer to stay in the city or Bondi Beach throwing plenty of perfect opportunities overboard.

6. What’s your number 1 tip for amateur travel photographers?
Practice. Practice and analyse your images. By constantly shooting and analysing your results, comparing your images with Masters’ images you will perfect your skills. Be your own critic and always try to improve your images.

7. Anything you want to add?
Travel as much as you can. Not necessarily overseas. It could be local travel – within your metropolitan region, your state or within your country. It doesn’t need to be expensive travel, don’t just sit at home. You need to see new places and new people. It’s a huge world out there.

 


Lauren Bath

Lauren Bath

Facebook: Lauren Bath Services
Instagram: laurenepbath
Google+: Lauren Bath

Lauren Bath is a chef turned photographer turned social media influencer thanks to her success on Instagram. In early 2013 Lauren saw potential with her 200,000+ followers and quit her job to become Australia’s first professional Instagrammer. Lauren continues to grow her skills set and now specializes in putting together her own Instagram campaigns, drawing on her extensive knowledge of influencers and marketing. Lauren is gaining experience hosting social media and social photography workshops and speaking publicly about her journey.

Baobab and stars in the Kimberley

Copyright © Lauren Bath – The Kimberley, WA

1. Can you tell us a little about how you got started as a travel photographer?
I actually got started as an instagrammer first and then a mobile photographer and finally a photographer. Although technically I do travel and take photo’s I consider myself more of a marketer as it’s my social media reach that enables me to do what I do. Basically I was doing very well on Instagram with over 200,000 followers in early 2013 and I saw a gap in the market to use Instagram as a means of promoting destinations. Since the job I envisioned played to all of my strengths, social media, photography and travel, I felt quite confident that I could succeed. Within 6 months of quitting my chef job I was making a sustainable living as an “influencer” and I’ve since built my company up to include campaign management, consultancy, education and public speaking.

2. What are your top tips for using instagram for travel photography?
I would definitely recommend using Instagram because you enjoy it and not just because you want to be a travel photographer, you have to love what you do! Concentrate on your online relationships and community and make this a priority, beautiful pictures help but it’s nothing if nobody is looking at them. From a logistical standpoint I also recommend posting at least a couple of times a day and being an active member of Instagram by following and supporting similar accounts. It’s important to reply to comments on your own shots as well. Finally I would say post your best work but also be prepared to mix it up a little. Landscape feeds do particularly well on Instagram but don’t often tell the full story, I like to throw a curveball every so often with portraits, foodie shots and minimalism.

3. What’s your favourite place in your home town of the Gold Coast to photograph?
I would say the Natural Bridge at Springbrook, you just can’t get a bad shot up there. I’ve also had a lot of fun learning right here on Main Beach where I live. Shooting in the same place again and again really hones your skills.

4. How did you become Australia’s first professional instagrammer? What does it take?
To be honest that was just a term I was given by the media to signify that I was the first Australian to successfully monetize my Instagram reach. I consider that if you’re doing something professionally then you need to be making a living from it.

5. What is your ultimate travel photography destination in Australia?
This is a really tough call because there are a lot of destinations in Australia that I have loved! I’m going to give you one from each state!

  • QLD – The Whitsundays are kind of amazing for white sand beaches and turquoise water.
  • NSW – Sydney and particularly during Vivid, their annual festival of lights.
  • VIC – The Grampians is spectacular and often overlooked because of it’s proximity to the spectacular Great Ocean Road.
  • ACT – The War Memorial wall of poppies remains a favourite from the nation’s capital.
  • TAS – Cradle Mountain! I still haven’t scratched the surface of the place and I yearn to go back!
  • SA – Hahndorf, a wonderful German town in the Adelaide Hills.
  • NT – The Yellow water Billabong in Kakadu. Not many people have ever heard of it and, as spectacular as Uluru is, there is so much more to see and do in the Territory.
  • WA – I can’t go past the Kimberley and especially if you’re lucky enough to see it from a luxury cruise like the Kimberley Quest.

6. In your opinion, what makes a great travel photo?
There can be so many aspects that make a great travel photo, I never really know until I’ve seen a shot! I love colours and real life and people and animals. A great travel photo should make people want to travel.

7. Anything you want to add?
Travelling is the best career I could have ever hoped for. I work a lot harder than people would ever guess from the outside but everything I do is a labour of love.

 

George Fetting

George Fetting

Over the last 25 plus years George has worked on a number of national and international publications and has travelled extensively. He specializes in portrait, reportage and travel photography. Various personal projects keep him busy which have culminated in a number of solo exhibitions. He has won a number of photographic prizes and is a regular finalist in Australian portrait prizes with 6 portraits hanging in the permanent collection of the NPG in Canberra. The Royal Australian Mint approached George for usage of a portrait taken of Professor Fred Hollows on a collectible $1 coin issued in 2010.

Gunlom Falls

Copyright © George Fetting – Gunlom Falls, Southern Kakadu, NT

1. What’s your number one destination to photograph in Australia? why?
Outback Australia is magical and the Top End and the Kimberley are special. The vastness and solitude combined with the incredible unforgiving but beautiful landscapes is something that must be experienced. You can feel the aboriginal history and presence.

2. How did you get started in travel photography? My mother subscribed me to National Geographic aged 10 and I was hooked from then on! Art college and a newspaper cadetship followed.

3. What’s been the most exciting moment of your career as a travel photographer?
That’s a hard one, but lying in a bubbling, steaming lagoon whilst watching a volcano vent spewing huge quantities of dust and ash sounding like 747 taking off is hard to beat.

4. What are the key points you consider to capture the essence of a place in a photograph?
Capturing a place is to take my own sense of that place through the camera and produce an image which hopefully will provoke some sort of intrigue or wonderment. Ultimately I want people to stop and find something in that picture which might be different to what you and I see.

5. How do you approach taking photos of people when you are travelling?
I try to keep reasonably anonymous – either through a longer lens or being discreet. Timing is everything and you can anticipate a good picture sometimes. Also I really do not like staged and cheesy people pictures.

6. What advice would you offer someone looking to get started in travel photography?
Put together a good package which includes words and pictures. It’s a lot easier to sell a story and words rather than just the images. You might be able to secure a commission afterwards.

7. Anything you would like to add?
I’m a bit saddened that the photo album has pretty much become extinct. At the very least can we print and frame a few of the trillion images that are hiding on hard drives!

 

Julie Fletcher

Julie Fletcher

Facebook: Julie Fletcher Photography

Julie’s passion for photography centres on her love for Australia adventure and the great outdoors. Whether she is swimming through a canyon or setting up a tripod in complete darkness or chasing a storm front; Julie is always in search of new and unique locations, travelling the length and breadth of the Australian Outback to capture fresh and unique landscape and nature images.

Lake Eyre

Copyright © Julie Fletcher – Lake Eyre, SA

1. Can you tell us a little about how you got started as a travel photographer?
I think I knew very early on whilst still studying photography that I would travel eventually as I love exploring, hiking and camping and it was always going to be a natural progression to link the two up together but I could never have predicted that a toxic relationship would make me choose a life changing path and catapult me into the unknown. I packed up my car with the essentials – laptop, cameras and clothes and left on a 8 year journey across Australia. I was very green back then of course and although I captured hundreds of images some good some not so good I was still learning the craft of Landscape Photography and trying to create my own style which is now very apparent to most people that follow my work. I don’t really consider myself a travel photographer . I am a landscape photographer that travels a lot and mainly in the more remote areas of Australia. I also live in a very remote town in South Australia so I have some unique opportunities right on my doorstep.

2. What’s been the most exciting moment of your career as a travel photographer?
I have had a few exciting moments over the years from the first time I started travelling around Australia on my own in 2007 to having young Dingos trying to play with me in outback South Australia in the Painted Desert to capturing my most rare and unique image called “Graveyard” taken at Menindee Lake in remote New South Wales which was runner in National Geographic Photo Contest back in 2013. I think the one thing that still comes to the forefront is the day I saw Uluru in the rain for the first time back in 2007. I was absolutely in awe. I was so excited to be able to witness such a rare event. Since then I have seen it 2 more times in the rain and been able to create some amazing image captures from the events which have also won me several awards.

3. What are the key points you consider to capture the essence of a place in a photograph?
I watch weather reports for extreme events. I research areas as much as possible online and sometimes make a shot list. I always try and give myself plenty of time in a new location so I can scout it out for the best light and composition and plan some of my images in advance although sometimes this is not possible and I just have to trust myself and my experience. A great landscape photograph will tell a story in some way or create emotion or connection or say something about the area. I try and get to know an area well to get a feel for it. I like to revisit places if possible as I find the seasons and conditions will be different on each new visit and I can connect to it a little more each time I go back and I find that’s how I get the best shots. In saying this I am also very opportunistic and I am always looking at things for the purpose of a photograph and will often get great shots on the fly passing through an area.

4. What’s your favourite destination to photograph in Australia? why?
Lake Eyre is one of my favourite places to photograph because of its simplicity. It has challenged me over the years and because its ever-changing after flooding there is always different colours and patterns to see and photograph. It’s very remote and I love the absolute quiet and clear open skies.

5. What are the main software tools you use when processing your photos?
I use Photoshop for processing my RAW files.

6. What advice would you offer someone looking to get started in travel photography?
Get ready for a tough ride and don’t give up your day job. Learn how to market yourself well. You will need a very supportive partner. Be diverse and learn how to photograph different things so you have more avenues to make income from. If you really want to do it you will need to commit to it 200% and have a fire burning inside you to succeed.

 

Christian Fletcher

Christian Fletcher

Facebook: Christian Fletcher Photo Images
Twitter: @cfletcher617

Christian Fletcher has been taking photographs for more than two decades. Over the years he developed his photography and ideas and set up several galleries. More recently he has been teaching throughout Australia and internationally.  He has won several awards throughout his career and was recently announced the Western Australian Professional Travel Photographer of the year. Christian is a master photographer in the Australian Institute of Professional Photographers and his galleries have won tourism awards for excellence.

Karijini National Park

Copyright © Christian Fletcher – Karijini National Park, WA

1. Can you tell us a little about how you got started as a travel photographer?
I started taking photographs over 30 years ago. I was on holidays and had a surfing accident which kept me out of the water so I decided to pick up an old camera we had lying around the house. What I found was I actually enjoyed it as much as I did catching waves. Five years later it became my career.

2. What’s been the most exciting moment of your career in photography?
The most exciting time of my career was in 2011. I was awarded the Australian AIPP Professional Landscape Photographer of the Year and was totally blown away to be awarded so highly by my peers. The same year I was also awarded the Western Australian AIPP Professional Landscape Photographer of the year.

3. How do you select the perfect location for your next shoot?
When selecting the next location to shoot I like to do research on the area. What it needs is natural beauty, an airport and some good quality accommodation. I used to rough it on shoots but these days I like my comfort so a good hotel is always on my radar! I will get onto Google Earth and see what it looks like from the air and then look for roads or tracks that will get me close to where I want to go. I will do a search of google to see what images have been taken from that region and that helps me decide what I want to shoot. A lot of time I hear about these incredible places and then I start putting a plan together to visit it and see it for myself.

4. What are the key components to a great landscape photo?
Landscape images can vary greatly in subject matter. It could be a natural landscape, an industrial landscape or an urban landscape. The term landscape can be used to describe just about anything you can point your camera at. What makes the landscape work is the light. Good light, good photos. Well mostly that is. You still need a strong balanced composition. But ultimately if you get some magic light or atmospheric conditions then your images can be so dramatic. A photo that has some drama is always very appealing. Simplicity is also very effective in a good landscape photograph. The more you leave out the better sometimes. Ultimately you want emotion when you look at a landscape. If it makes you feel something then I think you have captured it in the best way possible.

5. What’s your ultimate travel photography destination in Australia? why?
Karijini National Park is probably the best location I have photographed in Australia. In fact I am going to be there tomorrow. The narrow gorges with water flowing through them offers up so much opportunity for good shots. As the sun comes up it reflects off the walls and fills the gorges with dramatic warm lighting. The reflections in the water are orange, red, yellow and blue and by simplifying the composition it can create beautiful images. Also because you are in the gorges you can spend more time creating images as there are still areas of shade that are less contrasty and easier to shoot.

6. What’s your number 1 tip for amateur travel photographers?
My number one tip is, slow down, think about the image. Think about getting it sharp, think about what is in the frame. Only push the button when you know it is going to be a good shot. By being fussy you will come home with better shots and they will be more technically perfect. There are lots of reasons why some images work well, it is a huge topic when you really look into it. It isn’t just about pushing the button.

7. Anything you want to add?
Photography is just one part of the process of creating beautiful images. Having an understanding of post production will take your work to the next level. Photoshop is a tool that can be used for good or evil. Learn how to use it properly and you will be able to get so much more out of those images you work so hard to take. It is there to make up for the inadequacies of your camera, which really is just a dumb instrument. You create the photos, not the camera.

 

David Lazar

David Lazar

Facebook: David Lazar Photography

David Lazar is a travel photographer and musician from Brisbane, Australia, who loves to capture moments of life, beauty and culture through photography. He is drawn to locations which have a rich cultural background and he is interested in portrait, wildlife and landscape photography. David is a contributor to photography, travel and in-flight magazines, as well as newspapers and journals. He is also a composer, teacher and performer of music, and has a Master of Music in film composition.

1. What is your ultimate travel photography destination in Australia?
I would love to travel one day to the Northern Territory and meet some Aboriginal tribes to photograph in a traditional way against the natural landscape in this region. The scenery in Arnhem Land looks spectacular and it would be a goal of mine to photograph some portraits here of Aboriginal people in their land to depict their culture and traditions.

2. What’s been the most exciting moment of your career as a travel photographer?
Working with Luminous Journeys to lead photo tours in Myanmar, and then expanding to Bali to create a new photo tour itinerary there which we will run later this year.

3. How do you approach taking photos of people when you are travelling?
It’s useful to meet and spend a bit of time with people before bringing out the camera and asking for a photo. It does take time and patience to establish a connection with local people, and it’s good to be around or with your subject for a while until the best possible shot presents itself or becomes apparent. Making eye contact with people, smiling, interacting and being jovial is the key, especially when you don’t speak the same language.

4. What are the key points you consider to capture the essence of a place in a photograph?
It’s challenging but powerful to combine people and landscape photography in a single frame, to artistically depict local people in their natural environment while including elements of culture, perhaps through dress or an activity they are doing. This can require some arranging and planning.

5. How do you select the perfect location for your next shoot?
I get ideas from other photos I’ve seen in magazines, books or on the internet, and do some research about it to get inspired and excited to travel and photograph there.

6. What advice would you offer someone looking to get started in travel photography?
Travel to places and shoot subject matter that inspires you and that you find interesting, exciting or beautiful. Analyse other photographer’s photos that you admire and try to work out why it is a successful photo. Analysing other photos that you like is a good way of figuring out what you should do in your photos to make them work. It’s also good to see the photo in your mind before you shoot it – practice trying to imagine the photo roughly in your mind before putting it together and taking the shot.

 

Feature Image: Copyright © Lauren Bath – Camel Train, The Kimberley, WA