Travel is intoxicating. When we travel our senses are on high alert, open to sights, sounds and smells purely because they are new to us. As a photographer, or creative of any kind, it’s hard not to be inspired by all this newness. Traditions, clothing, food or architecture like we are unused to tend to light a fire and before we know it we’re off creating something, capturing the things we are learning about this new place. Inspiration comes easy.
Conversely when at home we tend to miss things. We are so used to the details of daily life that it becomes hard to see the beauty of our own home. We walk right past streets, people or landscapes that to any visitor are new and exciting. We are complacent and our creativity suffers, and it takes something big to make us look up and take notice.
I’ve been as guilty as anyone of this. I’ve often spent weeks or months between trips without making a single photo. Feeling uninspired or just being too “busy” (busy being code for laziness). Then it takes me a few days each time to get back into the swing of things. So I’m starting a project. This project is to document my home town of Melbourne. The idea is both to get myself out more often to keep creating as well as take a look closer look at the place I live, exploring the pockets I haven’t seen before and finding new things in parts I’ve visited many times. Melbourne is a big, multicultural place, so there is plenty to find if you look for it. This should be fun.
I’ve made a start already by exploring the banks of the Yarra River, finding compositions of the skyline from both sides. It’s kind of low hanging fruit- Melbourne’s a pretty place- but it’s a start. I don’t know what this idea will turn into. I think I’d like to just see where it leads rather than plan too much out, but whatever comes of it I do know I’ll at least be better for the exercise. Here are some of the first shots for this series.
Remains of an old jetty at Clifton Springs, Victoria, Australia
Lighthouse at Point Lonsdale, Bellarine Pensinsula, Victoria.
Sunrise at 12 Apostles in Port Campbell Coastal Park
Gibsons Beach on the Great Ocean Road with clear blue sky
Dawn at Point Lonsdale Pier, Victoria, Australia
I’ve always enjoyed looking at images in panoramic format and the epic sense of scale they give to a photo. But in terms of creating them, I’ve always put them in the “too hard” basket. I suppose I’ve always been more in love with the shooting part of photography than the post processing and put off trying this because of the sheer time involved.
Recently I decided to take advantage of some downtime to give panoramic photography a go, and am reasonably pleased with the results. I also have a new appreciation for Photoshop’s Adaptive Wide Angle filter.
Click on any of the above images to view them larger.
I’ve made some recent additions to the Portfolios section of the website. Included are a new gallery of images from my recent visit to Vietnam as well as some more recent landscapes from Far North Queensland and Victoria’s Phillip Island to the Wild section.
Please check out the updated galleries by clicking HERE.
At long last, I’m finished an overdue portfolio update. New additions include a gallery of images from Japan, as well as new work from the Great Ocean Road, Bellarine and Mornington Peninsulas as well as Melbourne.
A portfolio update is always a good chance to take stock of how your work is progressing as a photographer, not only in terms of technical ability, but subject choice as well. I find that my interests tend to move in cycles. from travel and human subjects to landscapes and round again.
Looking through these portfolio images, it was good to see that my work is evolving, something that isn’t necessarily obvious during the daily “doing” of capturing and editing.
Even if you’re not a professional photographer and have no use for a portfolio, its a useful idea to keep a collection of favouritesÂ to add to and subtract from. It will give you a good idea of how your photography is evolving, and highlight areas to work on to be able to meet your own personal vision.
Head on over to the Portfolio section of the website to view the new galleries.
This is the first of what will be a regular series of desktop wallpapers to download and use. Kind of a “thanks for coming” to readers. I thought I’d start with an image of one of my favourite locations, Swan Bay, which I have blogged about before and will get around to doing a location review of sometime soon.
Swan Bay is a fantastic location if you like to shoot seascapes. It is protected by a long coastline from the ocean so stays relatively calm. The old jetty has plenty of character and there are always a few boats idling on the water.
To download the wallpaper, just click your resolution size and save to background (or whatever you Mac people do). Hope you enjoy.
This is the first in an ongoing series where I will shamelessly promote my own work under the pretense of sharing stories about how they came to be. Seriously though, the reason I got into travel photography is because first and foremostÂ I love the experience of travelling and the stories behind images are just as important to me as the images themselves. So at the risk of being a show off I thought Iâ€™d share some of these from time to time.
This man makes is living selling glasses of orange juice at Djemma el Fna in Marrakech. From memory I think he sells themÂ for aboutÂ 5 Dirham a glass, which works out to be roughly $.60AUD (which is about the same USD these days, or Â£0.37). He stands at his cart from sun up to sun down or longer.
He stands out in my mind as he was only too happy to chat with my wife and I while business was slow and pose for a few photos. This took me by surprise as it set him apart from many others at Djemma el Fna, who see a traveller with a camera as a business opportunity and not only expect payment for their image, but will follow you around asking if you want to take their photo for a negotiable fee. And to a certain extent I can understand that, when people are simply trying to earn a living. But thatâ€™s a discussion for another day.
We did buy a glass of OJ from him (which we desperately needed in the hot Moroccan sun), and he did give us a second one on the house (I think he was quite taken by myÂ charming wife). But his generosity and good humour stood out at a place where it is easy to feel hassled and frustrated by people trying to earn a living from you at every turn.