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Expert Advice  Great Photo Locations

Every photographer has a favourite photo location – a place that never fails to inspire them. In the first of a special two-part travel series, four photographers name their favourite photo location and explain what makes it such a special place.

My favourite photo

location Cronulla, NSW Craig Golding

Cronulla is a beachside suburb in the Sutherland Shire, 30km south of Sydney. It’s been my home for over 30 years and a vital part of my life. I associate it with the best of times – as a kid heading to the beach with my parents, brother and sister, then living in the suburb firstly with friends, then my own family. I joined The Sydney Morning Herald in 1985 photographing news and sport in Australia and overseas, but in 2008 I left the Herald to pursue a freelance career. I spend a lot of time wandering Cronulla with my camera, observing and looking to capture interesting and artistic images in the life of my suburb. I never set out to create a historical record, although inevitably that’s what it will become as developers continually change the face of the suburb, as fashions change, and today’s cars begin to look like antiques further down the line. When I was a young child, massive sand dunes towered over the stretch of beach from Wanda to Boat Harbour. Now the dunes are rapidly disappearing, depleted by sand mining and new housing developments, exposing the Kurnell oil refinery as the beach’s more prominent backdrop. Cronulla is indeed diverse as far as photographic subject matter is concerned. It has everything that most suburbs have with the 36

Australian Photography + Digital april 2014

left Crowds gather to watch after a trawler runs aground on Cronulla Point, 20 February 2013. Canon EOS 5D Mk III, 24mm lens, 1/3200s @ f/5.6, ISO 640. Photo by Craig Golding.

below Swimmers off Cronulla Beach, 28 December 2013. Canon EOS 5D Mk III, 70-200mm lens with 1.4x @ 205mm, 0.6s @ f/45, ISO 100. Photo by Craig Golding.

opposite page Jetski riders perform backflips in the semifinals of the 2011 ‘Rip ’n Ride’ jetski competition at Wanda Beach, Cronulla. Canon EOS 1D Mk IV, 400mm lens with 1.4x @ 560mm, 1/2000s @ f/4, ISO 320. Photo by Craig Golding.

added advantage of beach life, so opportunities both in and out of the water are abundant. I wander the streets, mall, parks and beach looking at and photographing daily life as well as keeping an eye on the weather, which brings its own opportunities. Every now and then something newsworthy happens such as when a trawler ran aground on Cronulla point last year (pictured above) and became a new landmark until it was successfully refloated. If it’s a sunny day I prefer to shoot in the early morning and afternoon when the quality and angle of light is at its best. On overcast days the time isn’t as critical. Shooting on the beach is a little trickier, as someone with a camera immediately flicks a ‘suspicion’ switch in a lot of people’s heads. I will usually chat with the lifeguards and let them know what I am up to and always have some business cards on hand. I spend about 80% of my time talking to people and only 20% taking pictures. This tends to relax most people and allay any concerns they may have that you’re up to no good. Craig Golding has won numerous accolades, including six World Press Photo Awards. His book Surf Club was named runner up in the Best Book Award in the Pictures of the Year International. He continues to shoot editorial work including sport, news, events, PR and feature work. More info: Australian Photography + Digital april 2014  37

Expert Advice  Great Photo Locations

Monument Valley, USA Mark Galer

Remote and ‘difficult to get to’ landscapes like Lake Eyre in Central Australia and the Antarctic offer a certain fascination for landscape photographers who like a challenge, but perhaps one of the most awe-inspiring landscapes steeped in a rich cultural history can be photographed from the balcony of an affordable hotel in Arizona, USA. North of the Grand Canyon, south of Bryce Canyon National Park, east of Las Vegas and west of Colorado and Mese Verde National Park you’ll find the awe-inspiring Monument Valley. A land of sandstone ridges, spires and towers eroded by weather and volcanic action over a period of 160 million years. Monument Valley has been etched into the imagination of moviegoers all around the world, the landscape having been used as the backdrop for countless movies from John Ford’s ‘Stagecoach’ in 1939 to Disney’s ‘Lone Ranger’ in 2013. Although surrounded by some of the world’s most impressive national parks, Monument Valley is a ‘Tribal Park’, owned by the Navajo Indian Nation. The park straddles the Utah/Arizona border just off Scenic Highway 163 and although Monument Valley has a Utah zip code, the scenic Indian Route 42 that traverses the park is all in Arizona. Although there may be cheaper hotels to stay in the area (usually more than 30km away) there’s only one hotel that photographers should really consider. 38

The View Hotel (, which opened in 2008, is unlike any hotel you have stayed in before. The building is perched on a rocky outcrop which overlooks the valley and the rising sun. All rooms have valley views and private balconies which make ideal photographic vantage points. The rooms on the third floor (designated as ‘StarView’ rooms) offer the best ‘room with a view’ opportunities. Roads to the Tribal Park and View Hotel are sealed, but the Scenic Indn Route 42 is a graded red dirt road (though manageable for drivers of two-wheel drive rental vehicles). There is no secret formula for how to photographic this magical vista. Catch a classic John Wayne movie that the hotel projects on its side after sunset and then go to bed when you get bored with the starscapes wheeling through the pitch black night sky. Get up an hour before dawn, get organised and start shooting when there’s sufficient light. I would recommend using the Photographer’s Ephemeris (an app for iOS and Android devices) to calculate sunrise, sunset and moonrise times and positions. If you love photography, this landscape is definitely one for your bucket list! Mark Galer is a senior lecturer in photography at RMIT University. He has written a number of top-selling photography books and is a regular contributor to Australian Photography + digital. More info: Australian Photography + Digital april 2014

above Indian Route 42 is a graded red dirt road which runs through the heart of Monument Valley. Nikon D700, 24-70mm lens @ 46mm, 1/640s @ f/8, ISO 200. Photo by Mark Galer.

left The View Hotel in Utah has been designed to give each guest a five-star view of Monument Valley. Nikon D700, 24-70mm lens @ 24mm, 1/50s @ f/9, ISO 400. Photo by Mark Galer.

opposite page Sunrise over Monument Valley. Image captured from a guest room balcony at the View Hotel, Utah. Nikon D700, 24-70mm lens @ 52mm, 1/200s @ f/8, ISO 200. Photo by Mark Galer.

Australian Photography + Digital april 2014  39

Expert Advice  Great Photo Locations

“Whether you’re shooting near the river, in the rainforest or on the beach, a good tripod is essential.”


Corinna, Tasmania James Ostinga

Corinna, in North West Tasmania, sits on the banks of the Pieman River at the southern end of the Tarkine, the largest temperate rainforest in Australia. A mesmerisingly photogenic location, it offers a smorgasbord of photo opportunities from kayak and boat rides along the usually mirror-smooth Pieman River to bush walks through pristine ancient rainforests. Journey west along the river and you see thousand-year old Huon pines, towering eucalypts, Antarctic beech trees, red myrtles and ancient tree ferns, all jostling for space in the improbably dense forest. Just several kilometres west of Corinna the river opens onto the rugged north-western coast of Tasmania. The landscape changes in a moment from thick temperate rainforest to windswept dunes, mangroves, rocky shores and a graveyard of centuries-old logs that has built up over the years as trees have fallen into the river and washed up onto the isolated beaches. If you’re staying overnight at Corinna ( it’s well worth the effort to get up before dawn and photograph the majestic Pieman River. A fine mist sits over the river most mornings and the flat surface of the river creates perfect reflections, allowing for some interesting compositions. The historic wooden cruiser, Arcadia II, which was built in 1939, is moored near the guest house and makes regular trips Australian Photography + Digital april 2014

left Misty mornings are common on the Pieman River. Image taken just after sunrise. Corinna, Tasmania. Photo by James Ostinga. Nikon D600, 24-85mm lens @ 40mm, 1/20s @ f/16, ISO 250, tripod.

below Several kilometres down river from Corinna the landscape changes from thick temperate rainforest to coastal dunes and mangroves. Corinna, Tasmania. Sony NEX-6, 10-18mm lens @ 13mm, 1/160s @ f/8, ISO 400, hand held. Photo by James Ostinga.

opposite page Early morning on the mirror-smooth Pieman River. Corinna, Tasmania. Photo by James Ostinga. Nikon D600, 24-85mm lens @ 70mm, 1/4s @ f/16, ISO 250, tripod.

ferrying visitors back and forth to the coast. For something different, hire a canoe and paddle up to Lover’s Falls, a 30-metre waterfall that sits above a rich oasis of fern groves, sassafras, Huon pines and mossy river rocks. Waterproof containers are available to keep your camera gear dry. Whether you’re shooting near the river, in the rainforest or on the beach, a good tripod is essential. Take wet weather gear, too – for you and your camera! A camera bag with a pull-out rain cover will keep your bag dry and a dedicated rain cover for your camera will allow you to you keep shooting if it starts raining. Plastic camera covers are available from most camera stores and are available in sizes to suit various body/lens combinations. Unfortunately, the Tarkine, unlike neighbouring Cradle Mountain, does not enjoy the protection of National Park status and areas are currently being logged and mined. Indeed, up to ten mines are proposed for the Tarkine over the next five years. So, while the Tarkine offers almost limitless opportunities for landscape photographs, it also presents an important chance for photographers to give something back. To spread the word, through their photos, about the unique beauty of this very precious place. The more people that appreciate it’s significance, the greater its chance of preservation. James Ostinga is managing editor of Australian Photography + digital, Capture and Australian Photography + Digital april 2014  41

Expert Advice  Great Photo Locations

ABOVE Adelie penguins exit the water with high, choreographed leaps. Cape Denison, Commonwealth Bay, in the far eastern sector of the Australian Antarctic Territory. Canon EOS 20D, 70-200mm lens @ 200mm, 1/1600s @ f/8, ISO 200.

right An adult Weddell seal basks in the sunshine as Zodiacs from cruise ship L’Austral tour Foyn Harbour on the Antarctic Peninsula. Canon Powershot G12 @ 140mm, 1/1250s @ f/4.5, ISO 80.

OPPOSITE PAGE A traditional workboat ferries tourists on a midnight cruise among the spectacular ice formations of the Illulisat Icefjord, Greenland. Canon EOS 7D, 24-105mm lens @ 55mm, 1/80s @ f/4, ISO 250.


Australian Photography + Digital april 2014

The Arctic and Antarctica Roderick Eime

It’s remote locations generally that inspire me – polar regions in particular. Getting a winning shot is often just a matter of remembering to take your camera and enough memory! The isolation and desolation is often enough to inject a special element of intrigue and mystique into every image without your having to posses any special photographic skills or even a flash camera. In the end, for me at least, it’s very much a case of being in the right place at the right time and using the elements presented to you. After all, you can’t really bring along a stylist and make-up artist to shoot a herd of elephant seals, right? Whether it’s the Arctic or Antarctica is immaterial. Both possess those same light and environmental qualities and each location will offer different elements to work with. In the Antarctic, the lovable penguins capture the imagination of many photographers and if you sit still, the delightful and curious little creatures will often come right up to you to check you out. They’ll pull on your shoelaces, explore your backpack and squawk imploringly as if to say “What’s your caper?”, while their own interactions can easily amuse you all day. Everyone comes home with great penguin pictures - that’s a fact! Seals can be fun too, but don’t get too close. They may seem benign, but nasty nips have been known to occur if you frighten or startle one. In the Arctic, the top predator is the polar bear and these Australian Photography + Digital april 2014

highly intelligent animals can also produce the most wonderful photo opportunities. But, needless to say, these guys see you as food and great care needs to be taken when in their territory. All wildlife needs to be treated with respect. We are the intruders in their domain. Apart from the endless possibilities with near-tame animals, the human history and bizarre geology will also capture your imagination. The myriad shades of blue ice are created by varying oxygen levels. New ice is frosty and milky, while old ice is a deep cobalt blue. Finally, the most elusive element is the polar light and that is best experienced at the highest (or lowest) latitudes in the socalled ‘land of the midnight sun’. The vibrant hues and delicate tones produced by this constant sunset make for delirious photography, especially when combined with the ice, snow and geographic elements mentioned here. It’s no surprise that nature and landscape photographers gravitate naturally to the poles and, best of all, anyone can shoot amazing photos there. For more than 15 years Roderick Eime has been travelling to the farthest reaches of the planet in search of culture, wildlife and great scenery. He taught photojournalism at Charles Sturt University for three years and has twice been awarded the Australian Society of Travel Writers’ Photographer of the Year. His work regularly appears in travel magazines and newspapers. ❂  43

Favourite photo locations - Australian Photography  
Favourite photo locations - Australian Photography  

clipping from Australian Photography Magazine - April 2014