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I'm a Cairns, far north Queensland, Australia professional photographer specialising in travel, editorial and environmental portraiture.

Friday, August 1, 2008

It's not all models and sunshine

The major tourism boards of most countries would have you believe that their entire nations are full of beautiful people who frolic around in the neverending sunshine!

But we all know that that ain't the case. :) Wet weather, cloudy days, thunder storms. These kind of conditions are sure to send the tourism photographer back to bed, but for the travel photographer they're wonderful.

Inclement weather gives you a great chance to get out and photograph the real travel destination. More importantly you might be the only one doing it!

Take this photo above. I was standing on the side of a major road which runs over a bridge. Below the bridge it was totally flooded out from a recent cyclone. I was photographing cars trying to make their way through the floodwaters.

I could see the bicycle sign below me. Indeed I'd driven past it a million times as it's right next to the skateboard park my boys drag me to every Saturday morning! Usually it's got a bike path right next to it, but on this particular morning it was in the middle of a lake.

So here's me standing on this bridge under an umbrella in the pouring rain. Cars are honking at me as if to say 'Get back inside you idiot!' but I was just sitting around waiting for something to happen. When all of a sudden a couple of guys on bikes came out from under the bridge. And started headed towards the sign. My imagination immediately jumped into top gear. Please, please, please ride near the sign I was mentally projecting.

And sure enough one of the guys slogged through the high waters right past the sign and I got a great shot depicting life in far north Queensland during the wet season. Will it make the next major tourism campaign? Hardly likely? But has anybody else got a shot like it? I was the only photographer for miles around.

So if you want to be a travel photographer, as opposed to just a tourist photographer, get out and about when the weather's really crappy! Anybody can go out and photograph when it's sunny!

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