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

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sometimes you gotta walk!

Earlier this year I worked on a major stock photo shoot for Lonely Planet Images and a major airline company. The airline is putting together an in-flight touch-screen destination guide to different parts of the world.

When you fly into a destination you will be able to read all about your destination and look at pretty pictures of the place you're about to land.

One of the places on my long list was Wallaman Falls. For those of you who don't know it it's the larges single drop waterfall in the whole of Australia. It's just outside the little town of Ingham, a couple of hours south of Cairns.

When you get to the lookout the view is spectacular. As you can see from the image above it really is a beautiful place, and again one of those situations where it's almost impossible to take a nice photo. The cliches sell. Advertisers like to use an image that when a viewer sees it they instantly know where it is. That's why this view of Wallaman, taken from the one and only lookout, gets used again and again.

But as a photographic artist you feel a need to expand your vision. To get something unique. And in this particular case in order to get that view you're going to have to get hot, sweaty and tire yourself out a bit because it involves walking all the way to the valley floor to shoot the waterfalls from the bottom!

If there was any more proof of the fact that landscape photography is not only weather dependant, but season dependant as well. I visited just after the wet season had finished. The water was flowing thick and fast and, as a result, there was spray everywhere. All over me, the cameras, the lenses! You get the picture.

But seeing as I'd just spent an hour walking down there and was probably going to take another couple getting back up the steep cliff again there was no way I was going back without a shot.

So I would whip my camera out in between bursts of waterfall spray and push the shutter like a madman. And lo and behold a couple turned out OK. This one ended up being chosen by my agent as well as the cliche shot, which goes to show that a little bit of effort won't always be worth it if the weather's not on your side, but sometimes lady luck smiles on you!


Muzza! said...

That must be my favorite shot, Wallaman Falls side on.

Muzza! said...

That must be my favorite shot, Wallaman Falls side on.

Paul Dymond said...

Hey there Muz,

long time no speak mate. I didn't even know you were a reader! It was a bloody long walk down to the bottom there and a bit wet. I think I'll have to go back in the dry season and try again.

For those of you who don't know him Muzza is a great extreme sports photographer based here in Cairns. Go check out his website at http://extremephotography.com.au/