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

Friday, October 23, 2009

Fantastic FNQ photo Friday

How's that for a bit of alliteration? One trend that I've really noticed lately in the travel photography world is specialisation. I guess it's happening throughout the photography world but with travel photography it seems to be happening in a geographic sense, as opposed to a style. And economic times being as they are travel photographers and writers seem to be more and more turning to their own backyards to discover the wonders on their own doorstep.

It's quite ironic really considering many of us got into this profession because we love the adventure of hopping on a plane and going somewhere exotic. But I certainly am lucky in that I chose to live in a part of Australia that is simply spectacular. And so I've decided to introduce a different part of my local area every Friday. Hopefully it'll give local Australian photographers some ideas of the next place for a photo shoot, and also encourage those of you who've always wanted to visit Cairns to think beyond the Great Barrier Reef.

So hold my hand as every Friday we take a look at fantastic FNQ - or Far North Queensland. FNQ stretches from Townsville in the south all the way to the tip of Australia at Cape York in the north. It encompasses beaches, rainforests, dry savanna country, urban areas, And it's all amazingly photogenic. Dry for much of the year, the landscape is shaped by the huge floods and cyclones we get in the wet season, which we're just heading into now.

They don't like to tell you about this little fact in all the tourism brochures featuring shiny, happy people frolicking in the sunshine.

But our annual rainy season is what makes this place so beautiful, and the cyclones that come along with it are just a part of life.

This image was taken after one of the biggest - Cyclone Larry - went through. Contrary to what CNN in the US reported the entire state wasn't evacuated, although the small town of Innisfail just down the road from us got walloped pretty horribly. Here in Cairns we all bunkered down in our house until it was over, trying to make it as non-scary as possible for our little boys. After it had gone through we went outside to see the destruction and get on with life again. They're a pretty resilient bunch up this way!

The first thing we noticed was the incredible amount of leaves that were just covering the road in front of our house. I used a wide angle lens to get the whole sweep of the street in and show just how green it all was. I placed my little boy Mirai in the foreground and my wife with her colourful umbrella a bit behind him to add some interest. I love the way the colourful raincoat and umbrella contrast against the green and black of the road.

Not that I would suggest visiting here just to see a cyclone but if you happen to be in town when one hits remember to keep your camera with you because there can be beauty in even the most destructively powerful of events.

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