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

Friday, February 19, 2010

Fantastic FNQ photo Friday

This picture was part of a portfolio that got me into a finalist's postion in this year's Travel Photographer of the Year competition.

I don't pretend to understand how these things work but I woke up in the middle of the night late last year after waking up from a dream that told me to submit this picture.

I hadn't even thought about entering (never have before) and didn't even realise they had a section of the competition that this image would fit into. Ironically the section was 'Homeland' which was for images taken close to where you live. Quite ironic for a travel photographer and just goes to show that your own home is a good source of travel imagery.

It was taken up at the Laura Dance and Cultural Festival which happens every couple of years up on Cape York, a few hours drive north of Cairns. In a country which often has a sense of unease in the relationship between its indigenous and 'imported' population, this is an event where people of all races and nationalities come together and just enjoy a wonderful weekend.

Dance troupes from all over Queensland gather to sing and dance. Accommodation is via a tent and your own food is a must. It is very hard to photograph if it is sunny because the dance arena is in the splotchy shade of gum trees. You need to wait for the sun to go behind a cloud to bring the contrast levels down.

This shot was taken from up in a grandstand with a 400mm lens and a 1.4x teleconverter. I love the way the bright colours of the floral dresses mix with the otherwise grey arena. Once again a case where a beautiful subject presents itself and I somehow manage to get a nice image that I think does it justice. As for that dream - never ignore those kind of things when they come!

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