Friday, May 20, 2011

Fantastic FNQ photo Friday

This weekend is the wonderful Port Douglas Carnivale. One thing that Port Douglas is rightly famous for is its wonderful array of restaurants and cuisine. From the iconic Iron Bar with its nightly cane toad races to upmarket eateries frequented by movie stars and Presidents, Port Douglas has it all. The image above was taken on assignment for an airline in-flight magazine doing a feature on the local restaurants and was taken at Salsa Restaurant.

All Port has to offer in terms of food, fun and frivolity is on display this weekend with a grand parade, lots of activities down on picturesque Four Mile beach and a fantastic sand castle building competition. If you're in the area head to Port Douglas this weekend, if you're a long way away plan it for next year!

If this image whets your appetite then have a look at what Port Douglas restaurants have to offer. Or if you'd just like to see what Port Douglas looks like -  we've got that covered too!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Festival time in Sapporo

Well even though it's cooling down here in the southern Hemisphere (although Cairns is still a balmy 25), up north things are warming up. Sapporo up in Hokkaido never really gets hot. In fact their summer is kind of like a north Queensland winter. But it's warm for them after six foot snow drifts and freezing all winter. So that's when you want to get the festivals happening and it's a time of year I love in this fabulous city.

One of my favourite festivals is the Yosakoi - a giant street procession with competing teams of dancers from all over the country, and even a few international ones. They all have to dance to the same traditional fishing song - although they can arrange the song however they like. So you have the teenagers dancing to rap versions and the oldies dancing to traditional versions. It really is a great party and one not to be missed.

It's great to photograph events like this because people are happy, have usually had a couple of beers and are more than happy to ham it up for the camera like these two. Whenever I'm shooting at night I usually put my camera in to Manual Mode. I set my shutter speed for something that will let enough ambient light in while not being so slow I can't hand hold it. Somewhere around 1/20 second or so at ISO400 or above. I set my aperture at about f5.6 and use my flash. My little secret is on the flash I have a little bit of orange gel to blend with the ambient tungsten lights on the parade street. Then it's just a matter of getting out there and looking for opportunities.

Hop on over to my website to see some more hams at the Yosakoi Festival in Sapporo.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wallaman Falls - Queensland's highest waterfalls

Wallaman Falls is one of those places that truly blows you away the first time you see it. And to be honest I'd lived up here in Cairns for a long time before I ever got a chance (ie off my lazy butt!) to go and photograph it.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mareeba - definitely worth a day trip up from Cairns

One of the advantages of being a Cairns photographer is that there is so much to see and do in a small area. One place I love to get out to on a spare day is Mareeba - up on the northern end of the Atherton Tablelands.

It's full of amazing places like the Mareeba Wetlands bird sanctuary, Granite Gorge with its cute rock wallabies and this place. Beck's Military Museum. I have to admit I'd driven past this place a zillion times and never knew what it was.

On assignment for Qantas, this place was on my list to photograph and I got the shock of my life. A giant hangar full of military planes, helicopters, jeeps. You name it, they've got it! The owner, Sid Beck, even let me get up on the roof of one of the bombers to take some shots.

"Don't fall off though, the bloody public liability wouldn't cover it!"

Good ol' far north Queensland humour. If you some spare time next time you're up this way definitely pop up for a look. It's only an hour or so from Cairns and a world away. To see more of what Mareeba has to offer take a look at my Mareeba photos.