brisbane landscape photography

The Great Ocean Road Road Trip Adventure: Brisbane Portrait & Commercial Photographers

A TICK OFF THE BUCKET LIST... THE GREAT OCEAN ROAD

I've always dreamed of travelling to the Great Ocean Road and capturing it's raw beauty. So this year I planned a 4 day getaway road trip with my partner Corey to explore the coast.

Starting in Melbourne with a hire car, we travelled all the way down the coastline visiting the towns of Torquay, Lorne, Apollo Bay (for a sneaky scallop pie and brewery beer) and Port Campbell. Some of the most unreal locations to see were of course the 12 Apostles, Loch ard Gorge, The Grotto, London Bridge, Gibson’s Steps, Bay of Islands, the Californian Redwoods Forest and some lookouts along the way.

We stayed at a beautiful cottage 12 Apostles Cottages, 5 mins drive from the Apostles, so we could easily enjoy the many natural beauties along the coastline at sunrise and sunset (and to miss the crowds)!

Here's a few of my favourite memories along the way! We are so lucky to have such unbelievable natural wonders in our country!

Em

Brisbane Portrait & Commercial Photographer | Brisbane Commercial Photography

5 reasons why you MUST visit the Southern Downs & Granite Belt Region: A Photographers Journey

In the past month, both Andy and I have experienced just a small taste of what the beautiful Southern Downs & Granite Belt has to offer and we are BLOWN AWAY! Find out why below....

Only recently under the LP Commercial Photography brand, Andy photographed for the Southern Downs & Granite Belt Council as part of a new marketing campaign, opening my eyes to its beauty. As a result, I ventured to the region for the weekend as my partner is now working in the Tenterfield area for the next 2 years and I wanted to explore some of the amazing things the region has to offer! See some of my top reasons why you must visit the Southern Downs & Granite Belt Region below.  

1

The Amazing Tours: Sit back, relax and enjoy the numerous wineries, breweries and beautiful food tours on offer around the region.

Southern Downs & Granite Belt: Brisbane Portrait and Commercial Photography

You can base yourself from a number of towns in the region - Stanthorpe, Ballandean or Tenterfield and be within close proximity, 30-45mins, to many of the highlights of the region! There are some breathtaking cottages and homely accommodation in these areas, however you have to get in quick as everything sells out quick! We were based in Tenterfield and due to the sell out in Stanthorpe and close by, we organised a tour from Tenterfield to the winery region. 

I was very lucky to get in contact with Kevin from Tenterfield Tours, who picked us up from Tenterfield and took us for a private half day tour of 5 wineries in the region (only a small portion of the nearly hundred on offer!). This was the best experience and Kevin had so much knowledge and his customer service was 5 star! He's definetly worth contacting if you want to explore the region as he offers winery tours and nature tours!. Here's a little look at the 5 wineries we got to see, experience and enjoy taste testing at below.

BALANCING ROCK WINES





2

The National Parks: The perfect place to explore with the family for the weekend

There are so many national parks in the region, however we were able to explore one while visiting for the weekend, Girraween National Park. Known for its 'The Pyramids' and 'Balancing Rock' we had it down as a must see. 

Located outside Stanthorpe in the Ballandean area, Girrawean is known for its huge granite boulders, it's 30km of walking and bike trails and Castle Rock or Bald Rock Creek camping areas.  We parked at the Bald Creek Day Area and walked to the amazing Granite Arch, followed by the climb up the hill to 'The Pyramid' (not for the faint hearted, it's a steep climb!) for breathtaking views over the region! 

Bald Rock National Park is next on our list with the natural beauty of their smooth rock formations as well as Boonoo Boonoo National Park and falls.

3

The beautiful locations and scenery for photography: The entire Southern Downs and Granite Belt Region and Tenterfield Shire is filled with the most beautiful photographic locations and lookouts!

Between the Stanthorpe to Tenterfield regions is just glorious! Crossing the QLD border to NSW to explore another beautiful region. See some of the beautiful locations below. 

 

4

The Breweries: Explore the new craft breweries around the region

My partner and I are brewery lovers and on a mission to visit all the breweries across QLD. The Granite Belt Brewery was on our MUST VISIT list! Set in the outskirts of Stanthrope with beautiful cottages alongside the brewery for your weekend stay, winery vines and the natural forestry surroundings, it was just beautiful! Stepping inside the brewery was like being transported into a ski lodge in Canada with the high roof wooden, cost feeling with lovely couches and welcoming feeling. Corey and I had to try the tasting paddle and ordered 4 of their beers to test the palatte. A MUST DO if you're travelling to the region. We missed out on booking here due to being sold out, but we plan to return to stay in their homely cottages with spa bath and fire! The perfect romantic weekend away!

On our next visit we plan to visit the Deepwater Brewing near Tenterfield and explore this area and national park, as well as Brass Monkey Brew House near Stanthorpe. 

5

The Food: With so much on offer between the wineries, cheese factory and local restaurants you can't go wrong in the Southern Downs & Granite Belt region for food!

Find out all the best places to go HERE.

Insomnia And Your Camera Can Be The Perfect Partners

4am Saturday morning. It's the end of a franticly busy couple of weeks and it's my first day off in a while with no commitments and the first real chance for a sleep in... but I'm wide awake.

No matter what I try and do, sleep is not coming back to me.... 5000 sheep have jumped the garden gate in my head and nothing is happening. The reality is I'm not going to sleep as the jobs and images of the past two weeks are still playing through my mind... my body may have switched off but my brain won't.

You might think at a moment like this it's not the time for someone to pick up their working tools, but for me, grabbing the camera is exactly what I need. It's at times like these I pick up my Pentax medium format 645Z a couple of lenses, a ten stop ND filter and head for the car.

Outside it's a crisp pre-dawn morning, the first morning this year when you can feel winter in the air and the last vestiges of sleep are torn away in one chilly bite.

20 minutes later, the stresses and strains of the previous couple of weeks are fast receding in the rear view mirror. I'm chasing the sunrise to a wailing soundtrack of guitars and vocals. Eric Clapton, Blue Oyster Cult, Jimi Hendrix and a host of others are blasting out of the wonderful Bang Olufsen sound system in my Audi to a backing track of a purring V6 engine. I no longer care about sleeping, I'm wide awake with a road trip wide grin on my face.

Watching the crescent moon fade and the deep black of the sky slowly change to an indigo blue I pull off the highway at Currumbin at the tail end of the Gold Coast with just 20 minutes to spare before sunrise.

It's perfect, a cloudless sky, fishermen creating silhouettes on the rocks and as the yellow and orange hues start to creep over the ocean horizon heralding the rise of the sun I'm set up on the beach, Pentax tripodded and waiting for the day to begin in earnest.

For me this is the ultimate relaxation. The waiting moments that come with landscape photography, the calm and peace of studying the sky and colours and light waiting for the right moment to press the shutter. It's such a trance like contrast to the invariably fast paced photography that fills my working days, particularly when working with the Pentax. It is an amazing camera but one that demands that you take your time and think things through to get the best out of it. I'm using a ten stop ND filter to slow the exposures down and mist up the crashing waves taking my shutter speeds over the five minute mark, again slowing down the photographic process and making me take my time. As a consequence, heart beat and mind slow as well and finally for the first time in a while, with the chill sea breeze, the crashing waves and the sun finally coming over the horizon, I start to relax. 

Ten exposures later that's it... the day has begun the sun is up. It's time for a trip to a nearby Surf Life Savers Club for a steaming cup of coffee or three and a decent breakfast.

On the way back home the sound track changes... Lene Marlin, Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars take over where Clapton and Hendrix left off. At home a little bit of time is spent processing up the pictures then an easy dinner and finally the mind has switched off and a night of wonderful, restful sleep begins.  

Andy

A Reason To Get Up In the Morning

Emily and I are pretty lucky in our jobs.... its a rare thing when what you do for a living is also your key passion and creative outlet in life. It means we take every opportunity to go out and shoot whenever we can.

Like this morning. I love landscape photography, it's one of the ways I like to relax. So since we had an early morning meeting on the Gold Coast anyway (resulting in some exiting news which we hope to be able to talk about soon!!), we set off really early to beat the traffic and to catch the sunrise at Snapper Rocks. 

These are some of the shots I took and we even made a little video about it too which we will get up on the facebook as quickly as we can.

For the technical among you, I set up two cameras, at each location to allow me to capture two slightly different looks in the short space of time we had to capture the sun behind a narrow cloud bank. 

One was the trusty Canon 5d MKIV with a 16-35mm zoom set at 16mm and shooting fast shutter speeds to capture every splash and peak of every wave. The other was my beloved Pentax 645Z medium format camera with a 35mm lens and a 10 stop Neutral Density filter which blocks a load of light and lets me shoot at really slow shutter speeds while pointing straight at the sun (up around 2 minute exposures this morning). This has the affect of turning the incoming surf into a wonderful milky misty spray.

See what you think.

Andy

Brisbane's Enchanted Garden

If you're looking for something fun to do with the family this Christmas check out Brisbane's The Enchanted Garden at Roma Street Parkland. The gardens have turned into a fairy wonderland with it's beautiful lights, colours and secret fairy doors. 

Andy and I had to visit and capture what the iPhone cannot! With only 3 days to go, I would suggest getting there at least an hour early to line up (or you could be waiting a long time). Andy and I arrived for 5.30pm and the gates opened at 6.30pm. If the queue is too long for the kids, never fear, as there are some amazing views from the outside surrounding bridges. While you're in the city, why not take advantage of the outdoor cinema in the park which is next door or the Gold Lotto City Hall Lights or the amazing Christmas Fireworks and South Bank Christmas Markets! Loads to do this Christmas in Brisbane, such a beautiful city we live in :D

We highly recommend paying a visit to the Enchanted Garden, which is still open as per below:

  • 15 Dec, 2017 6:30PM - 15 Dec, 2017 9:30PM

  • 16 Dec, 2017 6:30PM - 16 Dec, 2017 9:30PM

  • 17 Dec, 2017 6:30PM - 17 Dec, 2017 9:30PM

Check out more information here at Visit Brisbane or on the Fb event here.

Enjoy our images below :D

Andy & Em

The Things We Do And The People We Meet - Thanks To Our Cameras!

God I love my job…. Does it make you cringe when people say that? Well cringe away because I love my job :)

Yes there are good days and bad days, great jobs and challenges, laughter and tears of frustration…. but whether it is commercial or consumer photoshoots or running training workshops to professional and amateur photographers, there is one constant that makes my job so exciting and fascinating. The people we meet and the experiences we have as a result.

Last weekend Emily and I travelled back to Clermont to do a series of photographic workshops for Artslink, supported by the Regional Arts Development Fund. It was (as always) great fun with a great bunch of people.

But it also gave me the chance to catch up with someone who started out as an attendee at a few of our workshops and has become a friend, Julie Turner. As well as working on her family cattle farm and breeding Kelpies as working dogs, Julie of Clermont Kelpies is a great photographer and I’ve admired the shots she takes of her working dogs for some time.

So it was with quite a bit of excitement that I got to go and spend a few spare hours in the afternoon out on her family's farm and was rewarded with the remarkabe experience of watching her working Kelpies in action rounding up the cattle and bringing them in to their yards.

I couldn’t resist firing off some shots as we bounced our way across the countryside in her ATV as the dogs leaped in and out of the back as they answered her commands and brought the cattle into line.

A great experience with a wonderful family who I would never have met if it werent for my work as a phiotographer.

Did I mention that I love my Job :)

Andy