So, where do you begin to tell the story of my 2019? (Make a coffee, sit back and relax..)
Each year I do a summary of my work, where I went, how many photos I took, people I met and adventures I had. Each year appears to grow in size for where I explore and what I achieve, which of course is an awesome thing. I take a lot of personal pride in the work I do, likely on a different level to what many pride themselves on achieving. For me it is about being able to complete goals, complete jobs and push myself further into the wilderness each year, restrictions and all. This year has been no exception and has been a year filled with amazing experiences and adventures.
January started with a fun little getaway with good mate Luke Eberbach (Photographer/Bass Player) as we headed up to the Victorian high country for some wild flower photography. For some time I had wanted to capture the classic high country environment in Summer around the Mt Hotham/Feathertop region. Lucky to say that it didn't disappoint. We captured some wonderful scenes of one fo Australia's prettiest high country regions.
In February I headed off on another PhotoTour rafting down the incredible Franklin River. Located deep in the western wilderness of Tasmania, the Franklin River offers guests a true chance to really experience one of the worlds last wilderness frontiers. An 8-day rafting adventure covering over 100km of completely untouched wilderness. Does it get any better than that? I don't think so...
My PhotoTour of the Franklin River is hosted in conjunction with my great friends at Franklin River Rafting Co. Guests get to spend 8 days rafting the exciting white waters of the Franklin River, with each nights camp turning into a photography classroom; a classroom like no other. Capturing images that you simply cannot capture without the effort of rafting this river system. Towering ravines, limestone cave explorations, the beautiful Franklin River water and its unique colour, all make for some of the most amazing photographs you can imagine.
We head off again down the Franklin in the second half of 2020 - register your interest here
March saw me shoot some weddings and do some more work with the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife services (PWS). I was also very lucky to be invited to host-walk a group of cyclists around Cradle Mountain for the day as part of their month long cycle tour around the island. They had a rest day and decided to walk a circuit around Cradle Mountain. It was great to be able to showcase my backyard to these lovely folks from all over Australia. They were certainly impressed by Tasmania's never-ending beauty, some returning in 2019 to come hiking the Overland Track with me.
March also had me experience the wonderland that is the Walls of Jerusalem National Park with good friend, Flick (of Flick & Dave Photography) fame. This little compact park packs a big punch in beauty and 3 days spent exploring the park allowed me to create some of my favourite images for the year.
April provided the first snow falls of the year and it was off to Cradle Mountain I went, camera in tow. Nothing beats being up at my favourite place in Tassie with fresh snowfall, and no tourists to be seen. A place to myself. The trip to Cradle allowed some time to capture more images for PWS briefs of Wombat Pool. A tranquil little tarn on your way to climbing the heights of Cradle Mountain.
This month was also a very exciting one as Seng Mah and I hosted our very first Tassie Tour. A full week exploring the island, stopping at as many iconic spots as we could with our awesome group of photographers. This was one of the many highlights of my 2019 and was great to meet Seng and no doubt we will be doing more adventures together along with our 2020 Tassie Tour
May, and the day are getting shorter, and colder. May is the time of colour and there is not many better places to see the Autumn colour then Bright, Victoria. I headed there for my 5 days Autumn Workshop. The week was spent exploring this beautiful alpine region. Avenues of colour and high country landscape scenes is about all you need to help create stunning images. I get really torn at this time of year as to whether I stay in Tasmania and shoot the Autumn colour here, or travel up to my childhood favourite town of Bright and shoot the magical colours that transform the entire valley. It's always a tough call.
The month of May also saw me host one of a couple "Olympus Days" with the generous support of Olympus Australia. For one day a group of Olympus and non-Olympus users headed out to Tasmania's oldest National Park, Mt Field, for some fun and exploring with full support of Olympus cameras that were kindly supplied to us from Olympus Australia. Thanks Ante and the guys at Olympus! We had a great day and pretty sure we turned a few over to the Olympus side of photography. :)
With June came the Dark Mofo festival that brings the humans out into the cold and wintery conditions in and around Hobart. A huge festival of light, foods and displays bring Hobart to life during the colder winter months. I was lucky enough to capture a few images from the festival that MONA gallery owner David Walsh has now purchased for use in his AutoBiography book. Quite the surreal feeling when someone of that background admires your work enough to purchase some images.
These are the two images that will be used for the David Walsh book.
July and time to chill out for a bit and stay close to home. July means cold and snow. So what better place to explore than the Southwest of Tasmania. It was also a great time to take some mates out and show them what my world and work consists of. Great friend Chelsea from Hobart & Beyond and I headed out one snowy day for a trip up to the highlands of central Tasmania. Greeted with beautiful, pristine snow scapes it didn't take long for Chelsea to fall in love with winter and Tasmania... not that she needed much encouragement.
Winter is such an incredible time to visit Tasmania. With a mixture of snowy days and sunny days, you are guaranteed to find some incredible sights to capture with camera during the colder months here in Tasmania.
It was also time for a new car. It was sad day to sell the Land Rover Defender, but something practical was needed for my travels, work and family adventures.
August, and we are heading towards the end of 2019, but we still have plenty to photograph and places to explore.
This month appeared to be all about portraits and people, more so than landscapes. But we managed to incorporate the two in a beautiful shoot I did with Sandra. Sandra was travelling around the country from Germany and wanted some images captured of her in Tasmania. A lovely session at Cradle Mountain with striking red dress, Sandra looks absolutely breathtaking in our native scene of the Tassie wilderness. A beautiful soul inside and out.
August also saw another wedding job completed. This time for a good mate who was just stunningly beautiful in her wedding dress. A beautiful day all round!
September arrives and we are off again on another Overland Track adventure. The weather didn't start off that great and it was raining the entire first day, but as with Tassie, the weather improved and we had some wonderful days are hiking. There is something about this walk that always leave me wanting more and to return time and time again. Every corner has something special to view, photograph and appreciate. Along with the photography opportunities, the track also tests you physically and mentally. It's perfect!
September was a super busy month, and after completely the Overland Track it was straight onto my Tarkine Workshop. 4 days exploring one of Tassie's best locations in the far north west of the state. Endless dramatic coastlines, protected by towering temperate rainforests make it so very easy to capture stunning images. One of the worlds best classrooms for sure...
We head back up to the Tarkine in March 2020 so if you are keen to come along, book here as places are filling fast.
And if that wasn't busy enough, I then headed to Bright for the Bright Festival of Photography. One of the certain highlights of my year. It was a brilliant time being invited to present to over 400 people within a town that I love so much. Great times and bring on BFOP 2020!
October shows signs that Winter has ended and the warmer weather is on the way. We started off this month by being invited by the iconic Cradle Mountain Peppers Lodge to come capture images of the newly renovated accomodation. Along with this I was excited to be asked to supply all new artwork for the resort. Somewhat of leaving my mark for the next few decades in one of Tasmania's most iconic accomodation resorts. And boy! don't the new King Billy Suites look world class!?
After shooting the Lodge and providing new artwork it was time for some more in-depth adventuring. This time with some great mates. A couple years back I meet a couple on the Overland Track who were visiting from Oregon. Mike (stunning B&W photographer) and his lovely partner Linda once again visited Tasmania and Flick and I met up to tackle the Pine Valley walk. A beautiful 3 days was spent exploring this wonderful part of the wilderness. Sad to see them head back home. Hopefully not long between catch ups :)
November and we were on the home stretch of 2019. A wonderful day spent exploring the Tasman Peninsula as part of the Hobart & Beyond Instameet. We had the pleasure of visiting a lavender farm, gin distillery, cruise on the oceans in a speedboat and visit some of Australia's highest sea-cliffs. What an experience provided by Pennicotts Cruises.
The later half of November saw me exploring the breathtaking region of the Tyndalls Ranges on the west coast. More work completed for the PWS and the newest iconic walk along the west coast of Tasmania. December would bring even more adventures in this region.
I also had the absolute pleasure of being invited as a guest speaker at the Mumbrella Media event held at the very impressive Sandridge Estate and Rocky Cape National Park. I was invited to discuss my photography business and how I have incorporated this into my hiking business and adventures. Speaking to the leading minds of Australia's Marketing and Media outlets was a fantastic experience.
December ends off an incredible 2019 for me and my photography. And December didn't disappoint.
We started off with another adventure into the Tyndall Ranges region... this time with a PWS Helicopter drop off into the wilderness. This was one of the most exciting things I had done, and if I do say so, a little overwhelming at times too. The terrain was almost impenetrable to get from point A to point B, and day 1 took me 6hrs to scrap my way 900m to my first camp. An incredible few days spent in total isolation helping PWS.
Back from the wilderness, and straight back into a raft! Another Franklin River rafting PhotoTour down the Franklin. Perfect weather conditions all the way with loads of sun, fun and super awesome water levels. We were blessed. Complete contrast to the February trip. Wow... what a place!
Ending 2019 was a cruising day with good mate and fellow photographer, Cam Hadlow, as we set off west in search of storms. We seemed to manage to avoid the storms all day as the weather Gods decided to tease us all day with offshore storms who just wouldn't fall on land where we were. So we finished off 2019 with a few quiet beers in the Queenstown pub. Can't think of a better way to do it...
It's been an incredible 2019 and I wanted to thank a few people before I turn-over into 2020.
Firstly and foremost my beautiful wife Lisa and my kids (Autumn & Jameson) who allow me to continue to do what I do. It cannot be easy dealing with two ratbag kids for days on end as I am out exploring Tasmania. There is nothing better than returning home to the three smiling faces that I love and care for more than anything else. Thank you. xo
Partners in crime who continue to support, walk, laugh and drink with me;
Flick Richardson, Cam Hadlow, Cam Wilson, Brendan Waites, Seng Mah, Luke Eberbach, Simon Metzler, Heath Holden, Chelsea Bell, Mike and Linda Hupp, and many more. Thanks for the mate-ship and adventures.
And lastly, thanks to all of you who support me and enjoy my work. See you all in 2020!
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