2016 has definitely been a big year.
And I know we say it every year, but gosh darn it has gone quick!
For me, I think it felt like it went even quicker because I spent the best part of 10 weeks with very limited contact to civilisation while driving through the deserts of Central Australia while on assignment for Hema Maps. Now that was an experience that I will never forget!
2016 was also the year I bought my first drone (a DJI Phantom 3 Pro). What an awesome bit of kit these things are. Talk about taking your photography to new heights! It really does open up another entirely different world to the photographer. I was fortunate to be featured in the Brisbane Times (http://bit.ly/2h4Rf7P) and the big one was a two page spread in The Courier Mail (http://bit.ly/2hOU6Tx)
There were heaps of other adventures, and I even managed to shoot a few weddings just to mix it up a little more (http://bit.ly/2i3WplS)
So in no particular order, I present to you my TOP 10, sorry, make that my TOP 11 Images for 2016.....
In to the FogFog isn't all that common in South East Queensland, so when it is forecast you'll generally find me somewhere in the Scenic Rim. This was taken now very foggy and still morning at Wyaralong Dam, not far from Boonah. One cold, foggy morning driving around the Scenic Rim, I ended up at Lake Wyaralong where I came upon a scene that I had been imagining for some time. The fog was just perfect. Funnily enough, this tree features twice in my TOP 11.
WHAT SUPA lone SUP rider cruises the crystal clear waters of Tallebudgera Creek on the Gold Coast After shooting not a particularly exciting sunrise at Burleigh Heads, I drove around the corner to Tallebudgera Creek and sent my drone to the sky. The water was crystal clear and the SUP rider provided the perfect focal point.
Emu LakeThere's not many scenes that make you more aware of just how dry the centre of Australia is, then a cracked clay mud flat that was once a lake. Along the Anne Beadell Highway in South Australia, you come to this place called Emu. Emu has a place in the Nuclear Testing History of Australia, being a short drive from the Totem I and II testing sites. There's not a lot there now, except for this amazing dry lake bed. This isn't the most impressive photo, but it says a lot to me and the harshness of our wonderful country, and that's why it's in my TOP 11.
Spinifex RingsAerial view of the spinifex rings on the Anne Beadell Highway If this shot doesn't convince you that you need a drone, I don't know what will! Out in the deserts of Central Australia, spinifex is by far the most common plant that you will encounter. It's a sharp, spiky plant that you don't want to mess with, and from the ground, it just looks like big clumps as you drive along. But take your camera up in to the sky, and the spinifex plants take on a totally different appearance. The plants grow from the centre out, and create these fantastic circular patterns which are only truly appreciated from above.
I never believed in magic. But that was before I visited Uluru. I now do. It's not something I can explain. I think it is something that you just have to experience for yourself. Uluru is just so much more than a big red rock. Save your money people and get out there to experience it for yourself!
Cotton FarmerCotton Harvest is in full swing at St George in Western Queensland Earlier in the year, I helped a friend out shooting a wedding in St George. Having only got my drone earlier that week, there was no way in the world that I was going to leave it at home! On leaving St George on the Sunday, I noticed that a paddock close to the highway was being harvested. A quick detour and a quick chat to the farmer and I was up in the air. This was only the fourth time that I had put 'Derek' in the sky, but it was pretty obvious after this shot that I was addicted to my drone!
Sunrise at Well 33A desert sunrise at Well 33 on the Canning Stock Route There is nothing quite like a desert sunrise or sunset. During our trip, we got to experience some absolutely amazing displays of colour that filled the sky at both ends of the day. This sunrise at Well 33 was no exception, with vivid yellows, pinks and oranges.
BirdsAs the fog parted, I sent my drone to the air above this majestic tree. Making its second appearance in my TOP 11 of 2016, is this awesome tree out at Wyaralong Dam. As the fog started to clear from the surface of the dam, I got my drone ready for a fly. Up until this point, I'd never had to worry about inquisitive birds, but that all changed only moments after launching. The cormorants that were roosting in the tree took flight due to the sound of my drone. It sounds like a million wasps! Killer wasps to be precise! They then thought it was a good idea to come and check out what was making the noise. I, on the other hand didn't think it was such a great idea, and had to engage in some evasive flying. Thankfully, they calmed down enough for me to get this shot!
Shorncliffe PierWhen the sunrise brings you lemons, you just have to make lemonade! Earlier in 2016, the jetty at Shorncliffe was re-opened after being closed for a couple of years to undergo major refurbishment. I hadn't been back since, so recently I took the drive down to Sandgate and visited the new pier. Unfortunately, someone forgot to tell the sun that I was coming, so he just took it easy and hid behind the clouds. Oh well, time for the ND Filter and a couple of long exposures!
Down on the foreshore at Wynnum, there are these couple of old sticks in the water. Rumour has it that they were once used for tying up your boat. All I know now is that they make a pretty cool subject at sunrise. You just have to time the tide right!
Surfers SplitThis is one of those occasions when you are thankful you have a camera! A few weeks ago I had to head down the Gold Coast for a family shoot. Not to waste an opportunity, I got up earlier and headed down for sunrise. After checking the forecast the night before, I was pretty confident that it was going to be a cloudless affair. Normally, us landscape photographers don't like it when there are no clouds. But when I also checked that there was going to be hardly any breeze and it was pretty much the top of the tide, then I knew that reflections were going to be the order of the day. Little did I know that it was going to be one of the most amazing sunrises that I have ever seen. Apparently, some clouds below the horizon partially obscured the sun, causing the sky to be split in two. Un-freaking-believable!
So, there you have it. My TOP 11 for 2016.
What's was your favourite?