2017… where to start!? You came out swinging but I’ve had the last laugh.
It’s been a pretty tough year for myself personally, which obviously makes for work challenges also, but I’ve weathered the storm and excited for what 2018 is going to bring.
I started the year with the launch of the ‘Soul Deep’ project. Unlike 2016’s Walk on Water series, this one was going to be more focussed and more about my creative journey. The rules were Flinders Ranges and Black and White. 10 images which would go for sale as 1/1 limited edition prints. I loved my trips to the Flinders this year and really got a sense of the place. Everywhere in the Flinders is covered in so much history... you feel like you have stepped back in time. While there are many amazing spots in the Flinders to photograph, I focussed my attention mainly on the Wilpena/Bunyeroo areas and spent days immersed in among the stunning ranges. I didn't want to spread myself too thin and miss out on capturing the vibe of a location.
One of the highlights of 2017 for me was the way my social media followers came together and helped me out when my equipment got stolen. I was blown away by the support and generosity of so many people. $2500 was donated to help get me back on track. This was invaluable to me and allowed me to quickly get a replacement body and lens.
Competition wise I made the top 101 for the 2016 International Landscape Photographer of the year and was voted the People’s Choice winner of the Adelaide Hills Landscape Arts prize. Both images were from my post Sampson Flat fire forest fog shoot which is still my favourite shoot to date.
I am blessed with what I do, that it allows me so much quality time with my two young boys. I look after them two days a week and had a ball watching them grow up and having loads of fun with them. It can make it tricky to always get out and shoot when I need to, but thankfully I was still able to make a number of trips around SA this year.
The year started with the finalisation of a commission shoot in Mount Crawford in January. February saw me head to Innes National Park to shoot Dolphin Bay and Cape Spencer. Two spots I have strangely never shot before! For the past few years I have been coming back to Swan Reach over and over waiting for the right conditions and in April I finally got them. The ‘Big Bend’ sunset I had waited so long for. It was definitely worth the wait!
It wasn’t till late April when I got to make my first trip to the Flinders for my Soul Deep series. It was such a different experience shooting primarily for black and white, but I found it valuable and a good way to focus on texture, composition and form rather than colour. I’ve seen many photos of Bunyeroo Valley before but this trip marked the first time I actually saw it for myself. The photos really don’t do it justice - I was blown away by how beautiful the scene is with the winding road heading towards the ranges. Definitely my location of 2017!
May saw me head back to the Riverland looking for a killer Milky Way image and wanting to shoot Lake Bonney’s jetty for the first time. Both shoots were very successful and the Milky Way image ‘Lucky Stars’ was recently voted the Earth Art Peoples Choice image of the year. Landscape photography really is about preparation and patience! If there’s one tip I can give budding photographers out there - don’t settle for mediocre. Keep coming back till you get the image you want.
Winter saw me hitting up a few new spots in the Adelaide Hills. I didn’t get the foggy conditions I was hoping for, but found lots of new compositions for next year. I also headed out of the state north to Newcastle three times throughout July and August while visiting my dad who’s health was failing. I found great peace shooting the beautiful Zenith Beach during this difficult time. My dad passed away in August unfortunately, but I was glad I got to spend some time there beforehand.
Joel and I held our first overnight workshop at Glenelg over winter also. It was a great success and we all had a great time shooting seascapes and editing at the beautiful Seawall Apartments. Looking forward to next years!
The year rounded out with more trips to the Flinders blessed with stunning rainbows and amazing light, my first trip to Renmark to shoot the Heading Cliffs and a sneaky family holiday shoot at Encounter Bay where I struck more rainbows and stunning conditions.
Business wise, things really took off at the start of the new financial year. Print sales have been really consistent this year and my decision to move away from paper prints to only sell large ready to hang prints has really worked out well. I have sold 30 large framed and metal prints since July and things are really starting to take off.
Many thanks to everyone for their support throughout 2017 - whether it be a kind word, a purchase or even just a photo like.. they are all valuable! And to those who so generously donated money to help me replace my equipment - I can never express how thankful and amazed I am that you would do this.