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Despite a few setbacks, overall 2012 was a fantastic year for me. This showed through my photos; I took an incredible number (roughly 14,000 according to Lightroom) because I took a lot of opportunities to travel, both within Australia and abroad. Much of my travel within Australia was around South East Queensland, which was great because I love being able to explore more of my adopted home.
Because I had so many photos, I found it really difficult to choose only 12 to summarise my entire year. Therefore, I’ve decided to choose 24 — half from within Australia, and half from abroad. These are the first 12.
Every May, the Eumundi Markets play host to the Australian Body Art Carnivale, a festival of all things body art that shows off some incredible artists’ talent (as well as the ability of models to stand very still in chilly weather). This year, for the first time, I signed up to be an official photographer for the event, which allowed me access to the makeup area and a special photography studio. Even though the conditions weren’t the best for photography, I was still very excited about some of the photos I took, especially since I don’t usually consider myself to be a people photographer.
The Gold Coast has never called to me like it does to some people. I love the beaches and the weather, but I’ve always preferred the relaxed vibe of the Sunshine Coast over the glitz and ‘glamour’ of the Goldie. The last few years have changed my mind a bit though, and I’ve realised that anything south of Broadbeach is well worth visiting because they are just far enough from Surfers Paradise and its craziness. Plus, you get views like this!
In June, I attended my first PSQ (Photographic Society of Queensland) conference. I found it incredibly inspiring, especially since I had fallen into a bit of a funk with photography at the beginning of the year. Hearing people talk about the amazing adventures they’d had through their photographic pursuits — like swimming with humpback whales in Tonga — made me want to go out and start shooting again. Luckily, there was an included photoshoot with Bollywood dancers that afternoon!
Another of the photoshoots at PSQ took us to the Kangaroo Point Cliffs, where you can get some of the best views in the city. I snuck off from the main shoot (of the Bollywood dancers) to snap a few shots of the city itself. If only there wasn’t a tree branch in the way!
Inspired as I was by PSQ, I immediately signed up for a Bluedog Photography workshop that featured something I’d wanted to photograph for a long time: steel wool burning. Boy was it worth it, since I got some photos unlike anything I’ve ever captured before. Now to create my own rig for spinning steel wool…
One morning in June, I woke up to find the city covered in a thick, soupy fog. Somehow I managed to drag myself out of bed much earlier than normal so I could head up Mt. Coot-tha, where I saw the skyscrapers of the city poking out of the clouds like some sort of high-tech fairyland. When I realised the fog was sticking around for a while, I popped over to Kangaroo Point to see what the city looked like from a bit closer up. I loved that this shot looked like a country town rather than inner-city Brisbane!
Every time I’ve been to Sydney, I’ve been there with someone or with plans that stopped me from getting a photo I really wanted — the Sydney Harbour Bridge at night. In June, just before the Blogopolis conference, I finally got the chance to set up my tripod at Circular Quay and take photos to my heart’s content.
Queenslanders went nuts over State of Origin — the annual rugby league series between New South Wales and Queensland — in July, mainly because it was the biggest game in years. Brisbane’s Caxton Street was a total madhouse as fans converged on it for pre-drinks before heading to Suncorp Stadium, and I found that the easiest way to make people scream and yell (even more than they already were) was to aim a camera at them. I loved this photo, especially because the man on the right is holding a flag on a PVC pipe, which you may hear a story about sometime…
After an early morning photoshoot at Burleigh Heads, I decided to head back to Brisbane the long way, via Natural Bridge in Springbrook National Park. I made it there before 8am, so I had the whole place to myself — which was perfect for taking people-free landscapes like the one above!
This is my favourite shot of the year. I’m not sure what it is about the photo, but it just grabs me. It’s an interesting combination of elements, with the very Aussie combi in the front with the Chinese lanterns — part of the lantern display at the Brisbane Festival — in the background. Apparently the coffee they serve is pretty decent too!
For three out of the last four years, I’ve gone to Wilson’s Outlook to get this view of Brisbane’s annual fireworks show. I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of it, especially since the show gets better every year! This was the stunning finale, and while I’m not perfectly happy with this photo, it’s still one of my favourites.
On a whim, I went whale watching on the Gold Coast in October. I’d considered going up to Hervey Bay where the whales are pretty much guaranteed to be frolicking, but I thought I should give the Gold Coast another chance after a disastrous trip last year. I’m so glad I went because I don’t think I’ll ever see another display like that again. We saw nearly 20 whales, and two of them continuously breached in front of Mt. Warning for nearly twenty minutes. We were all left in awe.
Which of these is your favourite of 2012?