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My Twelve Best Aussie Photos of 2012

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.

May 2012: The Australian Body Art Carnivale

May 2012: The Australian Body Art Carnivale

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.

May 2012: Miami Beach

May 2012: Miami Beach

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!

June 2012: Bollywood Dancer Photoshoot

June 2012: Bollywood dancer photoshoot

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!

June 2012: The View from the Kangaroo Point Cliffs

June 2012: The view from the Kangaroo Point Cliffs

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!

June 2012: Steel Wool Burning under the Story Bridge

June 2012: Steel wool burning under the Story Bridge

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…

June 2012: Brisbane Enveloped in Fog

June 2012: Brisbane enveloped in fog

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!

June 2012: The Sydney Harbour Bridge at Night

June 2012: The Sydney Harbour Bridge at night

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.

July 2012: State of Origin 3

July 2012: State of Origin 3

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…

August 2012: Natural Bridge in Springbrook National Park

August 2012: Natural Bridge in Springbrook National Park

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!

September 2012: The Coffee Combi

September 2012: The coffee combi

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!

September 2012: Riverfire

September 2012: Riverfire

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.

October 2012: Whale Watching in Coolangatta

October 2012: Whale watching in Coolangatta

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?

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8 Responses to My Twelve Best Aussie Photos of 2012

  1. Jack January 14, 2013 at 9:56 pm Reply

    Hey Kristin

    Some great images. The spinning steel wool is probably my fav. I so want to shoot that too! 🙂 You’ve done a great job capturing some amazing images last year. Well done.



    • Kristin December 8, 2013 at 5:46 pm Reply

      I know this is a really delayed reply in general…especially since I’m working on a “best shots for 2013” post now…but thanks very much for your comments on my photos Jack! Glad you’ve finally been able to get out and shoot some burning steel wool. Were you happy with your shots in the end?

  2. Heather January 16, 2013 at 3:29 am Reply

    Beautiful shots, Kristin! Gorgeous. And while I know the PVC pipe story, I’d be happy to read it again 😉

    • Kristin December 8, 2013 at 5:45 pm Reply

      You know, I still haven’t gotten around to posting that story on Boots and a Backpack. I really should, it’s one of my favourites…

  3. Linda ~ Journey Jottings January 17, 2013 at 3:10 pm Reply

    Without a doubt for me the breaching whale in front of Mt Warning!
    What a combo – and a memory 🙂

    I’m also impressed with the steel wool burning – although I’m still not quite sure whats being whizzed around to create that effect?

    • Kristin January 17, 2013 at 7:19 pm Reply

      Hi Linda! The whales really made for an amazing day, and you’re right — great memories. I couldn’t believe the sheer number of breaches we saw — so many that I actually stopped taking photos of them after a while and just watched in awe. Plus, the captain did very well to get Mt. Warning nicely in the background!

      For the steel wool burning, steel wool was clamped into a set of tongs, which were attached to the end of a long chain. Then it was lit on fire and spun in a circle, which caused all the disintegrating steel wool to go flying. It was pretty impressive, although it was also very good that it was still pretty damp so the embers didn’t cause fires all over the place!

  4. Erik January 28, 2013 at 7:55 am Reply

    I’m partial to the last two- especially the fireworks one. Great Capture!

    • Kristin December 8, 2013 at 5:43 pm Reply

      I might be setting the record for delayed replies here, but thanks very much for your comments on my photos Erik! Really glad you liked the fireworks photo — I was disappointed with my bad crop but I think it’s still quite an interesting shot. I’m glad I was able to go back this year and get the exact shot I wanted though!

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