Improving Your Image Through Visual Communications

Journalist - Photographer - Writer

Thursday 31 December 2009

Travel Bites column for Discover Australia

By Darren Stones

As 2009 draws to a close, I've had the pleasure of compiling the Travel Bites column for Issue #1 of Discover Australia e-magazine of which I'm the Journalist.

Issue #1 of Discover Australia is due late February 2010, and it will be the Mar/Apr/May '10 quarterly edition. Writing in advance for such a publication requires forethought, research and knowing that by the time people read the column that Australia will be experiencing autumn.

The aim of Travel Bites is to provide one snippet of information for each state and territory of Australia. There's always plenty happening around the nation, so sourcing interesting things to do, see, and experience should be fun.

Travel Bites will be a column accompanied by travel photos sourced from Australian Travel Photography and Writing group members, and myself.

From festivals to tourist attractions - there's something for everyone.

Hay, New South Wales, Australia, The Long Paddock, sheep shearer IMG_5805_Hay
Glen the shearer at Shear Outback, Hay, NSW
Photo: Darren Stones

Monday 28 December 2009

Journalist for Discover Australia e-magazine

By Darren Stones

Discover Australia e-magazine is a publication of the Australian Travel Photography and Writing group. It is a free quarterly Australian travel magazine of 20-25 pages in PDF format containing editorial, travel articles, interviews, travel photography, photography competitions, reviews, news, etc. The content is supplied by members of the Australian Travel Photography and Writing group. It is a non-profit publication.

I'm pleased to be the Journalist for the publication, and I'm an integral part of the Editorial Team. My contributions to the publication will be editorial comment, profile/interview pieces, travel articles, and a travel news column titled Travel Bites.

As Founder, Host and Journalist of the Australian Travel Photography and Writing group, it's a buzz to see this publication come to fruition. We're hoping to provide an entertaining and informative Australian travel magazine, whilst providing an avenue for budding Australian travel writers and photographers to be published.

Issue #1 of Discover Australia is due March 1, 2010, so it's nose to the grindstone.

If you have Australian travel and tourism news which you'd like considered for publishing in the Travel Bites column of the magazine, contact me via email: dgstonesphotojour [at]

Lakes Entrance, Victoria, Australia, recreation IMG_3321_Lakes_Entrance
Tourists enjoying hire craft at Lakes Entrance, VIC
Photo: Darren Stones

Australian Travel Photography and Writing group Member of the Year 2009

By Darren Stones

It’s been a terrific year for the Australian Travel Photography and Writing group, and a wonderful year at RedBubble.

Firstly, I would like to acknowledge RedBubble, and in particular its General Manager Peter Styles for his ongoing support of the group. Peter is reasonably aware of how the group is developing, and he recently said in our forum: “Terrific work guys. There’s much to check out and this group is going from strength to strength.” My gratitude is extended to Peter, and I look forward to communicating with him on behalf of the group during 2010.

As Group Founder and Sponsor of the award, it’s my pleasure to announce the Australian Travel Photography and Writing Group Member of the Year 2009 recipient is Joe Mortelliti. In announcing Joe as the recipient, I acknowledge he has demonstrated a high level of active participation within the group during 2009. He met the criteria I set:

  • Submitting quality Australian travel photographs
  • Submitting quality Australian travel journals
  • Submitting quality Australian travel writing
  • Adhering to group rules and guidelines
  • Participating in group challenges
  • Participating in the group’s forums
  • Providing encouragement and advice to members in the group’s forums

The quality of Joe’s Australian travel photography is high. His photography has been published on numerous occasions, and was again during 2009 in The Complete Guide To The Great Ocean Road by Richard Everist of BestShot! publications.

Joe recently became a Group Host of the Australian Travel Photography and Writing group, however his level of participation in the role is dependent on his health. Without going into specifics, Joe is lucky to be alive – he quite simply came back from the brink due to a life threatening illness. Behind the scenes in the group host’s bunker, Joe provides advice, direction and a good touch of humour.

The travel writing bug has bitten Joe in recent times, and I believe his goal is to be published in the mainstream. It won’t be an easy task for him to accomplish, and I wish Joe the best in his endeavours. He has good stories to tell, so fingers crossed an editor will give him a go.

Group forum participation is something I have consistently encouraged since the group’s launch on December 28, 2008, and Joe has been active from the word go. His willingness to provide relevant travel advice and critique on fellow members’ travel photography has impressed me. He is generous with his time and his advice is sound.

During 2009, Joe has sponsored various challenges within the group, and this makes for a good atmosphere. I trust the association will continue in 2010.

In being the Australian Travel Photography and Writing group Member of the Year 2009 recipient, Joe Mortelliti will receive:

  • One Darren Stones RedBubble medium-size framed print
  • One Darren Stones 2010 Australian travel photography calendar
  • One award certificate – supplied by Group Host Leanne Nelson

The Australian Travel Photography and Writing group consists of 613 talented and conscientious members. I see 2010 as a year where we can achieve further success as a group, and celebrate the successes of our members. It’s a pleasure to be part of the group, and I thank everyone who has contributed to it during 2009.

Darren Stones
Group Founder and Host
Australian Travel Photography and Writing

Thursday 24 December 2009

Sapphire Coast snapshot

By Darren Stones

Here’s a snapshot of what to do along the Sapphire Coast in New South Wales, Australia.

Eden: Head for the wharf and watch the unloading of the catch. You can meet strong blokes earning their keep who are happy to spin a fishy tale or two. Drop into the Eden Killer Whale Museum to see the skeleton of Old Tom and learn about what he got up to. Just out of town is Ben Boyd National Park where you can spot roos and take in the views.

Eden Wharf, New South Wales, Australia IMG_3594_Eden
Unloading the catch at Eden Wharf

Merimbula: Fancy burning some carbs? Then wander down to the boardwalk which follows the north shore of the Top Lake between the bridge and Top Lake Boat Hire. At Bar Beach, park the car in the top car park and enjoy the vista towards Mitchies Jetty. Merimbula Lake is a top spot to catch a fish, and if you’re keen, feel free to get in amongst them.

Merimbula, New South Wales, Australia, boardwalk IMG_2729_Merimbula_Boardwalk
Merimbula Boardwalk

Bega: A trip to the Bega Cheese Heritage Centre is a must if you’re a taster of vintage. Arrive hungry because the samples are free and plentiful. Upstairs there’s lots of old stuff like a butter churner and restored cart, and a small art and craft gift shop. And if you visit during autumn, see the trees by the Bega River.

Bega, New South Wales, Australia IMG_9623_Bega
Autumn in Bega

Tathra: The Tathra Wharf is a great platform for deep sea fishing, but it’s also a beaut spot for a slice of cake and a cappuccino. One of the best places on the coast to catch a trevally and a soothing summer breeze. The main beach is great for a stroll and to watch the hard-bodied surfers in action.

Tathra Wharf, New South Wales, Australia IMG_1912_Tathra_Wharf
Tathra Wharf

Bermagui: Rise and shine folks, and make for the Blue Pool. Arrive early with your togs on and watch a glorious sunrise. Then after lunch at the Bermagui Hotel, wander around to the harbour to check some high-priced water craft. With a bit of luck, you might even spot a bloke up a mast with a screwdriver in hand.

Bermagui, New South Wales, Australia, Bermagui Blue Pool IMG_0979_Bermagui
Bermagui Blue Pool

For more information:

Sunday 20 December 2009

Journalist for Australian travel eMagazine

By Darren Stones

The Australian Travel Photography and Writing group will publish its first eMagazine in late February 2010. It will be a free quarterly publication of approximately 20-25 pages and be available online in PDF format.

My position with the eMagazine is that of Journalist, and I'm excited about the opportunity to write articles for it. The magazine will include: interviews, travel articles, photography features, reviews, and competitions. A few other ideas are in the pipeline, too.

The editorial team - of which I'm part - is working feverishly behind the scenes on the layout and composition. Currently, the team is in the process of selecting a cover image for the first issue.

I founded the Australian Travel Photography and Writing group at online art site RedBubble in December 2008, and since its inception have been a host of the group. Membership of the group is currently 613 members.

My contact details here.

For more information:

Twelve Apostles by Darren Stones

Friday 4 December 2009

Murrumbidgee River

By Darren Stones

Murrumbidgee River, Hay, New South Wales, Australia, The Long Paddock IMG_5985_Hay

Title: Murrumbidgee River
Photographer: Darren Stones
Location: Mulberrygong Reserve, Sturt Hwy, NSW, Australia
Date and time: Wednesday 12 August, 2009. 12:38 PM.

“The Murrumbidgee River is undoubtedly one of Australia’s iconic rivers. At the peaceful Mulberrygong Reserve, 38 kms east of Hay in outback New South Wales, the low water level reveals a tangled mass of tree roots and collapsed trees. So, why would anyone want to slow down between distant towns to spend a few hours here? It’s a gorgeous day – in the middle of nowhere. Me, the birds, my camera, and nature at its best. And, the missus quietly fossicking upstream behind me.” – Darren Stones

Series: In The Field

Sunday 1 November 2009

Growing my Mo during Movember

By Darren Stones

Hi, I am growing a moustache this year for Movember. I have decided to put down my razor for one month (November) and help raise awareness and funds for men’s health – specifically prostate cancer and depression in men.

What many people don’t appreciate is that close to 3,000 men die of prostate cancer each year in Australia and one in eight men will experience depression in their lifetime - many of whom don’t seek help. Facts like these have convinced me I should get involved and I am hoping that you will support me.

To sponsor my Mo, you can either:

  • Click this link and donate online using your credit card or PayPal account
  • Write a cheque payable to ‘Movember Foundation’, referencing my Registration Number 240833 and mailing it to: Movember Foundation, PO Box 292, Prahran, VIC, 3181

Remember, all donations over $2 are tax deductible. Movember is now in its sixth year and, to date, has achieved some pretty amazing results by working alongside The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCFA) and beyondblue: the national depression initiative.

Check out further details at:

If you are interested in following the progress of my Mo, click here:

Also, has heaps of useful information.

Thank you.

Friday 30 October 2009

Iconic scenes from Wentworth, New South Wales, Australia

By Darren Stones

Wentworth is an Australian outback town located on the Murray River in New South Wales. Its major tourist attractions are the iconic Murray-Darling confluence and the spectacular Perry Sandhills. Both places present fantastic travel photography opportunities and are probably best visited during the cooler months of the year.

Enjoy viewing these images and see further details at the end of this entry.

Murray-Darling Confluence, Wentworth, New South Wales, Australia IMG_6276_Wentworth
Murray-Darling Confluence
Photo: Darren Stones

Murray-Darling Confluence, Wentworth, New South Wales, Australia IMG_6268_Wentworth
Murray-Darling Confluence
Photo: Darren Stones

Perry Sandhills, Wentworth, New South Wales, Australia IMG_6320_Wentworth
Perry Sandhills
Photo: Darren Stones

Perry Sandhills, Wentworth, New South Wales, Australia IMG_6322_Wentworth
Perry Sandhills
Photo: Darren Stones

I have a large range of outback photographs for sale which can be purchased as various print products via my sales agent, RedBubble. View my online Outback NSW Australia gallery here:

To license any of these images for print products, use in the media, or any other purpose, please contact me via email or phone. Contact details are here:

Monday 19 October 2009

Charity initiative in aid of Aussie Helpers

By Darren Stones

As host of the Australian Travel Photography and Writing group, I've launched a charity initiative in aid of the Australian charity, Aussie Helpers.

Members of our 521-strong group are now taking an active role in donating their own 2010 RedBubble manufactured calendars and other gifts. The pledges are rolling in, and it's heartening to see such generosity emanating from the group I originated in December 2008.

Today, I've received a generous pledge from New South Wales musician, Tania Rose, of 30 CD's for the charity. Tania's pledge has brought a sweet sound to the initiative and will be a great boost to the package I send to Aussie Helpers.

After approaching RedBubble with the idea, they were most willing to become a supporter. They are providing free shipping of all calendars, and are donating the shipping cost for the package I'll be sending to Aussie Helpers.

To learn more about this charity initiative in aid of Aussie Helpers, see the following link for information and how to donate: Donate your calendar to Aussie Helpers

Saturday 17 October 2009

Darren Stones' 2010 calendar range

By Darren Stones

When looking for calendars to give to family members or friends, consider purchasing one or more of my 2010 calendars direct from my sales agent RedBubble.

RedBubble calendars are printed on an HP Indigo 5000 (for those who haven’t heard, this is the digital press). Each page is a satin-coated prints on 170gsm high quality art paper. The cover shows your choice of image on heavier 300gsm paper. Your calendars have a hanger and white wire binding.

RedBubble calendars are satin-coated prints on high quality art paper. They’re A3 size (that’s 297x420mm, or 11.69x16.54"). Folks, order now for the holidays!

My entire range of high quality calendars can be viewed at RedBubble by clicking on the following link:

Cover - Australia's Animals calendar

Back Cover - Australia's animals calendar

Saturday 26 September 2009

Outback New South Wales calendar

By Darren Stones

Welcome. The Outback New South Wales calendar is a body of my photographic work which encapsulates remote areas of Australia’s most populated state.

These photographs have been taken during photographic journeys around the locations of Bourke, Cobar, Hay, Lightning Ridge, Narrandera, Wanganella and Wentworth.

As an Australian travel photographer, I seek out interesting scenes, photograph them, and then share them with an audience.

I trust you find my new Outback New South Wales calendar to your liking. Thanks for viewing.

To preview and see pricing of this calendar click here:

Cover - Outback New South Wales calendar

Tuesday 22 September 2009

Cattle Trough - Hay Plains photograph chosen as ADPOTD Photo Of The Day

By Darren Stones

It's a thrill to have my Cattle Trough - Hay Plains photograph chosen as ADPOTD Photo Of The Day for Tuesday September 22 2009.

Cattle Trough - Hay Plains by Darren Stones
Screen grab of the Australian Digital Photo Of The Day
website home page on Tuesday September 22 2009

Russell Stewart, owner of ADPOTD, selects one photo as the Photo Of Day each weekday - except during December. At the end of the month, a Photo Of The Month (POTM) is selected and that image is published in Camera magazine and its owner receives a prize of a ThumbsPlus 7 - Today's superior graphics management tool. The POTM is then eligible for the Photo Of The Year (POTY).

Check out the Australian Digital Photo Of The Day website today.

Cattle Trough - Hay Plains can be licensed directly from me or purchased as a card, matted print, laminated print, mounted print, framed print, canvas print or poster via my sales agent RedBubble. See image here and product details.

Thursday 17 September 2009

Perry Sandhills, New South Wales, Australia

By Darren Stones

Here's a collection of landscape photographs I took whilst visiting the Perry Sandhills at Wentworth, New South Wales, Australia.

Geologists believe the sandhills originated after an ice age 40,000 years ago and were formed by wind erosion over thousands of years.

The sandhills have appeared as a backdrop in numerous television shows and movies, and are used annually for Music Under the Stars as part of the Mildura Wentworth Arts Festival.

Located 6km northwest from Wentworth which lies on the banks of the Murray River, the Perry Sandhills take on a magnificent red appearance around sunset as seen here in my iconic Australian travel photographs.

These images can be licensed through me direct, or purchased as various products via my sales agent, RedBubble. If you require more details, contact me to discuss your needs.

Images can be viewed and purchased via my Outback, NSW, Australia collection at RedBubble.

Perry Sandhills, Wentworth, New South Wales, Australia IMG_6320_Wentworth

Perry Sandhills, Wentworth, New South Wales, Australia IMG_6322_Wentworth

Perry Sandhills, Wentworth, New South Wales, Australia IMG_6326_Wentworth

Perry Sandhills, Wentworth, New South Wales, Australia  IMG_6297_Wentworth

Friday 11 September 2009

The Murrumbidgee River at Hay, NSW, Australia

By Darren Stones

One of Australia's great rivers is the Murrumbidgee River, and during August '09, as part of a journey, I had the pleasure to see first-hand this mighty waterway.

Was great to photograph this iconic river in its glory, with snags showing above the water and trees clinging onto life on the riverbank.

I'd like to share these images with you, and if you're interested in purchasing one or more of them, view my online sales gallery where product options and pricing are displayed. These images are part of my Long Paddock collection. Enjoy.

The Long Paddock collection:

Murrumbidgee River, Hay, New South Wales, Australia, The Long Paddock IMG_5985_Hay
Murrumbidgee River, Hay, NSW, Australia
Photo: Darren Stones

Murrumbidgee River, Hay, New South Wales, Australia, The Long Paddock   IMG_5987_Hay
Murrumbidgee River, Hay, NSW, Australia
Photo: Darren Stones

Murrumbidgee River, Hay, New South Wales, Australia, The Long Paddock IMG_5956_Hay
Murrumbidgee River, Hay, NSW, Australia
Photo: Darren Stones

Monday 7 September 2009

Photographs published in new Great Ocean Road travel guidebook

By Darren Stones

I've had five of my Australian travel photographs published in The Complete Guide To The Great Ocean Road travel guidebook by Best Shot publications.

The author of the book is Richard Everist, co-founder of Torquay-based BestShot! publications, and a former Co-General Manager and Global Publisher for Lonely Planet from 1995 to 2000.

Richard contacted me in January 2009 seeking a collection of my travel photographs, and I was only too pleased to take part. It's a thrill to be associated with this high-quality and information-packed publication which promotes tourism in south-west Victoria, Australia.

The Complete Guide To The Great Ocean Road is an initiative of Geelong Otway Tourism. It has been funded by the Australian Government through a grant under the Australian Tourism Development Program, as well as funding from Geelong Otway Tourism, Great Ocean Road Marketing, Parks Victoria, Heritage Council of Victoria and BestShot!.

The Complete Guide To The Great Ocean Road
Approx 245mm x 167mm
Soft laminated cover
414 pages RRP $49.95

The book covers walks, beaches, heritage, ecology, towns and sustainable tourism through the south-west region of Victoria. It's a comprehensive publication which provides information on activities and history, is packed with photographs, and contains maps.

The book was launched in Torquay by The Minister for Tourism, Martin Ferguson AM MP on August 31, 2009 as part of the Geelong Otway Tourism’s ‘Creating a Sustainable Tourism Environment Along the Great Ocean Road’ project.

"The Great Ocean Road is a world-class attraction and one of Tourism Australia’s nine National Landscapes. I congratulate Geelong Otway Tourism and applaud their continuing role in promoting the region as a sustainable, world-class destination for visitors," Mr Ferguson said.

“Importantly, this project will encourage sustainable tourism practices by industry and tourists and attract greater numbers of environmentally-conscious visitors to the Great Ocean Road.”

In recognising my involvement with the publication, Richard Everist said: "Thank you very much for your valued contribution to The Complete Guide To The Great Ocean Road".

The book can be purchased from good book stores. For more information, contact BestShot!

PO Box 850
Torquay, VIC 3228
Ph: 1300 66 49 43

Friday 4 September 2009

Tempting Torquay

By Darren Stones

Torquay is famous for surfing and as the starting point of the world-renowned Great Ocean Road. Being only 97kms from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, it’s the ideal daytrip option for those wanting a much-needed taste of the south-west coast. Local, interstate and overseas tourists arrive in droves during holiday times; however quieter times are more conducive to a relaxed atmosphere and ideal for exploring coastal features and attractions.

Torquay, Victoria, Australia, beach IMG_0968_Torquay
Strolling along the main beach at Torquay
Photo: Darren Stones

Torquay, Victoria, Australia, beach IMG_1090_Torquay
Rocky Point, Torquay
Photo: Darren Stones

Torquay, Victoria, Australia, Rocky Point IMG_1102_Torquay
Rocky Point, Torquay
Photo: Darren Stones

If you’re a keen walker, there are various tracks catering to different levels of fitness. The cliff top walk at nearby Jan Juc has constructed lookouts offering spectacular panoramic views of the ocean, beach and rocky outcrops. Rocky Point, at the eastern end of Jan Juc beach is a favourite area with a lookout providing a view of the Torquay Surf Club, main beach, and Point Danger. It’s a brilliant vista, so bring your camera.

Torquay, Victoria, Australia, beach IMG_1082_Torquay
Steps at Rocky Point leading down to Jan Juc Beach
Photo: Darren Stones

Torquay, Victoria, Australia IMG_6596_Torquay
Walking path at Point Danger, Torquay
Photo: Darren Stones

Interested in learning to surf? The main surf beach at Torquay is where qualified surfing instructors provide instruction for a fee. Learn to surf school Go Ride A Wave provides the equipment to get you started and bookings can be made on the phone or online.

Torquay, Victoria, Australia, surfing IMG_0926_Torquay
Learning to surf at Torquay
Photo: Darren Stones

Torquay, Victoria, Australia, lifesavers IMG_0956_Torquay
Lifesavers training at Torquay
Photo: Darren Stones

Surfworld Museum honours the champions of the world’s surfing fraternity, and is also where enthusiasts can purchase the gear needed to ride the waves of Bells Beach. It’s common to see local tradesmen head for the iconic Bells Beach after work to catch a few waves, and it is clear evidence that the beach culture is alive and well amongst locals.

Torquay, Victoria, Australia, surfer IMG_6600_Torquay
Surfer at Torquay
Photo: Darren Stones

Bells Beach, Torquay, Victoria, Australia IMG_5269_Torquay
The world-famous Bells Beach
Photo: Darren Stones

Keep an eye out for whales during June-September as numbers are increasing and sightings are becoming more frequent along this stretch of coast. Kite surfing is popular on weekends with the Zeally Bay/Point Danger area being the perfect spot to witness the skill and athleticism on display.

Point Danger is where most tourists travelling by car get their first glimpse of the glorious coastline along the Great Ocean Road. A war memorial dedicated to those brave souls who fought in World War I and II, along with a black granite memorial honouring the Anzacs is located on the point.

Torquay, Victoria, Australia, War Memorial IMG_6580_Torquay
War memorial at Point Danger, Torquay
Photo: Darren Stones

Things to do:

Go Ride A Wave
Surfing instruction
Shop 1 15 Bell Street
Torquay, Victoria, Australia 3228
Phone: 1300 132 441

World’s largest surfing museum
Beach Road
Torquay, Victoria, 3228
Phone: 03 5261 4606

Saturday 29 August 2009

5 tips for taking better travel photographs

By Darren Stones

When travelling, photography can be an integral part of your journey. Sure, we all enjoy savouring the sights, tastes and tourist hot spots, however travel photography provides opportunity to create and enjoy a memorable experience.

Here's 5 tips to assist you to take better travel photographs:

No. 1 – Use the golden hour for better landscape scenes

Serious landscape photographers utilise the golden hour to their advantage. Inspect the best landscape photographs, and you’ll notice that the sun is generally low in the sky. The first and last sunlit hour of the day produces a softer light for quality landscapes.

Even though photographing during these times can be difficult due to a busy travel schedule, make the effort and you’ll be rewarded with better quality images.

Dog Rocks, Batesford, Victoria, Australia IMG_4013-1_Dog Rocks

No. 2 – Photograph people

Taking photos of people is a vital part of travel photography. People like to know about people and they like to know what they look like. So, take people photos and expand your portfolio.

A city or town is about its people and culture – not just its buildings and scenery. Walk around with a smile, greet people as you pass them, and become part of the surroundings.

If you see someone engaged in an activity, approach them in a friendly manner. Introduce yourself and tell them you’re a visitor to the region. Tell them you’re a travel photographer who likes to take photos of people. Ask if you can take their photograph as they’re engaged in an activity. Go in close with a wide-angle zoom to create a dynamic portrait.

Candelo Hotel, New South Wales, Australia,  Bobby O'Brien, Nobby McMahon & Kevin Slater IMG_2253_Bobby_O'Brien_Nobby_McMahon_Kevin_Slater

No. 3 – Stick around for sunset, and linger a little longer

When travelling, most people don’t take photographs at sunset, preferring to dine and savour a region’s tastes. Take a look behind you when the sun is setting as it may be highlighting buildings or trees.

Sometimes the best photographs are taken during sunset. Stay for the afterglow, because this can assist in producing unique architectural shots. With fading light, and street lights aglow, it’s an ideal time to photograph buildings.

Beechworth, Victoria, Australia, bank IMG_9968_Beechworth

No. 4 – Image format

Some subjects look better in portrait format compared to landscape. If in doubt, shoot both formats. When you’re home analysing your photos on the computer decide which looks best. For instance: lighthouses can be framed tightly in portrait format, or, framed in landscape with interesting surroundings.

Split Point Lighthouse, Aireys Inlet, Victoria, Australia IMG_5300_Aireys_Inlet

Split Point Lighthouse, Aireys Inlet, Victoria, Australia IMG_5312_Aireys_Inlet

No. 5 – Less is more

I believe the best travel photos are uncluttered and simple in composition. There’s a tendency amongst less experienced photographers to try and fit everything in, with the eventual image becoming a lot of tiny objects.

I’ll share a method I use. At times, I’ll slowly walk around with the camera to my eye searching for a strong composition. Of course when doing this, take care of where you walk, otherwise you could end up on your backside or over a cliff.

Perry Sandhills, Wentworth, New South Wales, Australia IMG_6322_Wentworth

Commence planning your next journey with the intention to create attractive travel photographs. Research the places you intend to visit via the internet, newspapers, magazines and travel guidebooks.

Sharpen your photographic eye before you leave by photographing in your local area or nearby region. Increase your chances of producing quality travel images by researching, preparing and skilfully executing.

Happy travels.

View the Darren Stones Australian Travel Photography video on YouTube.

Friday 28 August 2009

What is a good travel photograph?

By Darren Stones

I’m no expert on the matter, so don’t shoot me – please. When looking at travel photographs I look for a definite subject. How many times have we seen a beautiful sunset photograph which doesn’t contain a subject of interest within the frame?

Photographs of beautiful sunsets are common, but what lifts an image above others in the pack? Usually, it’s a definite subject in the frame besides that of the lovely coloured clouds and sky.

Large black areas without detail in a photograph tend to detract from an image. Photography is all about light, and the skilful use of it enhances the subject matter you’re photographing. The less black areas in your photos the better – I believe.

Whether it’s an outdoor candid portrait, a landscape or seascape, a building or other architectural feature, lighthouse, etc., the good use of light is paramount in impressing viewers of your images. View good travel photography and analyse why you like particular images. Where will you find good travel photography? Travel guide books, newspaper travel lift-outs, travel magazines, travel brochures, and the like.

Include a definite subject in the frame which creates interest in your travel photograph.

Dog Rocks, Batesford, Victoria, Australia IMG_4013-1_Dog Rocks
Dog Rocks by Darren Stones
2008 Grenfell Henry Lawson Festival of Arts Bronze Statuette Winner

I view many travel photographs each month, and the one’s that impress me are those that have a definite subject that’s well lit, interesting and not over manipulated. Large black areas in a travel photograph are not really conducive to holding my attention, so I generally move on to other images quite quickly.

Of course this is just my opinion; however I believe I have a better idea of what is an attractive travel photograph as compared to 10 years ago. I suppose this has come from years of viewing published photographs, practical experience, being published in various publications, received awards and sold and licensed images. No intent to blow my trumpet, just giving some sort of background to how I’ve developed.

In travel photography, it’s best to create images which are a true representation of the subject as they are the images which seem most attractive to people.

One of the best ways to improve your travel photography is to actively seek a critique. Internet forums are an excellent avenue to seek opinion on your work, and if you spare time to give some advice to your peers, you’ll generally receive such in return.

So, put your work out there for others to view, actively seek a critique, and give a bit back to those who assist you. What have you got to lose? Quite frankly, I think you’ve got plenty to gain from the interactive experience. You’ll be on your way to making better travel photographs.

Here are two sites where my Australian travel photography is exhibited:

Online print sales gallery:
Flickr Photography Gallery:

Thursday 27 August 2009

Tribute to the Man From Snowy River

By Darren Stones

A permanent monument recognising The Man From Snowy River has been created by artist Brett Garling, Outback magazine reports in their Aug/Sep 2009 issue. The monument is planned for unveiling at Corryong, Victoria, during The Man From Snowy River Bush Festival due to be held at Corryong on 8-11 April 2010.

The sculpture is in the finishing stages and local fundraising efforts are continuing with a goods and services auction featuring AFL legend Ron Barassi as guest speaker and sales of personalised pavers for $50 each.

To date, the Corryong community of approximately 1200 has raised $83,000, with the auction hoping to achieve an extra $30,000.

Corryong, Victoria, Australia IMG_8028_Corryong
Rural scene at Corryong, Victoria, Australia. Photo: Darren Stones.

Friday 21 August 2009

Canola field at Warracknabeal, Victoria, Australia

By Darren Stones

It's that time of year in Australia again where canola can be seen growing in rural areas and what a magnificent sight it is.

Whilst travelling in the western districts of Victoria in a southerly direction from Mildura I noticed the rugged landscape looking a little dry. Was a thrll to spot a few emus grazing in the scrub as I enjoy photographing our native animals in their natural environment.

Driving south along the Henty Highway approaching Warracknabeal, I spotted a healthy looking canola crop and couldn't resist photographing it.

After setting my camera on the tripod, I noticed an appoaching band of rain was beginning to enhance the overall scene with an added touch of drama. More rain is needed to give the canola crops a much needed boost so they'll flourish in readiness for harvesting during October-November.

Warracknabeal, Victoria, Australia, canola IMG_6399_Warracknabeal
Canola field along the Henty Highway at Warracknabeal, Victoria, Australia

This photograph can be purchased as a gift card, laminated print, matted print, mounted print, canvas print, poster and framed print via my sales agent, RedBubble. See following link for more details:

Wednesday 5 August 2009

Lake Daylesford

By Darren Stones

Lake Daylesford is a gorgeous location to spend a few hours. A walk around the lake provides a beautiful view of the Boathouse Cafe` and colourful reflections on the lake when the afternoon sun is shining. The cafe` is a beaut spot for a meal, or coffee and cake. This photograph can be purchased as print products, or can be licensed. Details below.

Lake Daylesford, Daylesford, Victoria, Australia IMG_5365_Daylesford
Lake Daylesford, Daylesford, Victoria, Australia

This photograph can be purchased as a greeting card, matted print, mounted print, canvas print, framed print and as a poster via my online sales gallery. If you'd like to preview the Lake Daylesford image, and the various product options, click links below for details:

Medium size framed print

Monday 3 August 2009

Junee, New South Wales

By Darren Stones

When I think of Junee, I think of the railway station. Things seem to move at a slower pace in Junee and that suits me fine. The friendly station master at the station said: “Nothing moves fast around here mate and there’s not much to do. If you like railway stations and trains, then you’ve come to the right place.” She’s right!

The Countrylink XPT service passes through here as it travels between Sydney and Melbourne. Nice blue trains that go quite fast – unlike the locals who seem to have time on their hands. Even the dogs walk slow.

If you like old buildings with exceptionally wide verandahs, come to Junee! There’s also a brilliant cafe`, which name escapes me, and a newsagency that occupies prime land. Other stuff here, too, like the Junee Correctional Centre which accommodates those rascals who haven’t paid their parking fines.

Rugby League star Laurie Daley – he with the big snoz – was born in Junee, so that’s testimony to good minerals in the local water.

Also, if you like your choo-choo trains take a peek at the Junee Roundhouse Rail & Transport Museum.

Junee Railway Station, New South Wales, Australia IMG_4451_Junee

Junee Railway Station, New South Wales, Australia IMG_4452-1_Junee

Junee Railway Station, New South Wales, Australia IMG_4463_Junee

Junee, New South Wales, Australia IMG_4467_Junee

Junee, New South Wales, Australia IMG_4468_Junee

Things to do:

Junee Roundhouse Museum
Harold Street
Junee NSW 2663
Phone: (02) 6924 2909

Junee Railway Station
Single Platform
Altitude 301 metres
You can’t miss it