Improving Your Image Through Visual Communications

Journalist - Photographer - Writer

Thursday 28 January 2010

Published and Licensed Writing and Photography

By Darren Stones

My writing and photography has been published and licensed for use in various business projects. Here's a small sample of the businesses I deal with and the services undertaken and completed:

  • BestShot! publications - The Complete Guide To The Great Ocean Road (travel photography for travel guidebook)
  • Australian Traveller magazine (travel writing and travel photography for magazine and online)
  • Camera magazine - Australia (travel photography for magazine)
  • Business Spectator (travel photography for online)
  • Brisbane Seniors (photojournalism for newspaper)
  • Sunshine Coast Seniors (photojournalism for newspaper)
  • Gold Coast/Tweed Seniors (photojournalism for newspaper)
  • Melbourne Museum (travel photography for The Melbourne Story Dynamic Map project)
  • Craig Lawson Consulting (corporate photography for online and corporate brochures)
  • Dingo - Condition Based Asset Management (art photography for business premises)
  • Genesys Wealth Advisers (photography for corporate journal)
  • Juggler Design (photography for corporate calendars)
  • Discover Australia magazine Issue 1 March 2010 (travel photography and writing for magazine)
  • Discover Australia magazine Issue 2 June 2010 (travel photography and writing for magazine)
  • Hema Maps (travel photography for guidebook)
  • Viola Design (travel photography guidecard project)
  • Discover Australia magazine Issue 3 September 2010 (travel photography and writing for magazine)
  • Compton & Green Real Estate (travel photography for website)
  • Turco Hunter Architects (travel photography for brochure)

Tuesday 26 January 2010

Romancing the bovines

By Darren Stones

Kiama, New South Wales, Australia, dairy farm IMG_4383_Kiama

Title: Kiama Hinterland
Photographer: Darren Stones
Location: Saddleback Mountain Road, Kiama, NSW, Australia
Date and time: Saturday 25 April, 2009. 3:23pm.

“Inquisitive, enjoying the view, and happy to meet and greet. That was something the frisky Kiama bovines and I had in common this day. Whilst driving towards the summit of Saddleback Mountain, I spotted these beauties with their lovely ear tags. Suppose they’re an adornment for a cow that’s hoping to attract a bull, and given this spot was devoid of another bull with a camera, I had first dibs at luring the darlings closer to my wide angle zoom. On my side of the fence the pasture was waist high. So, I grabbed a large handful of grass and offered it as if it was an expensive box of milk chocolates.”
– Darren Stones

Series: In The Field

Landscapes of the Sapphire & Nature Coasts photography challenge

By Darren Stones

The Sapphire & Nature Coasts, NSW group at RedBubble completed its Landscapes of the Sapphire & Nature Coasts photography challenge on Tuesday 26 January, 2010 - Australia Day.

Six entries were submitted by group members for voting, and I'm pleased that my Cocora Beach - Eden travel photograph received five votes and was the eventual winner of the competition. It's beaut that my peers have taken time out to judge the photograph and vote for it. Thanks to those who voted and participated in the competition.

The Sapphire & Nature Coasts, NSW group displays fantastic imagery of a popular holiday region in Australia. As someone who travels to the area each year for professional travel photography and writing interests, I enjoy viewing the photography works submitted to the group by members. It's an area I appreciate very much.

Cocora Beach - Eden
Photography by Darren Stones

My travel photography images of the beautiful Sapphire Coast and Eurobodalla Coast regions are displayed in my online gallery where they are available for sale as framed prints, matted prints, mounted prints, canvas prints, laminated prints, cards and posters.

Gallery: Sapphire Coast, NSW, Australia
Gallery: Eurobodalla Coast, NSW, Australia

You're cordially invited to view a variety of landscapes, seascapes, architecture, wildlife and flora. Consider purchasing a framed print, or a series of framed prints for your home or office space. The framed prints make a great feature on any wall. Enjoy

Saturday 23 January 2010

Cobb Highway at Wanganella

By Darren Stones

Cobb Highway, Wanganella, New South Wales, Australia, The Long Paddock IMG_5667_Wanganella

Title: Cobb Highway at Wanganella
Photographer: Darren Stones
Location: Wanganella, Cobb Hwy, NSW, Australia
Date and time: Monday 10 August, 2009. 12:17pm.

“Wanganella in outback NSW doesn’t readily spring to mind as a must-see destination as it’s a dot on the map. However, its claim to fame is the introduction of the Australian Peppin merino sheep. On this day when travelling the Cobb Highway, I dropped into the Wanganella General Store adjacent Billabong Creek for a cup of tea, toasted sandwich and a chat with the friendly proprietors. From there it was a journey north to find something to photograph. I found this dead tree just up the road, composed the scene, and waited for another cattle truck to go past. The simple life.” – Darren Stones

Series: In The Field

Wednesday 20 January 2010

Kayaking on the Maribyrnong River

By Darren Stones

Maribyrnong River, Essendon, Victoria, Australia, kayaking IMG_7218_Maribyrnong_River

Title: Kayaking on the Maribyrnong River
Photographer: Darren Stones
Location: Maribyrnong River, Essendon, Victoria, Australia
Date and time: Wednesday 20 January, 2010. 12:14pm.

“Gently winding its way through Melbourne’s north-western suburbs, the Maribyrnong River is a destination for suburbanites to enjoy leisure activities. People come here to fish, kayak and row, as well as walk and jog along the banks of the river. Today my walk was made more enjoyable by being in the company of a mate. I took the camera along and had a great time photographing the comings and goings. Whilst sitting and having a chat, this bloke paddled right up in front us. He was having fun, and so were we.” – Darren Stones.

Series: In The Field

Sunday 17 January 2010

Canberra Balloon Fiesta

By Darren Stones

Canberra Balloon Fiesta IMG_8526_Canberra_Balloon_Fiesta

Title: Canberra Balloon Fiesta
Photographer: Darren Stones
Location: Forecourt of Old Parliament House, Canberra, ACT, Australia
Date and time: Saturday 26 April 2008. 7:25 AM.

“The night before I was floating on air with enthusiasm at the prospect of photographing hot air balloons drifiting through the Canberra skies. Upon waking at 6:00am, I sprung out of bed and excitedly pulled back the motel room curtain to see if the sky was clear. All I could see was fog, one which I’d describe as a pea-souper. So far from home and running to a schedule, the visions I had of blue skies dotted with multi-coloured balloons were soon drifting away. I was deflated, just like the balloons were a few hours later. What a bummer. Next time.” – Darren Stones

Series: In The Field

Top of the Wave - Surf Coast

By Darren Stones

Torquay, Victoria, Australia, surfing IMG_7119_Torquay

Title: Top of the Wave - Surf Coast
Photographer: Darren Stones
Location: Jan Juc, Torquay, Victoria, Australia
Date and time: Tuesday 29 September, 2009. 4:59 PM.

“The Surf Coast – it beckons bottle-blonde surfers from around the globe. The surf at Jan Juc on a Tuesday afternoon is more likely to see local school kids and tradesmen taking to the waves. With utes in the carpark and bikes chained to a post – the guys and sheilas are feverishly donning wetsuits and waxing their boards. Then, every so often the cream rises to the top, and a standout surfer catches the eye. Legs apart, hair flying, and ridin’ the wave. Just awesome.” – Darren Stones

Series: In The Field


By Darren Stones

Kosciuszko National Park, New South Wales, Australia, kangaroos IMG_8178_Kangaroos_Kosciuszko_National_Park

Title: Kangaroos
Photographer: Darren Stones
Location: Near Tom Groggin, Kosciuszko National Park, NSW, Australia
Date and time: Wednesday 23 April, 2008. 4:53pm.

“On this day I was travelling from Corryong to Jindabyne along the Alpine Way, and spotted these kangaroos in the Kosciuszko National Park. Earlier, I saw dozens of kangaroos in the distance and doubted I would get close enough to get a few shots. So, I continued driving south from Tom Groggin, and then the road began to head east towards Dead Horse Gap around Mt Kosciuszko – Australia’s highest mountain at 2229m. I was lucky to see the roos through the trees whilst driving and had to stop the car quickly and get within range. They detected me, but I got a few shots in the camera before the golden sunlight went behind a mountain. A brief moment caught. A great experience.” – Darren Stones

Series: In The Field

Friday 15 January 2010

Discover Australia e-magazine Issue #1 progress report

By Darren Stones

Issue #1 of Discover Australia e-magazine is due late February 2010 and it will be the official publication of the Australian Travel Photography and Writing group. My responsibilities encompass the role of the publication's Journalist, and I'm an integral part of the Editorial Team.

In recent weeks I've been compiling a wide variety of articles for the publication. They include: a group promotion page encompassing group activities, testimonial, and photography competition; an interview piece; an editorial; a travel photography advice article; and the Travel Bites column which encompasses events and interesting places to visit in each state and territory of Australia. I may have another piece or two to submit yet.

Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia, Urangan Pier IMG_4593_Hervey_Bay
Urangan Pier, Hervey Bay, Queensland
Photo: Darren Stones

A steady stream of articles is being submitted by group members, and competition entries for the Discover Australia's Best Shot competition are being received. Issue #1 is shaping up okay, and I'm finding it an enjoyable experience to be part of.

I believe the publication will be entertaining and informative, with something for everyone. As each issue is released, I trust that improvements will be made and the quality will improve. The objective is to produce a high quality publication that will gain a large readership.

Australians love to travel, and they appreciate up-to-date and relevant travel and tourism information. They also enjoy a good tale, and are grateful for advice which assists them to improve their photography skills. I'm endeavouring to see that Discover Australia is a publication that gains widespread attention and leads to serious writing and photography opportunities.

Victorian Government urges Victorians to travel in Victoria

By Darren Stones

The latest tourism figures released by Tourism Australia reveal that tourism in Victoria dropped 7 per cent over the past year. In response to the figures, the Victorian Government has urged Victorians to travel within Victoria for the summer holidays.

Tourism Minister Tim Holding said the statistics revealed that Victoria performed better than New South Wales, Western Australia and Tasmania, but declined in line with the national average.

Beechworth, Victoria, Australia, Ford Street, autumn IMG_9901_Beechworth
Ford Street, Beechworth
Photo: Darren Stones

Mr Holding said the "Labor Government continues to support tourism in Melbourne and regional Victoria helping to boost economic activity and protect local jobs.”

Mr Holding said despite the disappointing figures, Victoria continues to show "resilience in the face of the Global Financial Crisis, the devastating Black Saturday bushfires and swine flu."

“Tourism operators around Victoria are facing a challenging summer so we need to get out into the regions and experience the many great things there are to do right here in our wonderful State," Mr Holding said.

The Victorian Government is currently promoting the spa experiences offered in Daylesford, with a $7.3 million advertising campaign underway. The campaign is designed to attract visitors to Victoria.

Lake Daylesford, Daylesford, Victoria, Australia IMG_5365_Daylesford
Lake Daylesford
Photo: Darren Stones

The Victorian and Federal Government is investing $10 million to lure visitors to regions affected by the Black Saturday bushfires said Mr Holding.

Information sourced from Tourism Victoria.

Funds injection for Port of Echuca to boost Murray River tourism

By Darren Stones

The Port of Echuca, home to Victoria's largest paddle steamer fleet, will undergo a transformation with $14.2 million to be invested in revitalising the tourist precinct.

Victorian Premier John Brumby announced in Echuca on Wednesday, 13 January 2010, that $4.9 million would be invested into the Echuca Wharf with the aim to create a first-class tourist attraction.

Funds will also be spent on a new historical centre, new retail facilities, Davies Street Skyway, developments to mooring infrastructure, and new public viewing areas.

Mr Brumby said in a Victorian Government media release: "We understand how important tourism is to the liveability and sustainability of this stunning part of Victoria and revitalising the port will position Echuca and the region for a bright, prosperous future.”

“It is estimated that this project will position the Port of Echuca to attract a further 22,000 people each year. This will secure jobs and attract new tourism to the region, locking-in its liveability.”

Echuca, Victoria, Australia, Historic Precinct  IMG_1767_Echuca
Port of Echuca
Photo: Darren Stones

Jacinta Allan, Regional and Rural Development Minister, said that the Murray River attracts 1.9 million overnight visitors each year.

Mr Brumby said the Port of Echuca contributes $250 million to the local economy and employs approximately 3000.

Information sourced from the Victoria Government.

Saturday 9 January 2010

In and around Port Campbell

By Darren Stones

The Twelve Apostles tends to be part of a day trip for most travelling the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia, but for those with time up their sleeve, Port Campbell is the perfect stopover point for a few days.

Twelve Apostles, Victoria, Australia, Port Campbell National Park, Great Ocean Road IMG_1962_Twelve_Apostles
Twelve Apostles

The weather during summer and autumn is ideal for exploring the limestone cliffs of Port Campbell National Park. With iconic natural features being the major drawcard, the township is compact and friendly. With cafes and a cosy pub, your tummy bugs can be satisfied in a jiffy.

London Bridge, Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia IMG_7436_London_Bridge
Lookout at London Bridge

Motel accommodation is popular and it’s advisable to enquire in advance during busier times. Comfortable apartments and a caravan park can be found within walking distance of the takeaways, with a supermarket able to provide most of your needs.

Port Campbell has a small jetty which is popular amongst fishermen, and it’s a beaut platform for diving . The combination of fishing and teenagers diving into the depths tends to result in fishermen going home with empty buckets.

Port Campbell Jetty

The Visitor Information Centre is located in Morris Street and is the best place to source fact sheets from the friendly staff who can provide advice about local highlights.

Visitor Information:
Visit 12 Apostles -

There's no other place like Lightning Ridge

By Darren Stones

Over the decades the lure of riches has drawn many Australian city slickers to the opal fields of Lightning Ridge in New South Wales. It is a tight-knit community with unique idiosyncrasies, and that is part of its allure. With a strong reliance on tourism, the Ridge offers experiences that could stay etched in your memory.

Lightning Ridge, New South Wales, Australia IMG_5476_Lightning_Ridge
Welcome to Lightning Ridge

Take a mine tour and explore the depths of confined working areas; see the unique golf course with its greens that are not green; take a Red Car Door Tour in the dusty and rugged mining area – that’s something a little different from the norm.

Lightning Ridge, New South Wales, Australia IMG_5610_Lightning_Ridge
Lightning Ridge Mine

The locals gathered at the pub enjoy spinning a yarn for out-of-towners whilst downing a few ales. I’ve found some of the local tour operators to be more than just characters – they are entertainers who gain laughs at the drop of a hat. Whether there’s much truth in half of what they say is open to debate, however it sure leaves the tourists with a smile on their dial and the feeling of having received value for money.

Lightning Ridge, New South Wales, Australia IMG_5641_Lightning_Ridge_Red_Car_Door_Tour
Red Car Door Tour

Lightning Ridge is best visited from April to September. With stifling summer temperatures, even some of the locals head to the coast for a few months relief. It’s a place where the gift of the gab helps to sell black opals.

Visitor Information:
Lightning Ridge Australia -

Monday 4 January 2010

Murray River, Khancoban

By Darren Stones

Khancoban, New South Wales, Australia, Murray River IMG_8059_Khancoban

Title: Murray River, Khancoban
Photographer: Darren Stones
Location: NSW/VIC border, Murray River, near Khancoban, NSW, Australia
Date and time: Wednesday 23 April, 2008. 10:01am.

“A gorgeous autumn morning by Australia’s most talked about river. Just a bit earlier, a fisherman headed downstream in his motorised punt, whilst every so often I saw the the surface of the water broken by a fish. Possibly a trout. Such a peaceful and scenic spot where time passes by, as do tourists in campervans heading for the NSW alps. The Mighty Murray has struggled in recent years due to a lack of rain, but she still retains her beauty and allure. People love her, and so do I.” – Darren Stones

Series: In The Field

Sunday 3 January 2010

The Long Paddock - Hay Plains

By Darren Stones

Hay, New South Wales, Australia, The Long Paddock  IMG_5944_Hay

Title: The Long Paddock – Hay Plains
Photographer: Darren Stones
Location: 35kms north of Hay, Cobb Hwy, NSW, Australia
Date and time: Tuesday 11 August, 2009. 4:18 PM.

“There’s bugger all out here folks, and when it comes to finding interesting subject matter to photograph, you have to use your imagination. This leaning road marker is located on the tourist route known as The Long Paddock, 35kms north of Hay in outback New South Wales. You can travel for miles out here and find photographic inspiration hard to come by. However, with clouds floating across, nice afternoon light, and the leading line of the Cobb Highway, anything’s possible. When I was taking this photograph, the missus was having a doze in the car because she thought the area wasn’t worth fossicking. That said, I’ll be back.” – Darren Stones

Series: In The Field

Friday 1 January 2010

Do It In Deni

By Darren Stones

Deniliquin, New South Wales, Australia, Town Hall IMG_5611_Deniliquin

Title: Deniliquin Town Hall
Photographer: Darren Stones
Location: Cressy Street, Deniliquin, NSW, Australia
Date and time: Sunday 9 August, 2009, 6:14PM

"Renowned as the ute capital of the world, Deniliquin in rural NSW has quite a few eye-catching subjects to photograph. Before heading to the local RSL for a plate of grub and a schooner of Carlton, the moment seemed right during the blue hour to get a keeper of the Deniliquin Town Hall. What amazed me whilst standing here was the effect one street light could have on the architectural features of the building. With the clouds moving across nicely, it was a matter of waiting for a break in the sparse and slow moving traffic. Deniliquin is on the Long Paddock touring route." – Darren Stones

Series: In The Field