Improving Your Image Through Visual Communications

Journalist - Photographer - Writer

Sunday 26 February 2012

Book your place now in the 2012 Grenfell Festival Travel Photography Workshop

By Darren Stones

"You can improve your travel photography knowledge and skills by participating in my travel photography workshops. Learn how to research, plan, and undertake travel photography in the field. Designed to be informative, interactive, practical, and fun, the workshops will inspire your creativity to make better travel photographs." - Darren Stones

2012 Grenfell Festival Travel Photography Workshop

Monday 20 February 2012

How to shoot a paraglider and spectators in one shot

Travel Photography - Advice and Tips

By Darren Stones

One of the fascinating aspects of travel photography is photographing people watching action. It's a good idea to keep looking at the crowd and see how you can work spectators into your action shots.

Paragliding is not the easiest sports to combine the action and spectators, but it can be done with an appropriate selection of lens and vantage point.

Near Bells Beach in Victoria, there is an excellent lookout for spectators to view paragliding. It's a brilliant spectacle to see the paragliders flying over the heads of onlookers on a sunny day, and the use of a wide-angle lens provides the photographer the chance to get up close to the spectators and photograph them and a paraglider.

Travel Photography Tip: Put a wide-angle lens on your camera, get in close to the spectators, and capture them watching the action. It makes for interesting people shots.

Paragliding at Torquay, Victoria, Australia IMG_5616_Torquay
Paragliding at Torquay by Darren Stones

Photograph details:
Camera: Canon EOS 20D
Lens: Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Lens @ 10mm
Filter: Polariser
Exposure: f/8, 1/640sec, ISO-400, RAW

Sunday 19 February 2012

Gloomy weather photography at Port Campbell National Park

Travel Photography - Advice and Tips

By Darren Stones

Gloomy weather provides landscape photographers the opportunity to get creative. With a wide-angle lens, you can create drama in your landscape scenes by including plenty of foreground interest and a threatening sky.

This image taken in the Port Campbell National Park in Victoria was made using those exact principles.

Travel Photography Tip: Shoot wide when it's gloomy. Use a wide-angle lens.

Port Campbell National Park, Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia IMG_2013_Port_Campbell_National_Park
Port Campbell National Park by Darren Stones

Photograph details:
Camera: Canon EOS 20D Body
Lens: Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Lens @ 10mm
Filter: Lee Graduated Neutral Density .9ND G S
Exposure: f/14, 1/15sec, ISO-100, RAW
Other: Manfrotto 190PROB Tripod, Canon Remote Switch RS-80N3

Tuesday 14 February 2012

Grenfell's Henry Lawson Festival honours the arts

By Darren Stones

Artists will shine during the June long weekend in Grenfell, New South Wales. Painters, poets, photographers and writers will be celebrated as they are awarded the highly sought-after bronze statuettes in their respective categories. Some artists will travel vast distances from around Australia to catch-up with old friends and enjoy a bit of a yarn.

Unique opportunity
The Grenfell Henry Lawson Festival of Arts provides a unique and valuable opportunity to mix with fellow artists. As a photographer, learning about what other artists do and their motivation for doing it, does inspire me greatly. I've made good friends in Grenfell and sat with some around the crackling camp fire while sipping tea and eating damper while listening to the poets at the Henry Lawson obelisk.

Grenfell Henry Lawson Festival of Arts IMG_0764_Grenfell

Great vibe
Grenfell's 55th Henry Lawson Festival of Arts is certain to produce a great vibe. You might like to come along and see the guinea pigs fly, watch the singlet-wearing blokes at the woodchop, eat a sausage in bread while listening to buskers, enjoy a dramatic play, recite a poem or two, or participate in a travel photography workshop.

Grenfell Henry Lawson Festival of Arts IMG_0989_Grenfell

Chips flying
The woodchop competition sure draws a crowd, and with the chips flying outside the Railway Hotel, onlookers will be cheering loudly. It's one of the most popular attractions during the festival, and I've seen some of the crafty old blokes beat the young axemen in the various events.

Grenfell Henry Lawson Festival of Arts IMG_0724_Grenfell

Get involved
I vividly remember the street parade in 2008 where I saw a young girl riding a bull. Being a city slicker from Melbourne, that's not something I see every day of the week. The parade is always a great spectacle and a perfect opportunity to get involved and take photographs. Community groups, school children, Cobb & Co, vintage car clubs, the Grenfell Town Band, dance groups, and various other floats add colour and noise to the festival's most popular event.

Grenfell Henry Lawson Festival IMG_0247_Grenfell_Henry_Lawson_Festival_of_Arts_2008

Big show
For a small town, Grenfell puts on a big show, and they do it with gusto. You can browse through the art exhibition and snap up a bargain or two. The photography exhibitions display award-winning photographs that would look great hanging on a wall. A wide variety of street stalls cater to those with a sweet tooth and those who need clobber.

Grenfell Henry Lawson Festival of Arts IMG_0311_Grenfell

Sacred place
This year's festival theme is "The life and times of Henry Lawson 1867-1922." Henry was a bit of a character, and a great writer who is part of Australian folklore. He was born on the Grenfell goldfields and an obelisk is located on the spot where he was born. Whenever I visit Henry's obelisk, I feel like I'm in a sacred place.

Henry Lawson Obelisk, Grenfell, New South Wales, Australia IMG_0477_Henry_Lawson_Obelisk_Grenfell

Local beauties
The Festival Queen is back on this year's program and it's sure to attract local beauties. The ladies will be doing their best to raise monies for local charities, and the winner will go on to represent the festival for the following 12 months.

Great celebration
I'm certain the Grenfell people would roll out the red carpet if they had some, but a handshake or a kiss on the cheek is a given. Come along, have fun, and enjoy a great celebration of the arts.

Grenfell Henry Lawson Festival of Arts IMG_0386_Grenfell

Further information
The 55th Grenfell Henry Lawson Festival of Arts will be held on 8-11 June, 2012.

Sunday 12 February 2012

A travel photography workshop can improve your photography

Travel Photography - Advice and Tips

By Darren Stones

Are you a photographer who wants to learn new skills? With a little research and planning, and new knowledge and skills, you can produce better travel photographs.

Photography is a healthy activity and it provides the opportunity to discover new places. A travel photography workshop in a friendly environment with like-minded people inspires creativity and the sharing of ideas.

The 2012 Grenfell Festival Travel Photography Workshop will be held on Saturday June 9, 2012 at 8.30-11.30am. I am hosting the workshop, which will be a 3-hour guided walking tour workshop of historic Grenfell in New South Wales during the 55th Henry Lawson Festival of Arts.

Topics covered in the workshop include:
  • Architecture
  • Landscape
  • People
  • Streetscape
  • Festivals
  • Composition
  • Lighting
  • Technique

Each participant will receive an information pack containing gifts, travel photography advice articles and tips, and photographer's guide.

Further information:
Check the 'Workshops' page where you can download the Information Sheet and Booking Form, and a workshop flier, which you can print and distribute.
Phone: 0419 200 469 Email:

Wednesday 8 February 2012

Grenfell's 2012 Henry Lawson Festival to inspire travel photography

A Celebration of Photography

By Darren Stones

For many photographers, the lure of travelling to towns in rural Australia is undeniable. Grenfell in the central-west of New South Wales is steeped in history and the sense of community is strong. With friendly locals mindful of promoting their town, they display pride in organising their major tourism event for the year.

Information and Booking Form:
2012 Grenfell Festival Travel Photography Workshop Information and Booking Form

Volunteers provide countless hours to organising the Henry Lawson Festival, which is held on the June Long Weekend each year. The result of their efforts is that locals and visitors from around Australia get to experience a great celebration of the arts.

Grenfell Postcard by Darren Stones

Travel Photography Workshop

Information and Booking Form:
2012 Grenfell Festival Travel Photography Workshop Information and Booking Form

In seeking to inspire people to visit Grenfell during the festival to participate in photography, I am conducting the 2012 Grenfell Festival Travel Photography Workshop. The 3-hour guided photography walk around historic Grenfell, which has been endorsed by the festival committee, will provide workshop participants the opportunity to gain a better understanding of travel photography subjects, technique, composition, and lighting. This understanding is designed to assist participants to acquire a heightened level of confidence, and to approach image making with a reasonable expectation of creating better travel photographs.

Information and Booking Form:
2012 Grenfell Festival Travel Photography Workshop Information and Booking Form

Information Pack
Workshop participants will receive an information pack that contains specialised advice and tips on how to improve your travel photography skills and knowledge. The pack will contain gifts, and travel, tourism and photography information about Grenfell and the surrounding region.

Places for the 2012 Grenfell Festival Travel Photography Workshop are limited to 10. It is highly advised to book early.

For further information about the workshop, check the Workshops page on this site.

Slideshow of Grenfell

Competition and Exhibition
Photographers are provided a unique opportunity to enter their photographs in the photography competition and have those works displayed in the exhibition for the duration of the four-day festival. Visitors to the exhibition are usually impressed with the high quality of imagery displayed, and in subsequent years many have become inspired to enter their own photographs.

I highly encourage photographers to enter the festival's photography competition as it will make for a fulfilling weekend for those photographers who participate in the workshop and see their photography hanging at the exhibition.

Information and Booking Form:
2012 Grenfell Festival Travel Photography Workshop Information and Booking Form