Australia 2017 – A Photographic Journey


It’s always been a dream to travel to the other side of the globe. Finally here was the chance. Booking the flights in early January I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. Full of clichés in my little head I started the journey through Australia.

To put it short and sweet: the experience of three weeks ‘Down Under’ has blown me away. The sheer beauty of vibrant landscapes, cities, nature, wonderful people and very different wildlife, sights and sounds was refreshing in so many senses compared to the daily slug in good old Dublin.

To say it with a bit of Aussie slang: it’s been a ripper!

As a photographer the camera has been a loyal companion on this trip. A trip that brought me from the west to the south to the east all the way around the coastline with its flush green landscapes. So let me take you on my photographic journey.

It all started in Adelaide. Where dark, rain filled clouds welcomed me on the very first day. Disappointment initially. Little did I know that the very same evening rain and sun fought out an epic battle for supremacy in the sky – a blessing for photography.

The sea is a prevalent scene in and around Adelaide. So are the hills that rise high right on the door step of the city that’s widely mocked as the “boring city”. Not so boring in my mind, at least if you’re into landscapes, nature and hiking.


On to Perth in the west. Quite an isolated place, far away from the next big city centre. In fact Perth is actually closer to Jakarta in Indonesia than Sydney.

For all of that it offers white sand beaches, plenty of sun (that alien yellow thing in the sky that’s sighted way too little over my beloved Ireland) and as a consequence a laid back atmosphere- and of course only a short ferry ride away wildlife paradise Rottnest Island.


From one side of the continent to the other one. Sydney, the vibrant metropolis. Where to start, where to end? Simply spectacular. Harbour Bridge, Opera House – sure, but there is so much more.

It wasn’t all plain sailing. It actually were quite wet days in Sydney. I couldn’t do, see and photograph everything I would have wanted in an ideal world. There will be a next time, though. Hopefully with a little bit less torrential rain.

However those conditions can often set up the most stunning scenes. On the Circular Quay ferry, having endured another downpour, there it was, a massive double rainbow spanning all the way from Harbour Bridge across to the city center. A moment I won’t forget anytime soon.

And there was ‘Vivid Sydney’. As if Sydney wasn’t spectacular enough during the day, it transformed into a sea of lights and digital art during the night.


Spectacular nature isn’t too far away from Sydney either. On the downside I didn’t see too much of it. The Blue Mountains were covered in fog so thick I could barely see the hands in front of my eyes. Though, for a brief moment the cover broke and gave way to the stunning landscape.


Finish with a bang: the Great Ocean Road. This part of the world left a lasting mark on me. Hard to find words for its beauty. No photo can do it justice. Sunset at the Twelve Apostles – a dream of oh so many nights became reality.

A final view on the last day over the lush green hills of Apollo Bay before real life bites back. It’s been an amazing ride. I’m in love. I’ll be back. Soon.


Equipment used:
– Nikon D7100
– Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM
– Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2
– HOYA PRO1 Digital Filter Circular Polarizer
– Rangers Clarity Series ND Filter kit
– Koolehaoda Portable Camera

Loch Ard George Magic



One of my favourite places along along the Great Ocean Road during my recent three week long trip through Australia – Loch Ard George just minutes off the world famous Twelve Apostles, but less crowded.

Mystical Apollo Bay



One of my favourites from three weeks Down Under – right in front of my holiday home near Apollo Bay was this spectacular beach setting all sorts of intriguing stone formations free once the tide recedes.

This long exposure in black and white I feel conveys best the mystical atmosphere in the air on a lovely late afternoon where the night is slowly creeping in.

17mm, ISO 100, f/22, 20 sec – Nikon D7100, Sigma 17-50mm

Fly Bird Fly



Adelaide Hills



Now that I’m back in Europe and more specifically in the land of rain which at this point in time surprises with very little rain I will share some of my favourite images from my recent Australia trip over the next couple of days or so – those that haven’t found the day of light during the three weeks yet.

And I start off with the image above, taken in the wonderful Adelaide Hills. On a nice sunny day I enjoyed a hike in the Cleland Conservation Park. A beautiful, hilly park with plenty of trees with plenty of flush green leefs and a magnificent scenic over the big city all the way to the see.

The “G”



The cherry on the cake at the end of my three weeks in Australia – to see with my own eyes the enormity of the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

It’s the place of the AFL Grand Final when in traditionally held on the final Saturday in September or the first Saturday in October at the MCG when up to 100.000 fans flock through the gates.

The photograph is a panorama stitched together in Lightroom consisting of five vertical frames, taken at ISO 200, f/7.1 and 1/50 of a second.

Foggy Morning at Apollo Bay



A foggy start to what is the last morning at the Great Ocean Road of Australia. Three weeks Down Under nearing their end, however for a last time I step up to the Marriner’s Lookout.

From up there the views are splendid – the little coves and beaches become visible as heavy morning fog slowly fades away under the rising sun.

Picture above: 50mm, ISO 100, f/11, 1/125s

Tale of Twelve Apostles



Grotto, London Bridge, Gibsons Steps and Twelve Apostles – it’s the popular stretch along the Great Ocean Road in south-west Victoria with the great names and unique landmarks.

Breathtaking. The word that comes to mind wandering towards dramatic cliff edges staring on to massive stone formations which sit just off the shore while massive turquoise-blue waves crashing against their outside walls making a sound as loud, forceful and constant as if a Boing 747 is starting right beside you.

When I came down to this part of “Down Under” I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I only knew the Twelve Apostles – they are the word famous landmark you have to see once in life. What I got was so much more.

Yes, the 12 Apostles are a breathtaking sight. The sun sets, the day fades away and these massive limestone stacks are illuminated in most beautiful yellow and orange hues – magic of our wonderful planet.

Not so magic: the masses of tourists flogging to the viewpoints with their selfie sticks pushing forward aggressively to get the snap for their trendy social media profile without looking once at what’s actually right in front of their eyes.

They are loud and brash. They give those few who want to appreciate the moment of pure natural beauty no room.

Nothing new. Popular tourist spots look like that wherever you go these days. Though while the masses destroy any atmosphere one could potentially grasp at the Apostles, the same tourists – and most come by bus ona day trip from Melbourne – ignoring all the other magnificent landmarks on the Great Ocean Road.

Those places mentioned at the beginning are solitary. The London Bridge or Arch are breathtaking in their very own right, however. I found them equally as impressive as the 12 Apostles. However with nobody around, just standing their soaking in the atmosphere –  those special moments one remembers forever I truly believe.

What has to be said – and this is to the enormous credit of the Victorian Tourism Board – all these attractions are completely free. Including parking. Even at the Apostles. As it should be…. yet this is not a given thing in our modern world.

As for photography, the Great Ocean Road is a pot of gold. So many potential compositions one can explore. Of course time is the enemy for a photographer on a schedule. If I could only would visit these places again and then at different times.

Nonetheless I feel I made the most of the opportunity – both in termsof  experiencing the rich beauty in the here and now while also getting memorable photographs which will remind me of this trip for days, weeks and years to come.


Loch Ard Gorge – 17mm, ISO 100, f/7.1, 1/40 sec 


Johanna Beach – 17mm, ISO 100, f/20, 1/25 sec


Twelve Apostles – 50mm, ISO 100, f/11, 1/200 sec

Top image: Twelve Apostles – 110mm, ISO 100, f/11, 1/13 sec

The Final Image



Sometimes the things right in front of our nose are the ones that produces the goods, right? Certainly if it comes to photography. Sometimes you can drive all day long but it’s the final image taken on the own door step that awakes emotion.

Today I was heading out to explore sights and sounds along the Great Ocean Road here on the South-East coast of Australia where I arrived after a long day in the air and on the road yesterday where it all started in Sydney so early it was still dark and cold outside.

Good news this morning: no rain. Bad news: the sky’s as grey as it gets. Simply dull, without any texture, not letting any light through whatsoever. Sure, sometimes these conditions lend themselves to shoot atmospheric black and white – preferably long exposures with a bit of water in the scene.

That says I struggled to find any composition that exited me, that I felt passionate about. All looked dull & boring. An okay shot of the Cape Otway Lightstation was the best I could manage.

In the back of my mind I had it to be ‘home’ in Marengo/Apollo Bay for the potential sunset on the local beach, only 200 meters off my holiday home, which I neglected this morning.

The sun never really showed up, the grand show of a sunset certainly did not materialize. Nonetheless the beach of Marengo is interesting. Low tide was forming and set different rock formations free – some on land, some off the shore, as part of the Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary.

The night falling quickly, the light became ambient – that was the moment when it made “click” and I found numerous lovely compositions playing with slow shutter speeds.

In the end, the image above is my favourite. It was the final one I took before heading home, too. Funny how things work sometimes: 20mm, ISO 100, f/9, 10sec

The lights already went on in Apollo Bay, the night clouds pushing over the mountains bringing darkness, but a beautiful, subdued orange like back light still illuminates the rocks on front of me while the water is flowing in and out with the waves.

Good Bye Sydney….



….let’s meet again, please! Six days flew by. Half of it drowned in torrential rain. Still, this city has captivated me, its beauty shines through the thickest and darkest clouds. There are so many photographs not taken yet, my head is full of ideas. I will be back.