Byron Bay, where have you been all my life?
At the end of my big trip a few months ago, I found myself coming back to New Zealand via Australia, a usual stop on long-haul flights between this part of the world and Europe.
While more often than not when I am in Australia, I am in Queensland, an area that I love and know pretty well, so I was really excited this time around when I got the chance to check out Byron Bay for the first time with Canon.
I’ve heard bits and pieces about Byron since moving to New Zealand, but I had no idea what kind of place it was or what the fuss was all about. I just figured it would be another typical surf town. It didn’t take long after arriving to fall over heels for it.
Byron Bay is pretty awesome!
Australia’s most easterly point, while it has amazing beaches, great surf, beautiful shops and delicious eateries, the thing that makes it stand out from the crowd is the vibe – there is an awesome young – fun – hip – trendy – chilled lifestyle to the place. In a way it almost reminded me of Wanaka but in a warmer, bigger place.
For me, the atmosphere of a town is the most important thing when traveling. It’s the people that make it stand out. Have you ever felt that way about a place?
But enough on Byron Bay for a moment, now I really want to talk about why I was there. If you’ve followed me over the years on the blog, or also on Instagram, you might have noticed I’ve become really interested in photography.
Well, I’ve always been interested in photography but through my travels over the years I’ve quietly been working on improving, especially since I’ve become so interested in Instagram. While the techy side of taking photos is something I will always both struggle with and love in equal measure, I’ve always been mostly interested in composition and how to tell a story through my shots.
I love the art of taking photos, watching different people’s styles evolve and grow and also to challenge myself. And through my work on my blog and Instagram, I’ve been lucky enough to meet and work with some very inspirational photographers since moving to New Zealand.
So when Canon invited me to check out a new TV series they are launching in partnership with National Geographic (two of my favorite things in one place OMG) called Tales By Light the answer was when and where and I’ll be there.
Tales by Light is a series that follows 5 Australian photographers around the world working to get the shot in the most extreme places showcasing the experience from the eyes of the storyteller themselves.
Behind every image there is a powerful story.
As an aspiring photographer, it blew me away. And then most of the time I thought, wow, that’s a lot of work. This will always be my downfall as a photographer I imagine haha.
After checking into my room at the Apartments Inn Byron Bay, I headed off to meet everyone. We had three of the photographers in the series with us in Byron for the weekend along with the Canon Collective and various members of the Canon team.
It was a weekend of learning and getting inspired.
We started off the weekend with an Instameet on the main beach in town with dozens of locals and all the Canon team.
At one point one of the Canon Collective guys came over carrying a 600mm lens and asked if I wanted to give it a try. My eyes bulged at the massive lens and said NO then yes. It was kinda intimidating guys!
But it’s not everyday you get to play with a $11,000 lens. Not that I knew how to use it. The rest of the night was so much fun, and I love how open and friendly and helpful everyone was. I know from personal experience, I get nervous around other photographers and easily intimidated, so it was really nice to be around such established and well-known photographers and to see how humble and helpful they were. Love.
My favorite part of the night was getting to practice light painting, with the guys running up and down the beach with glowing lights painting the sky and letting us practice taking long exposures of the lights, 30 second photos.
The next morning was hot air ballooning at sunrise with the team, so much fun.
I love feeling inspired to work on and try new things with my photography and writing. I have always been a big believer in pushing limits and challenging yourself, especially if you work in a creative industry like me. Watching Darren dive wrecks and listen to Peter’s stories about filming penguins in Antarctica or Krystle shoot while doing hardcore adventure sports is beyond inspiring. But it also goes to show that anything is possible.
I don’t want to give too much away!
So Tales by Light currently is only available on Nat Geo Channel AU, thought I am sure some of the more tech savvy of you guys outside Australia can get around that cough cough.
Hopefully that will change, let me know below in the comments if it’s something you’d like to watch but you’re outside Australia!
Are you interested in photography? Do you have a specific photographer who inspires you? Do you like to challenge yourself while traveling too?