This month, our featured photographer Calumn Hockey – an avid adventurer, photographer and travel writer who has traversed the globe, discovering and photographing some amazing places, takes us on a journey. Some of his adventures include the Upper Mustang of Nepal, the bustling streets of Hanoi, trekking the snow-capped peaks of New Zealand and being a tour guide at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in Central Australia. Calumn is one of the top Instagrammers, adventurers and travel writers on the NSW Mid North Coast. When perusing Calumn’s photos we realise, when a travel photo beckons you into its frame or has you daydreaming yourself right into that scene, the photographer has done their job – very well.
We asked him to put us into the picture…
What brought you to this region?
I was born in Coffs Harbour and have lived on a 100 acre farm in the Nambucca Valley ever since – which is pretty cool!
Where did you live and work prior?
In 2015 I spent 6 months as a tour guide at Uluru – Kata Tjuta, which was insanely epic, as the landscapes and adventures made for some memorable stories. Although at the time I wasn’t really as into photography as I am now. So a trip back to the Red Centre is on the cards.
What is your best advice for young photographers?
Just keep taking photo after photo and if you take a photo that turns out badly, change the settings on the camera and go again! I have taken thousands of photos but not everyone is usable. So just keep snapping away and a good one will appear!
How would you describe your style and approach to your subject matter?
I do my best to incorporate as much of the landscape as possible in to my photos while giving it some balance and scale by including a human element. For instance I was shooting my mates surfing where the waves would basically engulf them due to their sheer size.
Has anyone or anything really influenced your style?
When I first started shooting with my GoPro in early 2015, I was quite inspired by a guy from Oregon, USA by the name of Zak Shelhamer who really pushed the boundaries of experimenting with angles and natural light.
Today I look up to people like Renan Ozturk and Cory Richards whose photography completely blows my mind. It’s these guys who have the ability to seek out those real life moments occurring in front of them, and capturing it on their camera is the thing that makes me want to continue developing my skills as a photographer.
Best tip for a great photo?
To nail that shot you need a few things.
- Natural light – I cannot stress the importance of having natural light in a shot. So shoot during the golden hours (sunrise and sunset) to really make that photo stand out.
- Angles – use trees, boulders etc to your advantage to get that unique angle when taking that shot. Angles are everything these days.
- Be unique – Make the most of your foregrounds and backgrounds. The rule of thirds is probably the most important rule there.
Favourite photographic jobs?
I can’t get enough of shooting in the mountains – whether it be the rainforests of the Dorrigo Plateau or the snowy slopes of New Zealand’s Southern Alps. It’s just so inspiring to be shooting in the mountains.
Have you found your favourite subject matter in the Bellingen Shire?
The Bellingen Shire has some pretty awesome creeks and waterfalls. I can’t really go through the area without stopping by and taking some photos – either out at The Promised Land or Dorrigo National Park.
Any exciting projects on the horizon?
Fingers crossed I will be heading back to South East Asia for more adventures towards the end of the year. I am becoming more involved with the Great Koala National Park, so I hope to be photographing around the forests of the shire for sure!
How can Shire residents see examples of your work?
I am always posting my work to Instagram and National Geographic YourShot. So check these out to keep up to date with where I’m at and what I’m shooting. I also write for Nomadasaurus where a large component of my photographic works is combined with my travel writing.
With an education in International Business and marketing along with a deep passion for learning about different cultures, Calumn has been able to combine his education and passion for travel and culture into being an online social media influencer, which ranges from promoting tourism regions through photography to writing in depth guides about travel and adventure.
If you’d like to work with Photographer Calumn Hockey you can get in contact with him by email: firstname.lastname@example.org