As Cris and Papa George (pictured, with the big smile) reminded me, it’s been seven years since I last photographed their island, Erakor – and it’s always a pleasure to come back.

Super friendly staff, great food, and a postcard-perfect island in the middle of an emerald lagoon that I plan to do justice to ……the minute the weather changes (’cause, yes, it appears the gods – who never seem to tire of the same joke – have decided to test my patience again by plunging me into gloomy conditions).

I like this one (above), two old fellas having a laugh and passing on what they know about fishing to their young and eager audience (including sneaking a frozen Red Emperor into the esky so the kids had “evidence of their catch” when they got back home).

I’ll post more later….as soon as the gods tire.

Post Script: The next day they were obviously distracted so I managed to get the drone up for half an hour (below) …..so there was reason to celebrate.

And, how’s this for a story: It’s been more than 20 years since I photographed Alice (below) in what became a much celebrated picture in Vanuatu because of her winning smile. Clearly, nothing’s changed.

“Travel Magazine Editor: “We have a full page on page three to fill. Does anyone know where we can get a high quality photograph quickly?” Travel Wholesaler: “We need a great cover photo for our annual brochure.” Journalist: “I’ve written a great yarn on the trip I’ve just returned from. Where can I get my hands on some good pics to go with it?” Tour Operator: I wish I had some generic photographs of the destination to promote my business on the new web site I’m building.”

Our two latest on-Line Photo libraries

Two of Australia’s regional tourism authorities have begun seeing the benefits of having high quality promotional photographs made instantly available through their own On-line Photo Libraries linked to their web sites.

We’ve just completed two more libraries for regional tourism authorities in Western Australia – Coral Coast Tourism and Australia’s North-West.

The new libraries see the best of a region’s photographs made instantly available to media, travel agents and local tourism operators to promote the region.

Users simply register their details and indicate the purpose of usage through a secure, password-protected system. Once approved, they can browse the library as often as they want, click on the image that appeals to them, and download the high resolution photograph to their desktop – ready to use to promote the region (which, understandably, is a condition of entry).

A range of features has been built into the libraries to suit the particular needs of tourism authorities (which you can read about at the following link if you want more details: www.kirklandphotos.com/portfolio/9).

As you might imagine, apart from providing industry members with high quality photographs to promote their own operations and the region, having the images readily available to media and travel agents has the potential to generate thousands of dollars in free publicity.

Next Stop: Vanuatu.

Aitutaki Lagoon Resort and Spa

If I had any doubts as a tourism photographer about the value of using a drone, they disappeared when I captured this photograph (above) on Aitutaki.

It simply wouldn’t have happened otherwise.

I would have needed to position a ladder, it’s unlikely I could have anticipated the light or the tide in time, and I would never have got the dancer in position. Fact is, we had just a 15 minute window from when I saw the potential for the pic and raced back to grab the drone, to the sunlight disappearing and the sand bar the dancer was standing on being swallowed by the incoming tide.

And technically, I can’t fault the quality of the image. While this pic is obviously a low res image for the post, it’s a 50 meg Tiff file, with both the subject and the scenery sharply in focus (despite the heavy wind).

From earlier posts you will know this is my second assignment since I bought the Phantom 4 Pro, and I couldn’t be more delighted with the results (not to say the anxiety of crashing it has passed I’d have to say. In fact, I had a landing bingle today in heavy winds which, not-so-remarkably you might suggest, coincided with the arrival of my client. “Is this the first time you’ve flown it?” he said, observing my desperate effort to bring my flailing piece of equipment to a halt as it thrashed across the beach).

Otherwise, four days to go on Rarotonga Island before I head back from the Cooks largely satisfied with the outcome. Rain’s predicted for the next few days but I’m hopeful of at least a serious snorkelling shot in the resort’s marine sanctuary on the way out.

I’ll look to post a short preview shortly.

I’ve just ended day three of a five day shoot I’m doing of Aitutaki Lagoon Resort and Spa, here in the Cook Islands.

In my opinion, it’s one of the gems of the South Pacific.

We’ve had a couple of breaks in the weather so I’ve managed to send the drone up but it was short-lived as the clouds moved in. So, we grabbed a couple of the staff and did some interior shots of the overwater bungalows (below). What a great smile – well done Nanise.

It’s a stunning property to photograph and we’ve found some talent to work with so, hopefully, I’ll have some appealing images to add shortly (…..please Gods, I’m begging you, just one day of sunshine and no wind and I promise I’ll not think any unkind thoughts about Donald Trump for at least a few hours).

 

Ps…..you’re right. I can’t do it. The guy’s just an embarrassment.