“Throughout the week, storms and hail have lashed the region,” crackled ABC news on the car radio as I drove to the airport, ending a seven day assignment in Victoria’s High Country – my last assignment for the year.

With fog on Mt Hotham and Mt Buffalo so thick it brought our cars to a standstill; winds and rain strong enough to prevent anyone from leaving their vehicles; hail that caused our crew to scamper for cover on more than one occasion; and bolts of lightening that threatened to blow us off the mountain, it’s been, well, an interesting shoot.

Not so remarkably you might suggest, the stylist all but fled at the end of the assignment. And my client, who I asked to steady a lighting stand in the middle of the tempest not even thinking it would act as a  lightening rod, said she never hugged her children so tightly when she finally got home. You have to laugh – certainly I did when I looked back over my shoulder and caught the expression on her face. She now calls me “Thor” (sadly, not for the resemblance between me and Chris, but for my apparent ability to attract such ferocious weather).

Still, as you can see from the preview below, it’s been a productive shoot  – in style, sort of Katmandu meets Country Road and Gourmet Traveller.

I return to the region in April to further strengthen the Victorian tourism authority’s photo library with images around the changing colors of the season.


blog picstoryboard NE 2


  • Odette Nightsky (Kirkland) - December 7, 2014 - 4:28 pm

    Great job. Great story telling as usual. They look wonderful and very inviting.ReplyCancel

  • ACharlie - December 8, 2014 - 1:37 pm

    Oolala! ;-)ReplyCancel

  • Martin - December 8, 2014 - 1:56 pm

    Some of your best workReplyCancel

    • davidkirkland - December 8, 2014 - 2:03 pm

      Wow, high praise from someone who knows my work well. Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Sose Annandale - December 9, 2014 - 3:59 am

    As always fantastic work David, but why I am not surprised about the weather!!!! Havoc should be your middle name hahahaha!!!ReplyCancel

    • davidkirkland - December 9, 2014 - 4:48 am

      If it wasn’t for all that rain I brought with me for that one shoot, your gardens wouldn’t be the best in the South Pacific! Ta for the kind words.- DKReplyCancel

  • Victoria - December 10, 2014 - 4:33 pm

    Gorgeous photos… but it looks so cold! As a Pacific Island follower I am shivvering looking at them and glad we have been at least experiencing stormy weather with lows of 20C! But they are beautifully shot (as usual!).
    I wish my camping trips had gourmet produce like that rather than the freeze dried variety!ReplyCancel

    • davidkirkland - December 10, 2014 - 5:32 pm

      Your time’s coming Victoria ( as soon as I track Allen down). In 2015 we’ll (that’s right,you and I) be making vanuatu’s premier resort look just as inviting.ReplyCancel



From the moment he turned up, you knew Steve Maxwell was the man for the lead role in the Victorian High country photo shoot.

It was always going to be him – an actor (and a Qantas steward in-between gigs) – plunging down that mountain ravine, leaning back on his horse in that classic scene from The Man from Snowy River movie.

The only problem was we didn’t have a horse and the tourism authority had moved on  (i.e. to marketing great food, hiking, the High Country scenery etc).

Still, as this picture indicates, that wasn’t going to stop him.

But what a delight it is for a photographer to have an actor on the shoot as talent. There wasn’t a moment I pointed my camera towards him where he wasn’t acting or for that matter, helping everyone around him play the role he knew I needed for the photograph. Every setting produced several different poses – each delivered before I even got close to opening my mouth to offer direction.

What a pleasure he made the shoot (thanks also Nadia and the kids) – and what a productive assignment.

I’ll post a storyboard of images shortly.

…..by the way, if you’re ever in need of a non-stop action man who’s played in the TV series Spartacus (he was probably the one decimating entire legions), I know just the guy. 

  • Odette Nightsky (Kirkland) - December 4, 2014 - 7:54 am

    Ha! Love it. I knew you would get to the man from snowy river somehow :-)ReplyCancel

We’ve just finished scouting locations for the High Country shoot (three days of 4am starts and 11pm finishes to work out the light. Joy) and we begin in ernest today with stylist and talent arriving shortly.

Not so remarkably some might suggest, storm clouds have started brewing….in fact, it just started hailing!

On the Shot List: Hiking, mountain lakes and rivers, big skies, cycling, fine food and wine – more hiking – and camping.

Here’s a couple we did yesterday on Lake Catani, Mt Buffalo to get us started (cute kids methinks).


  • Odette Nightsky (Kirkland) - December 1, 2014 - 8:28 am

    Ah well clouds will hopefully help the mood, better than summer fire :-)

    Great shot of the kids. Time to bring people back to the simple pleasures.ReplyCancel

    • davidkirkland - December 1, 2014 - 9:19 am

      Yep, the old marshmallows on an open fire can do that to you. ….Just look through the family album of all the photos of you as a kid… Oh, I forgot.ReplyCancel

  • timmy - December 6, 2014 - 8:33 pm

    Well Done David

    Great selection of photos….your client will be happy…..


apps blog

There are two phone apps I’ve come to depend on as a professional travel and tourism photographer – The Easy Release – Model Release App and the Sun Seeker App (above).

Both cost under $5 and have made my life so much easier.

As I wrote some time ago, I have two international photo libraries representing my work, both of which require detailed, signed model releases to accompany any photographs featuring people (in the old days of film, you just needed a signature on the back of a business card. Now it takes a page of legalese no one can fathom to sign away your life). Printed releases have been a nightmare for me with having to attach each photo to a dog-eared document excavated from the deepest recesses of my camera bag before compiling them in a digital format to parcel and send away. But, with the Easy Release, you can open the app, start the process and hand your phone to the model to have them do it all – details, selfie, and signature (using finger) – before pressing the send button and having a PDF copy of the contract sent to both you and them for your records. What a Godsend!

I had the Sun Seeker App sitting on my I-Phone for a couple of months before I recognised its value on the shoot I just did in Victoria where, for the life of me, I couldn’t work out where the sun was going down. There was daylight saving thrown in, big trees and long shadows to consider and a sun that chose to set and rise everywhere but where I expected it to. The Sun Seeker App’s GPS software, however, told me exactly where the sun would be at any hour of the day, what time it rose and set and, somewhat remarkably, it even had a 3D function to better determine how the features in front of me would  be effected by the sunlight.

Both just amazing – and worth baring in mind the next time you’re heading out on a shoot.

For more tips on travel photography, click here

A quick session this afternoon with Ned Kelly outrunning the guards and we’re done here in Indigo Shire (though I return next week to do a wider shoot for the regional tourism authority).

It’s been a particularly productive assignment, largely due to the pre-planning we did a few weeks earlier and the sensible decision on the council’s part to get professional talent in for at least part of the shoot (as I’ve long said, having a handsome couple on hand to drop into your photographs can improve the quality and range of imagery by as much as 80%).

As you can see from this sample preview below, emphasis was focused on the appeal of a cycling trail that weaves through the shire around vineyards, rural settings and historic townships.


Indigo Preview

Indigo Preview

  • Odette Nightsky (Kirkland) - November 16, 2014 - 5:21 pm

    Some great shots there. Love the Ned Kelly photos. Looks like a lovely place to getaway from the big smoke and enjoy some pleasures as a couple.ReplyCancel

  • ACharlie - November 17, 2014 - 12:43 pm

    Love the pics David! They’re full of life ;-)ReplyCancel

  • Ned Kelly II - November 19, 2014 - 6:13 am

    FANtastic David….makes me want to head East
    Off to cycle the Rail Trail of McLaren Vale (SA) today and home along the Heysen Trail
    Ned Kelly IIReplyCancel

    • davidkirkland - November 19, 2014 - 6:33 am

      But then what would you do tomorrow, you mountain goat! Signed:As always, struggling to keep up with you.ReplyCancel

  • canvas printing - December 2, 2014 - 2:24 am

    your shots are amazing so full colour and the colours are so bright and full of life i love the waterfall shots they are so beautiful.ReplyCancel