Photographing The Gold Coast In Queensland, Australia

Exposed tree roots make for a graphic image in Surfers Paradise, Australia.

Surfers Paradise is located on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. I’ve only visited Surfers on two occasions, each time for a seminar. Fortunately my schedule allowed a little time, on each visit, to begin to explore this fascinating part of the world.

This above photo was made in a small park near the Surfers Paradise River at sunset.

The exposed tree roots made for great subject matter and the texture, color and repetition of the tree’s branches encouraged a closer exploration.

It’s a straightforward image of pretty simple subject matter that’s made interesting by light, color and composition.

An overhead street light frames the iconic Q1 Resort and Spa at Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia.

Be On The Look For Beauty, No Matter Its Guise

When you’re out and about it’s important to look for beauty where ever you can find it. And that’s just as true for a walk around the block as it is when visiting an architectural wonder or a famous national park.

It’s my experience that distilling the beauty of the natural world, via a detailed exploration of important elements within a scene, can be just as rewarding as making images of the grand landscape.

Bridge at Sunset, Surface Paradise, Queensland

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As a case in point I made the photo of the iconic Q1 Resort and Spa by using an overhead street light to frame it.

At 78 stories and 322.5 meters in height the Q1 is clearly much taller than the street light.

However, the street light was much closer to the camera and by photographing from a worms eye point of view I was able to make a very simple, yet visually dynamic image.

Lights on the jetty signal the transition from day to night at The Spit on Australia's Gold Coast.

Photographing The Jetty At The Spit On The Gold Coast

The spit is on the north end of Australia’s Gold Coast. My research told me it was a great spot for sunrise and sunset photography.

It’s easy to see why as it’s a narrow piece of land with large bodies of water, and very little to block the light, on either side.

I’d seen photos of the sand-pumping jetty and, as high tide was occurring around dusk, I planned to photograph it either side of sunset.

Unfortunately for me a photographer and model, girlfriend or customer took their position under the bridge just as I arrived.

I could easily have hung back and waited my turn, but I didn’t want to get in the way, nor be hanging around with a camera while she was messing around with her swimsuit.

It seemed like a good idea to move on and explore the beach and the wider area, which was a really good decision.

The first thing I did was to walk along the jetty. It was fun and I was surprised both by the number of fisherman up there and also at the length of the jetty. It’s an 800 metre walk to the end.

Just as I was about to come back another photographer and model arrived. Within about 30 minutes this scenario was repeated on four occasions by which stage I decided it was best to photograph the jetty from a distance.

I walked a considerable distance away from the jetty and found lots of interesting ways to incorporate it into photos made either side of sunset.

A photographer and swimsuit model under the jetty at The Spit on the Gold Coast, Australia.

Patience And A Positive Attitude Is Rewarded

In the end I decided to make a photo of the last photographer and model. After all they’d helped to determin the photos I ended up making.

As you can see I photographed them from a distance, so as not to interfere with their own photography endeavors.

To better tell the story I thought it made sense to include the jetty and a distant view of Surfers Paradise in the background.

Notice how I’ve used the structure of the jetty to frame our dynamic duo and the distant high rise towers.

The Spit is a wonderful area to explore. It’s a popular place for fisherman and families and I saw quite a few locals out walking their dogs.

The beach is long and wide and you’ll enjoy the fresh air and the meditative benefits of the light, at the edges of the day, so close to the excitement of Surfers Paradise.

I’m really looking forward to returning to the Gold Coast. There’s so much more to see and photograph and next time I’II make sure I spend more than a few days there.

Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru