With Australia's 25760 km (16000+ miles) coastline, more than most other countries, it should be easy to find enough distinctive spots for photos with a unique and unmistakeably OZ flavour, right?
So why do I repeatedly find myself with shots that could have been taken … well ... ANYWHERE??
See if you recognise any of THESE!
1 The Fishing Boats:
|Fishing boats at Denham Jetty, Shark Bay, Western Australia|
If you're walking the esplanade in a small fishing village like Shark Bay's Denham on the Western Australian coast, it's pretty hard to avoid a fishing boat cliché shot.
Like this one (above) of a couple of trawlers tied up at the jetty!
Nail that cliché by waiting for the late afternoon light – not only will the golden glow washing the whole scene lift your subject matter out of the ordinary; it MAY even make it look like you know what you're doing!!
2 The Arty Water Shot:
|Late afternoon sunlight on water, Denham, Western Australia|
Fishing boats on the water in late afternoon light is all very well.
But play your cards right and get TWO cliché shots for the price of one by capturing the light on the water.
And no one's EVER done it before …
3 The Footprints in the Sand:
|Footprints in the Sand, Sultana Point, South Australia|
Why do I feel a photo coming on whenever I'm faced with pristine sand marred only by human footprints heading off into the middle distance?
And why don't animal and/or bird footprints work the same magic??
Maybe there's a REAL photographer out there who can answer these questions – but in the meantime, I don't need to tell you where this photo was taken do I?!
That's because it really could be ANYWHERE!
4 The Deserted Beach:
|Ballina South Beach, North New South Wales|
Wild, windswept, wave-ridden. Not a soul in sight as the sand and seawater mist blows down the length of the beach.
Just HAVE to photograph it, right?
But what can't be seen in this shot of Ballina South Beach in northern New South Wales, is that it's only a few kilometres south of Byron Bay, Australia's easternmost point that's always chocker with tourists!
A few kilometres north of Byron and across the border into Queensland and the Gold Coast with the ultra-developed (by Australian standards) Surfers Paradise provides a stunning contrast to the solitude of this beach.
5 The Coastal Development:
|Gold Coast, Queensland|
And here's the Gold Coast in all its glory. Spot Surfers Paradise at the top of the shot!! It's de rigueur to photograph the view up the coast from ANY vantage point – a headland, a lookout, a high-rise!
Life is full of ironies like taking a cliché shot of such a clichéd beach scene ...
But when a malfunctioning film camera inadvertently adds effects like this to the photo, one could convince oneself that one did NOT take a cliché shot.
6 The Ship on the Horizon:
|Ship offshore at Port Giles, South Australia|
The horizon/ship duo is an irresistible combination for most amateur photographers.
Like this grain ship waiting offshore from South Australia's loading dock at Port Giles on a clear February summer's day.
Especially when the shot can be captioned with another maritime cliché involving words about painted ships and painted oceans ...
Or is that just me?
7 The Island Sunset:
|Sunset, Lord Howe Island, New South Wales|
Part of any tropical island paradise experience worth its salt involves sunsets, beaches and water. And a few random silhouettes will make this cliché complete!
The only place in New South Wales where the sun sets over the ocean, Lord Howe Island, approximately 600 km offshore, has more to offer than cliché sunset shots.
But who cares when the cliché looks like this?
8 The Lighthouse:
|Cape Spencer Lighthouse, Innes National Park, South Australia|
An inextricable part of the Australian coastal landscape, it's virtually impossible to avoid taking a lighthouse photo at some point.
Luckily, many stretches of the Australian coastline offer photographic opportunities you'd be a fool to pass up!
So much so that this shot of the Cape Spencer Lighthouse in South Australia's Innes National Park could have been replaced by countless other lighthouse shots from my collection ...
But in this one, not only is the mainland lighthouse echoed by another on the distant island, but the general lighthouse cliché is ALMOST hidden by the staggering coastal scenery.
9 The Tropical Paradise:
|Flagstaff Hill Lookout, Port Douglas, Queensland|
Is it the palms? The blue sky?? Or the curve of golden beach???
Clichés one and all!!
There are many reasons to visit the once-sleepy once-fishing once-village of Port Douglas, now a bustling tourist town with some of the most expensive real estate in the country on the Far North Queensland coast.
But whatever reasons a traveller has for visiting this idyllic spot, chances are s/he will come away with a photo almost identical to this one!
10 The Bay:
|Coral Bay, Western Australia|
In a daring departure from the overused 'Horseshoe Bay', name of WAAAY too many Australian bays, this curve of white sand on Western Australia's North West Cape is named 'Coral Bay'.
But that's the only non-cliché in this photo!
Blue sea, white sand, curving bay, blue sky, people at play.
The ultimate Australian fantasy, and the reason many tourists head downunder.
I defy ANYONE to take a Coral Bay photo that's NOT a cliché!
11 The Jetty:
|Semaphore Jetty, Adelaide, South Australia|
Who could resist the lure of a jetty's line and length as it stretches over the ocean's varied blue hues towards an infinity point in the middle distance?
And that explains why shots like these are a dime a dozen (apologies for the Americanism, but 10 cents for 12 doesn't quite have the same ring to it).
I'll bet any budding photographer who's ever visited a coastal jetty anywhere in the world has a similar shot!
12 The Ultimate Cliché Combination:
|Kalbarri Sunset, Western Australia|
The full effect of a cliché shot can often be enhanced by a multiple-cliché addition.
Boats, arty water, deserted beach, sunset, bay, paradise – that's all I could pack into THIS cliché photo taken at Kalbarri. Sadly, the jetty was too far away. Although I'm sure there were footprints on the sand ...
If you can beat my record, let me know!!
Of course (I keep telling myself) there's no shame in taking coastal cliché shots – as MY record of MY travels, they're not clichés to ME! With any luck, awareness is half the solution – SO ... look out for a (distant) future post detailing my original views of the Aussie coast!
Until then, you'll have to make do with these!!
Thank you for reading my 3rd blogoversary post! It's been a pleasure having your company, and I hope you'll stick around!!