“It summarizes the mishmash of serenity and nature I am all so often marveled by on the adventures I go on with the often frantic amounts of long night drives, botched plans and bad organization, and in this case, escaping questionable characters.”
We put the spotlight today on the inspiring wild landscapes from Chris Beecroft, who amaze us with this ability to introduce us in his creations, being able to accompany him in his adventurous journeys, full of secret natural places, breathtaking views, worth-living experiences and brave friends. Take your wanderlust to the highest level through the eye of this young Australian photographer and follow him in his stunning discoveries.
What do you want to transmit with these images?
What I wish to get across with these images more than anything is excitement, I suppose! It was the pure excitement of seeing other landscape photographers works that got me hopping in my car and heading out on my first handful of road trips seeking adventure, nature and my own little photographs. The idea of evoking the same sensation for somebody who may be looking at my snaps is a really extraordinary thought!
We’ve read you’ve enjoyed some adventurous trips in a low-budget. How do you use photography in them?
It's a way to remember, to express yourself… Initially the way in which I was using photography in my road trips was as a form of practice. Each road trip I embarked on gave me new opportunities to try and capture better photographs than the last. Recently though, having gathered a collection of snaps over the last years, It's become a very effective time capsule. A lot of tiny moments caught on some of my happiest days exploring and adventuring with great friends.
How did you started in photography and why? Why do you feel more attracted by nature?
There's a lot of things I really love about photography. I think it's a fascinating and very unique medium. For me it began symbiotically with my passion for hiking and road trips. Both kicked off at the same time and I initially was just using my iPhone and a couple of point and shoot 35mm cameras to capture a few nice scenes here and there. Like most things that grab your curiosity, it's all too easy to fall down the rabbit hole. It wasn't long till I was researching and experimenting with a lot of different cameras, reading about the origins and the growth of photography, finding a whole lot of contemporary photographers that inspire me, etc. The fact I lean toward nature is due to the fact simply I feel most inspired to pick up my camera and shoot while I'm out there discovering new things and new places.
What kind of gear –talking about camera and post processing– did you carry with you in these trips and how is your workflow?
The gear I've been using has varied a lot over the time I've been shooting. Most recently I've been carrying around both a Canon 6D and a Canon EOS 30 film camera. With the 6D I process them in Lightroom, doing all the typical things and trying to do as little as possible, really. With the EOS 30, i often do nothing, though I may fiddle with white balance, exposure and such in Lightroom too if they need a little correction.
From your work, which is your favorite picture and which is the story behind it?
There is a photograph I took of my two best friends, just little specks on a cliff edge, looking out over a really wonderful sunrise in the ranges of Exmouth, Western Australia. It was the first morning of a really, really perfect adventure as the three of us climbed a few mountains, swam through gorges and drove countless miles through the night for about a week. It was the middle of summer and it stormed every night. The days we're tremendously hot and everything just felt really great. That photograph always brings back a quick flood of those very happy memories for me.
What have you learned, as a photographer, with your trips? Any tip?
Yes! I've learnt an awful lot. Photography has taught me to always wake up before dawn when out on an adventure, for the obvious benefits for photographs, but it also gets you up and moving nice and early and typically results in sleeping with the dark and waking with the light, really the best sleeping habits I think one could hope for. I think the other thing is to just always keep looking and you'll start to find gems absolutely everywhere. The way in which a lot of national parks are designed with their emphasis on the 'big attractions' allows a lot of travelers to pass through the rest of the park and beyond somewhat passively, only really paying attention when they're obviously supposed to.
Tell us your best story traveling!
Once my dear friend and I were hitchhiking in south Western Australia. We were on a bit of a mission to reach another friend of ours who was a few hundred kilometres from where we started off and we set out to get to him in a day's hitching. We picked up a variety of different rides, five or six in total, all of which quite lovely and helpful, albeit for the last one. He was immediately peculiar and quite obviously drunk as he swerved off the road to pick us up. An eventful ride, awkwardly trying to maneuver through pleasantries, picking up more alcohol for the road and clearly saying something wrong as we provoke our maniac driver into a fit of rage before he apologizes, bleary-eyed, offers us a drink and continues driving onwards. All this was made the more interesting when he takes us into a sleepy housing estate, parks the car at a park and pulls out a bag of cocaine. He proceeds to make lines on the dashboard, snorts his load up and offers us the two remaining which he had prepared. Not wanting to further upset our delicate driver, we snorted our lines and quite merrily he pulled out of the park, crashed into a traffic island, clumsily swerved his way through the estate before pulling up to his house, where he wished for us to meet his dog and his wife. He promised us she would be most upset as to why he was about seven hours late coming home.
He boldly stumbles through his front door, shouting and screaming swiftly flood the house and we decide to grab our bags from the car and run as quickly as we can away from his house and through the maze of a giant monotonous country housing estate. Eventually finding the exit and returning to our trusted main road, we stick out our thumbs, hoping for the one last ride that'll take us the short distance to our destination. About half an hour passes before we notice a car making a mad dash across the highway, through oncoming traffic and heading straight for us. Our old friend has clearly just tried to hit us, we jump back and start running across the highway, leap over a fence and hide under a table in somebody's garden. Moments pass and we hear his car creep into the lane behind the fence. He gets out and roams around, clearly out for blood. The tale winds down from there, really. After a long while we climb out of the garden, see him pull in to the road we just walked out onto, we hide in someone else's garage for a while, eventually make it a few blocks to the beach and walk the next twenty-odd kilometres along the coast, safe from the blood-thirsty eyes of our drugged up lunatic driver. A terrific start to an adventure.