A LOVE OF THE UNKNOWN AND A SENSE OF ADVENTURE HAVE PLAYED A PART IN HELPING JOSH BEAMES FOLLOW HIS PASSION AS A SEMI-PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHIC INFLUENCER.
Josh Beames is a man who has never been one to pass on an opportunity to make a new discovery – from capturing stunning landscapes to embracing the world of wedding photography.
A keen snowboarder, podcast listener and active adventurer, Josh says he’ll try to absorb anything he doesn’t understand; from the Universe to conspiracies.
The 29-year-old insists there are few things he loves more than uncovering new locations – particularly when he has his camera in hand.
Josh says he first developed an interest in photography about five years ago where he began by capturing unique landscapes in and around his native Warrnambool, in South West Victoria.
Growing up in the former port city near the end of the Great Ocean Road meant much of his childhood was spent trawling different parts of the coastline with mates where they spent hours attempting to uncover secret locations.
“I love being able to capture and share what I see when I’m out there exploring. A lot of people get lost in their day to day routine and forget about life itself and I hope that what I capture can take them away [from the mundane], if only for a few seconds,” he says.
A self-taught snapper who has advanced his skills through “trial and error”, Josh clearly recalls picking up a camera for the first time and recalls it as a “life changing experience”.
“This was a huge influence in opening my eyes to the world and noticing the finer details. Seeing the world as I feel I do, was always something that I wanted to capture and share but didn’t know how to. The first time I picked up a DSLR camera back in 2014 and began to learn the manual settings was the most exciting experience, as now I was able to portray the world as I perceived it.”
Currently his day job at a clothing retailer helps him keep the wolves from the door, however Josh hopes that one day he will be able to turn what is currently a passion project into a fulltime career.
He sold his first print in 2015 with the fact someone was “willing to pay for it” affording him much needed validation of the quality of his work.
“Other than my main hobby of landscape photography, I touched into the world of wedding photography in 2016 as I wanted to test myself and skills under pressure. I absolutely loved it and now also do weddings as a side income.”
He achieved further fame when a notable aurora shot he captured from Teddy’s Lookout in Lorne was printed in the Herald Sun and later shared across its social media.
However, it is his own Instagram account that has proved the best method for introducing his work to a broader audience. Currently sitting at around 28,000 followers from just 500-odd posts, Josh began posting his work on the social network in 2012 but has seen the most growth only in the past three years.
“I feel the biggest challenge was, and still is, getting my work out there and growing my Instagram. There are millions of photographers who have incredible content and chasing similar goals, so I found it a huge task to get my name out there.”
Coincidently the time he received a much-needed boost in his follower base was around the time Josh purchased his first Nikon camera. Utilising some leftover Christmas money from his parents, he began by purchasing a basic DSLR. After a few months getting to grips with the settings, he then set out and purchased his first full frame camera – the Nikon D750.
In recent months he was afforded the chance to test the Nikon D850, a body which he terms an “absolute game changer”.
“From the first time holding this piece of incredible tech, I could tell by touch that what I was holding was so well designed that it was built for a full day of handheld shooting. Shooting landscape with the D850 really opens up the potential to capture stunning imagery. Weddings can be tiring and with the wrong gear, cumbersome. Fortunately, the D850 is light and holds well for the day ahead. Its ability to capture beautiful skin tones whilst having confidence in the camera’s dynamic range and high ISO, made any situation stress-free.”
Josh says his favourite feature on the new body is its focus shift that makes focus stacking a whole lot easier, while the camera also allows for automatic image storage saving time when readying images for processing.
As with many of his contemporaries, Josh says his biggest photographic frustrations come when he has an image in mind but is unable to make it a reality. But as in life, Josh says he usually finds there is a silver lining.
“Probably the greatest frustration is when I set out to capture [the image] and the elements don’t quite line up. It feels like it was all for nothing. But in turn, sometimes those trips are the most enjoyable because I try not to waste time but work with what I have around me.
“Some of my favourite shots have come from these occasions.”
He cites New Zealand’s Milford Sound as the most impressive location he has shot at – “it’s such a surreal spot that looks like it has been extracted from another plane” – but a personal month-long trip planned for later this year could see the South Island favourite superseded.
“One goal I have made for [the year ahead] is to get up to capture the sunrise as I have only ever shot three. With a full-time job, it makes it hard braving the early hours knowing I have a day of work ahead of me – that’s my excuse anyway.
“I [also] have a personal trip coming up which will spread over a month and cover a few locations around the globe that I have had my eye on for some time. It’s still in the planning process and I tend to leave my options open so keep an eye out…”
What’s in Josh’s Bag:
- A Nikon D750 camera body
- The NIKKOR AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8G ED is my main lens for landscape and astro. Accompanied by the stunningly sharp NIKKOR AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR for those more unique landscape perspectives and wedding work.
- Finally, the ever handy NIKKOR AF-S 50mm 1.8G Special Edition which I use from time to time for astro, land landscape and wedding work.
[Words: Tracey Porter]