Six picture-perfect scenes and the award-winning photographers who call this region home
There’s little wonder that so many photographers call the Margaret River Region home. A dramatic granite coastline, pristine white sand against bright blue water and incredible flora and fauna provide inspiration for professionals and hobbyists alike. Lizzy Pepper enlisted the help of two award winning photographers to reveal the raw wonder of the region’s most photogenic attractions, and how it inspires them.
Famed for capturing Margaret River’s biggest and most brutal waves, Russell Ord’s shots have graced the covers of surf magazines worldwide. It’s little wonder that his favourite photographic hotspots are offshore, or in Boranup Forest, possibly a detour on the way to a surf check at Boranup Beach.
“As a kid, I always loved coming down south for the waves in between sporting commitments. I moved to Margaret River full time 20 years ago with my wife Catherine for the love of the ocean and the environment; the big plus is raising our kids in a fantastic community.”
Russell travels the world, but it’s Margaret River’s epic surf coast that inspires his work, and it’s how he gives back.
“Every time I am away from Margaret River, I question why I left such a raw, clean, pristine ocean. Unfortunately, some places I travel to the environment is not the best place to swim or work in. I have been lucky enough for the last 20 years to make a living taking photos in and around the ocean; in the end, they are beautiful images that don’t really make a difference. Being able to give back through organisations such as Take 3 For The Sea and SurfAid, my images can now be used for projects of purpose.”
Russell built a reputation for capturing incredible images of surfers on massive waves, and his newest project delves further into stories from the sea.
“I’m in the early stages of working on a personal project ‘Life around the Sea’ documenting people’s lives and inspirational stories that revolve around the ocean. I am looking forward to learning from incredible people that have dedicated their lives to working, protecting and raising families from the sea.”
What else is on the cards when the weather warms up in spring?
“The last few years I have been running photographic workshops in Tahiti, Fiji and abroad. I am now concentrating on being home and offering a unique photography and visual story-telling experience in the beautiful Margaret River region.”
Find workshop details and a print store at russellordphoto.com Instagram: @russellordphoto
Western Australia’s most successful landscape photographer, Christian Fletcher has spent 30 years capturing “the perfect light” in his scenes. Naturally, his home and gallery are in Dunsborough, moments from his favourite photographic hotspots of Sugarloaf Rock, Bunker Bay and Cape Naturaliste.
“I moved to the south west almost 30 years ago after an extended trip around Australia. After travelling 30,000kms all over the country I found the south west corner to be the best. From the weather, to the pristine beaches, to the very small number of people; it was paradise.”
Christian loves the quiet yet sophisticated character of the region, its diverse and beautiful landscapes. “Photographing the south west has been a privilege. The pristine beaches, rugged coastline and the forests of karri, tuart and jarrah trees. I love the fact that on most days I can be the only person on the beach, that I can walk world class hiking trails and be surrounded by nature.”
He still relishes the opportunity to take his camera and walk along the coastline with only the sound of the waves to contend with. “Quite often there are no footprints in the sand, the swells can be massive or the waters can be calm. What I love is there is no man-made noise. It’s just you and the sounds of nature. I don’t think there are many places in the world like that.”
Christian has some impressive personal and professional projects on the go, including a collaboration with artist Ian Mutch combining his photography with Ian’s illustrations; “We have a project in the wings which will be a first for WA, but it is a little “top secret” at the moment.” Christian just finalised images for the 2020 Busselton Hospice fundraising calendar and is getting new work together for a coffee table book of Western Australia.
A passionate advocate for the environment, Christian feels a responsibility to give back and “do everything I can to mitigate my impact on the planet.” Christian is instrumental in the Naturaliste Renewable Energy Group and Photographers for the Environment. “Both have been successful with initiatives such as a solar bulk buying group, beach clean-ups, educational forums and support of environmental and community campaigns. We have been successful in raising money, in collaboration with the Bendigo Bank and the Lions Club, to put a large scale solar system on the Dunsborough Primary School.”
Visit Christian’s Gallery at 4/27 Dunn Bay Road, Dunsborough and christianfletcher.com.au.
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Image Credits: Russel Ord Photography & Christian Fletcher