Colin Davis has lived in Queensland for the past 10 years and has explored the Sunshine state from top to bottom. The Brisbane-based medical practitioner fell in love with photography at the age of 10, when his mum bought him his first point-and-shoot film camera. Now, he’s also in love with his adopted home, Queensland. His favourite place in the world is Lady Elliot Island.
You can follow Colin Davis on his Instagram account @colindavisphotography
Tell us a bit about your background. Are you a professional photographer?
I am by no means a professional photographer. I just love taking photos, always have. The first camera I bought was a flashy digital camera. It had a whopping five megapixels!
Unfortunately the memory card could only store around 12 photos. How times have changed. I took the plunge into DSLR world in 2010 after borrowing my brother’s DSLR and fell in love with not only the quality but the creativity it allows through the use of manual settings.
Ever since then, I have taught myself to take photographs through trial and error and by doing lots of reading.
Where have you travelled to in Queensland?
I’ve lived in Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast, Hervey Bay, Murgon, Bundaberg, Rockhampton and Sarina. Through living in these places I have pretty much explored most places within a three-hour radius of them.
Other destinations I’ve visited are Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Hamilton Island, Yeppoon, Great Keppel Island, Heron Island, Lady Musgrave Island, Lady Elliot Island, Rainbow Beach, Fraser Island, North Stradbroke Island and the Gold Coast just to name the big ones.
That’s pretty good considering I only moved to Queensland in 2006!
What was your most memorable trip?
Lady Elliot Island. I really love this place; in fact it’s one of my favourite places in the world.
I’ve been back three times since first visiting in 2011, each time staying longer, each time learning more about it and each time falling in love with it more and more.
Lady Elliot Island is located at the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef and is home to some of the world’s most amazing creatures, including a resident manta ray population and the friendliest turtles you will ever meet, guaranteed.
Where was your last trip?
My last trip was a road trip to the Sunshine Coast and the hinterland. After getting up earlier than I care to admit, we drove up to Serenity Falls in Buderim as I had never visited them before.
After chilling there for a little while, we headed west into Mapleton then stopped off for lunch at Montville. Montville is a great place to explore shops and pick up delicious fudge and liqueurs.
We went to Maleny Botanical gardens for an afternoon stroll and some photography. The day was then capped off with some cheese tasting at a local dairy.
If you were going to take your Mum on a road trip where would you go?
My mum loves Montville and would love to go there again in a heartbeat. But if I were to pick somewhere new and different, I would happily drive her all the way up Queensland’s east coast to Port Douglas and the Daintree Rainforest. I think my mum secretly loves Queensland and wants to move here too!
Beach or desert?
Beach wins hands down for sun, surf, waves, fresh air and sea life. There is nothing like it and Queensland has the best in the world.
What do you like photographing?
I love all types of photography but capturing animals in the wild is my absolute favourite.
I honestly believe you can see how happy they are, whether it be the affectionate turtles of Lady Elliot Island, the magnificent humpback whales in Hervey Bay, the colourful parrots of the Gold Coast Hinterland, or the inquisitive water dragons of the Brisbane botanical gardens.
Any tips for better wildlife shots?
The one thing I have found makes a better animal photo is getting down to their level and making it about them. If you take a photo of a turtle from the surface looking down, you get a nice shell and head, but no personality.
If you swim down and take it at their level or even swim below them and take the photo upwards, you capture their expressions, their mood and their happiness.
I often spend hours with the animals I photograph, appreciating and understanding their individual personalities.
A couple of other pointers are learn to read the light and try different angles to see what works best. With wildlife, understand your subject and realise that they are most likely more active at dawn and dusk. Finally, having the eyes in focus is essential to a good photo.
This is a really tough one. It would have been to Whitehaven in the Whitsundays as it’s just stunning. But it is hard to go past beautiful Noosa.
If you had to move to somewhere else in Queensland where would you choose to live?
When things get too much where do you go to get away from it all?
The Gold Coast Hinterland – Lamington National Park, Mount Tamborine and particularly O’Reilly’s Rainforest retreat.
This is definitely a place to explore, go on adventures, take in the magnificent scenery and wildlife as well as just relax and unwind.
If you are heading up that way, don’t miss visiting Natural Bridge, it is totally worth the trip.
Most romantic place you’ve been to?
I have been to many romantic places in Queensland but romance to me is more about the person you are with than the location.
Name three places or things on your bucket list in Queensland
I couldn’t pick three. Here are my top five.
- Dive with the Minke whales on the Great Barrier Reef
- See a platypus in the wild – they have eluded me so far despite my best efforts
- Visit Raine Island during turtle season
- Witness a manta ray feeding frenzy
- Explore the Daintree Rainforest