Hi there, and welcome to my new photography blog.
I first picked up a camera when I was 14 years old, it was a Canon compact camera that was my mums and it was at the bottom of a lounge room drawer.
At the time I had no idea why the sudden urge came over me to pick it up and head out to the backyard.
But that one moment changed my life and put me on a path for the next 20+ years.
Instantly I swore to myself and anyone who would listen that I’m going to be a photographer one day.
I doubt many people believed me back then as it was in the film era and being a photographer at that point in time was like being a pink unicorn.
But I’ll forever be grateful to my younger self for that crazy dream and I’ve been extremely fortunate to live it out ever since.
I quickly dropped out of school at 16 to begin working with at the time the official photographer for the NRL.
A huge step forward from taking pictures in my backyard and a few years later at 19 I began a long standing career with the newspaper company Fairfax Media.
Through this blog I hope to share my stories and show a different side to photography.
Hopefully I’ll entertain you with some behind the scenes stories and share some photo tips along the way.
You can also find me on Instagram at chris_lane_photographer for more pictures.
Thanks for stopping by
The Bulgo beach track is a awesome and a relatively easy hike in the National Park. Off Lady Wakehurst Drive just south of the Royal National Park in NSW. It’s about a 2 hour return trip from the road and much easier than the Burning Palms and Figure 8 pool track that is just to the north of Bulgo which can take up to 4 hours.
The entrance to the track can be tricky to find, but its just to the left of the Otford bakery on the other side of the road.
It’s a bit on a windey track but as you emerge through the trees to the open beach side it’s definitely an amazing view of the ocean and the old beach shacks the are on the coastline of Bulgo Beach. There’s plenty to explore with a mixture of clifftop views of the ocean on the high side and on ground level with the beach and the shacks. It’s definitely worth the trek and it’s one of the more interesting tracks in the Royal National Park.
Til next time!
It was summer 2012 and a heat wave ripped through New York. I was only there for a few days and had a few must shoot locations on the list.
One of them was the famous Empire State Building, made even more famous at the time due to the Jay Z song Empire State of Mind. So there was a little extra incentive to get it.
The trick is to not take the tour up the Empire State Building because it’s pretty hard to photograph a building that you’re standing on. But to go up the adjacent Rockefeller Building, which gives you a perfect shot.
So I hit the Rockefeller building in the afternoon, you pay a fee and you can get to the viewing platform on the roof. A great idea for tourists like myself with a camera.
I wanted to shoot the afternoon light into the nighttime so I was prepared for a few hours up there.
It got quite packed as you’d imagine and the heat and humidity was just awful. Made worse by the shoulder to shoulder that was going on. But I managed to grab a great view of the skyline and despite the uncomfortableness held my ground during the duration of the natures own light show.
It was was of the best experiences of my life to be there during sunset into twilight, and the series of pictures here will hold a special place in my heart for the rest of my life.
If there’s a place of something out there you really want to photograph I can’t recommend it enough to just go for it. The satisfaction on the day and many years later is just amazing.
Til next time!
I’v taken many a picture in my lifetime and I’d have to say that this is my favorite. It also happens to be in my favorite city besides Sydney, NYC. It is indeed the city that never sleeps.
The chaos and excitement of being in NYC is something I think everyone should experience in their lifetime.
I was into my 3rd day of a 4 day stint in NYC back in 2012 and I really wanted to capture the skyline during Sunset.
And I thought the best place for that was to head to Brooklyn and shoot back towards the city. It’s been shot before by thousands of photographers and it was a shot that I flew all the way from Sydney to capture.
So my day started at midday, leaving my hotel just near Central Park. Judging by the map it was a straight walk down 7th avenue, cross the Brooklyn bridge and away we go.
My idea was to start at the hotel walk all the way and shoot other landmarks as I went.
Lets just say it was a long walk, and I lost my faith in being able to read a map.
It took close to seven hours to get to the bridge. A few detours here and there to avoid some less hospitable locals, who would be quite happy to get their hands on my precious Canon and my journey was nearly complete.
More on that here https://chasinglight.photo.blog/2019/11/12/new-york-love/
So I hit the famous Brooklyn bridge to continue my pilgrimage to my vantage spot.
The walk aver the bridge is more like circus , with hoards of tourist and their iPhones snapping the bridge from all angles, New Yorkers on their afternoon jog and street vendors selling whatever you needed or didn’t need.
Finding the best vantage point to shoot the skyline was made harder by walking the backstreets of Brooklyn and getting lost like the tourist I was.
Luckily I bumped into a Sydney couple who call NYC home and pointed me in the right direction.
Getting lost in any city is bad, but made worse when the sun is setting and you’ve travelled across the world to photograph it. So my casual walk through NYC turned into a afternoon jog carrying cameras and an awkward tripod.
Not wanting to miss the sunset over the city was worth the unexpected workout.
So I finally found my spot overlooking the city on the Brooklyn side of the bridge and began to shoot as the sun was setting.
It also happened to be the 4th of July, which is quite a big deal in the USA. Somewhat similar to Sydney’s NYE.
I also happened to be surrounded by thousands of locals and tourist wanting to witness the same thing as me.
To say it was hot is a understatement, it was the middle of a heat wave and I was surrounded by strangers and kids screaming to their mothers “where are the fireworks”. So it was not the serene moment I envisaged upon my departure from Sydney.
As the sun descended over the city, the lights in the office buildings started to turn on and my picture started to finally take shape.
After all the hours of waiting, myself and the thousands of people finally started to see some fireworks.
Only problem was they were on the other side of the city on the Hudson River.
I’m sure for the people on the Hudson side they had a spectacular view of the show, but on the Brooklyn side we definitely had the poor mans view or in basketball terms we had row zzz.
So, frustrated that I had screwed up my only chance of shooting the worlds famous city as the sky was alight, my dream was dashed and I packed up and started head back to the hotel cursing myself for the lack of research.
After a few minutes walking I thought f…. it!!! I’ll give it one more go.
So I set up once again in a new spot, giving it one last chance before I threw in the towel.
As I did, the kind people running the show let off a series of fireworks red in colour and my tourist eyes lit up!!!
Bingo I said to myself, I’m back in action. And for the next few minutes I shot my heart out.
With the advantage of a 30 second exposure, it was able to give the impression that this fabulous city was on fire.
So with some luck and persistence I was able to take a picture that I can call my all time favourite. Aptly named “City on Fire”.
Content I then headed back to the hotel thinking of what next to tick off on my bucket list!
Til next time
Back in 2016 a young Lonzo Ball and his UCLA team headed to Sydney to take on the Sydney Uni Lions in front of a full house at the University.
UCLA got the win with Ball, who finished with nine points and four assists in a 123-76 win.
It was one of the more fun games I have ever shot and it made for some cool pictures too. Fast forward to 2017 and Ball went no.2 in the NBA draft which landed him at the LA Lakers along side Lebron James and after a end of season trade he now resides in New Orleans alongside the newest young gun Zion Williamson.
Til next time!
Tucked away in the heart of the Royal National Park and just after the infamous Wedding Cake Rock is two perfect little beaches. Little Marley and big Marley beach, side by side and both highly secluded they are well worth the trip into the park.
A pretty easy walk south after Wedding cake rock and in around 45 minutes. It’s along a mixture of dirt tracks and the man made walkway.
To get to Wedding Cake Rock see here https://chasinglight.photo.blog/2019/10/31/wedding-cake-rock/
It’s a pretty big days hike from Bundeena past Wedding cake and all the way to Marley beach. It took me around 4 hours for the return trip so you want to be prepared for that and definitely pack a lunch and supplies.
But once you’re there you’ll be hit with one of the best beaches you’ll ever see.
It’s pretty cool having the two beaches side by side in the middle of the bush and the far beach Little Marley is more like a bay than a wave beach. So if you don’t feel like a swim in the waves of big Marley, just a short walk over the rocks and you have the chance to swim in a little wave less beach.
The walk there and back is really scenic and with so many great opportunities to take pictures it’s one of my favorite hikes in all of Sydney. As long as you’re prepared for a long hike you’ll be sorted and safe.
Shot with my Canon 1D and the wave shots are with my favourite GoPro.
Til next time!
On a warm September 2019, Rockdale PCYC was the location to announce the fight between local Shire hero Jack Brubaker v the son of a legend Tim Tszyu.
Tszyu senior made this place home during his illustrious boxing career and like father like son Tszyu 2 followed in his rather large footsteps.
As we the media waited in the gym for the arrival of Tim as Jack was already in the gym at this point. There was talk that Kostya was also coming which added to the buzz in the room as we waited for the arrival.
As Kostya spends much of his time in Russia these days the uncertainty of if he would be there definitely added to the drama of the morning.
The Tszyu family arrives including the former world champion and proud dad Kostya.
Everything in the press conference went as expected then it was time for the father and son to entertain the media.
With a good 5 minutes of sparring and working on techniques it was a privilege to be there to see the bond between the two.
I purposely put myself on the far side of the famous Tszyu Boxing Academy sign and hoped to capture and cool image of the boxing family together.
Grandad, Dad and the prodigal son all in the one frame. The even more famous Kostya haircut slotted in too.
It’s moments like these make me fall more in love with sport photography every day.
Especially now as the world waits for moments like these to entertain all of us again.
Til next time
In around about 2 hours drive from Sydney, you can hit one of the best beaches I’v ever seen in.
Hyams Beach is apart of the Jervis Bay coast and the City of Shoalhaven, it also has some of the whitest sand you could ever come across. I took a trip down the coast in the Winter of 2017 and looking back at these pictures I can still feel the icy chill of the water as I stepped into the ocean.
But with the shallow depth of the shore and the deep blues skies it made for some awesome shooting, made even better by the early light and low hanging sun.
I wish I was there a little earlier to make more use of the sun and shooting back into the morning sunrise with some nice clean waves coming through. But I still had some great opportunities there as the conditions were just perfect.
Also being a weekday and in winter I had the whole beach to myself and could really make the best of the location as far as getting some cool landscapes shots, added by not having to shoot around other beach goers.
If you haven’t been to this most beautiful beach I can’t recommend it enough, it’s a pretty short drive from Sydney so close enough. It’s well worth adding it to the list that’s for sure.
Til next time
This time 2 years ago, Australia and the Gold Coast hosted the Commonwealth Games.
It was always something that I wanted to photograph so in April 2018 I headed up the Coast from Sydney on a road trip.
The end goal was to hit the Gold Coast in time to shoot some events, but the road to the GC was always about the journey there.
Around halfway from Sydney is Coffs Harbour so that was my pit stop for the night after leaving Sydney in the afternoon.
I arrived at the hotel at Coffs around 10pm, slept off some weary road trip legs and hit the beach at first light.
A short walk across the road to the beach and in perfect morning light and a sky that was full of blue.
No one in sight and it couldn’t have been better. The coast line is just beautiful, this beach is called Park beach, and with some cool looking rock islands just off the shore it made for some awesome shooting. I also had time to hit the water with my GoPro and with some early light shooting back into the waves it gave some dramatic light that comes with aiming into the sun.
Shooting on the shore with my 70-200ml lens the in the water with the wide angle GoPro gave two quite different looks of the same beach.
I regret not waking up a little earlier to get a better sunrise picture, but after working all day and driving for 6 hours the day before, those tiered eyes Coast me a few minutes on the snooze.
I’m really happy with the series of pictures all the same and made it back to one of the cool cafes opposite the beach for the customary coffee and bacon and egg rolls.
Job done and I was back on the road to the Gold Coast.
As always sometimes the road to the mission is equally as good as the final destination.
I can’t recommend enough a trip to the beautiful beaches at Coffs Harbour and I’ll get back there one day myself. Hopefully I’ll make it for sunrise too!
Til next time!
My first of the Behind the picture series and I hope to add many more over the years. So here we go.
It can normally be quite hard to get a perfect reflection photograph when shooting in the ocean.
The beaches in Cronulla are a surf beach which means it has a pretty steady stream of waves coming in. So with the waves it pretty much cancels out and good reflection photo as you need the water as still as you’d see in a lake or a rock pool. So you need some lucky to get a nice break in the waves and also having a cool sunset or sunrise at that same time.
But on the 16th of January 2013, I caught a lucky break and in a few moments the water turned to glass. So I hopped in the ankle deep water of Wanda beach and carefully crouched down mindful to not disturb the waters, and aimed towards the southern end of Cronulla and the beautiful red sunset.
Shot on my Canon 1D at f/22 and 1/6 sec 100 ISO.
By closing down my aperture to f/22 it allowed for a slow shutter speed, which tends to add to reflection as opposed to a faster shutter speed that would freeze the water.
Sometimes you get lucky and on the 16th we did just that.
The famous Wanda Sandhills in Southern Sydney. Just a little north of Cronulla beach, Sydney, NSW
In the the NRL off season you’ll find many a player running up these hills. Athletes both professional and amateur look to destroy their legs and lungs by running up these mountains throughout there year. But it is also a photographers paradise with many a beautiful backdrop, as long as you can handle the climb, it can make way for a photo shoot like no other in Sydney.
2013 was the year and I had the privilege to photograph the super talented Natasha Dwyer’s label Arthur Ave alongside the stunning Katherine Soames with hair and makeup by the lovely Amy Cain.
A pre sunrise start was needed to use the sandhills to their full effect as the light moves pretty quick out there. In the space of 60 minutes you can go from glorious yellow and reds of sunrise to the hard blue skies and bright reflective sand.
I used a mixture of flash and no flash as the light changed throughout the shoot, and alternating between the two we were able to achieve some different looking pictures in a relatively short amount of time.
It takes a lot of things to go right on a shoot like this and we were lucky that everything came together just perfect and it still remains one of my favourite ever shoots. I thank everyone who came together to make a cool piece of history for us all.
Til next time