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Sorrel takes a pic at Noosa.
Sorrel takes a pic at Noosa.
Finding the perfect backdrop.
Oh cute little frog ... not.

Photo Expeditions

Thursday, June 28, 2001
Before you head off on your next holiday, get some hands-on tips on how to take the perfect holiday snap.

With so much affordable photographic equipment available, it's easy to buy something super-duper and try to learn how it works en route to the place you so desperately want to photograph. The best way to learn about your camera is to take some lessons before heading off and then you are bound to be delighted with the photographs you bring home.

Darran Leal has been a photographer for 20 years, starting on Norfolk Island with weddings and shots for the local newspaper and restaurants. He found what he really loves to do during a three-year journey around Australia capturing wildlife on film, and he now runs workshops in most capital cities, and takes tours around Australia and overseas.

Helped along with sponsorships from various airlines and film companies, Darran has pursued his career with great success. His work was displayed at World Expo 1988, has been published more than 100 times in dozens of magazines, has been included in calenders and published in books. Darran has published two children's educational books, lectured in over 100 workshops and has led more than 60 photographic tours.

Workshops are held over two intense days of talking and instructing. He teaches a cross-section of photography, but specialises in wildlife and nature. During the workshops, you will learn how the human eye and brain work in comparison to a camera, how meters function, various techniques for close-ups and landscapes, and how to choose different types of film and equipment.

Most of Darran's classes are a mix of amateurs and those who would like to be professional photographers. They take their own equipment and film, and there tends to be some sharing and swapping.

According to Darran, the most common mistakes are a tendency to try to get too much into one shot with no real key point of interest, not understanding their equipment well enough and having their camera in their bags and not be prepared for the magic moment.

Some helpful tips are to isolate your key subject and get in tight, study the light and meter, set goals, understand your camera, be critical with your work and learn from mistakes.

Twelve years ago, Darran started photo tours — they are like a holiday with workshops along the way, held at a slower pace. They are one to three weeks in duration and over the next couple of years, he has plans to visit lots of Australian and New Zealand locations, Antarctica and Patagonia.


Noosa on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.


Wild Visions Expeditions run out of Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. There are six tours available each year. Two-day workshops start at $295 per person.
Please note prices are valid at time of transmission and to the best of our knowledge are inclusive of GST.

More information

Darran Leal Expeditions & Workshops
PO Box 52, Noosa Heads, QLD 4567
Ph/fax: (07) 5449 2844

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