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Travel photographer Paul Dymond has travelled the world photographing more than 60 countries for National Geographic, Lonely Planet and a host of other publishers, yet he chose to call North Queensland home.

paul dymondThere are plenty of people who dream of becoming a travel photographer but relatively few successfully make a living out of it.

Cairns-based photographer Paul Dymond, has done just that.

Winner of the Australian Travel Photographer of the Year Award in 2013, Paul is well known and respected in the business, so we decided to find out more about what he loves about FNQ and take a look at some of the images he has taken of his own ‘backyard’.

[headline size=”small” align=”left”]getting started[/headline]

Paul says he became a travel photographer by accident and just “sort of fell into it”.

kookaburraWith language degrees in Japanese and Korean, Paul had been accepted into a prestigious course but he decided to defer his further studies and travel to Africa instead.

Over the following nine-months he took 145 rolls of Kodak film (this was in the ‘old days’ well before digital cameras) which he didn’t get developed until he returned to Australia.

By then his love of travel photography had been born.

Over the years Paul has worked as a Japanese tour guide at Ayers Rock and also lived in Japan, but today he works as a professional photographer, occasionally runs photography courses and catalogues photos for businesses, councils and universities.

[headline size=”small” align=”left”]why live in FNQ?[/headline]

Paul says even after travelling the world he and his wife fell in love with Cairns and its outdoor lifestyle.

He says it’s not only a great place to raise kids but there are an abundance of places to get away on weekends from beaches and islands through to rainforest and the outback.

He says it really is the best of all worlds.

[headline size=”small” align=”left”]PAUL’S FAVOURITE’S[/headline]

nq creekPaul says as a photographer he is spoiled for choice in North Queensland.

One of his favourite places to visit and photograph is Mossman Gorge. He says the gorge itself, the rainforest and the overall beauty of Mossman Gorge is quite magical. And the swing bridge is an added bonus.

Paul also lists the Mareeba Wetlands as a favourite, especially first thing in the morning as the sun is coming up or at dusk when the sky is streaked with pinks, oranges and reds and the birdlife is at its most active.

Undara is also one of his favourite places to visit with its unique lava tubes and array of native wildlife.

[headline size=”small” align=”left”]tips for visitors[/headline]

mission beachLike most people who live in NQ, Paul often has family and friends visiting so we asked him where he recommends for them to visit and these are the three ‘must-see’s’ that he suggests:

  • Mission Beach for the beautiful beaches, rainforest and the town with its local markets and charm.
  • The Daintree, especially the various boardwalks through the rainforest, which are great for self-guided walks and a great opportunity to see wildlife.
  • The Waterfall Circuit in the Tablelands because each of the waterfalls are beautiful in their own right and worth visiting.

[headline size=”small” align=”left”]travel photography tips[/headline]

While everyone has access to good camera equipment these days, there’s no denying that there’s still a big difference between amateur and professional travel photos, so we asked Paul for his top tips.

mareeba wetlands cruisePaul says lighting will always make or break a photo so if the lighting isn’t great (whether its indoors or outdoors), then just put your camera away and enjoy the experience.

Paul also says that while digital cameras have been a great development, it causes people to take lots more photos and many end up feeling overwhelmed by the volume of images on their hard drive.

Paul’s advice? Don’t bother keeping any crappy photos, just delete them, and only keep the ones you know are worth keeping.

For more information on Paul Dymond and to see more of his beautiful photographs visit