A professional photographer from Australia, Luke Shadbolt lives a full life, either getting flown around the world to shoot for big-time luxury brands, or chasing waves with his mates. Shadbolt spoke to Lost & Found about finding inspiration, common photo fails, and near-death experiences.
What do you love about photography, compared to other artistic mediums?
The thing that drew me to photography initially was that it seemed so instant. I used to draw when I was a kid, but I lost that ability when the internet stole my attention and patience in my teens. Then photography came along, and it seemed like you just had to press a button to create an image, and that instant gratification was really appealing. Little did I know there was a hell of a lot more involved than just pressing a button.
What are a couple of your favourite places to visit?
Japan would be one for sure. It was the first overseas trip I went on with my fiancé, years ago, and it was the place I proposed during cherry blossom season last year, which was both an emotional roller coaster and also visually stunning. Hawaii is also a very special place for me. I’ve been going there almost every year since I turned 18. It’s incredibly energized, but relaxed at the same time.
I’ve been arrested on suspicion of terrorism, almost walked off a cliff after hiking a volcano at night, and swam with sharks.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to get a shot?
I’ve been in a lot of crazy situations on shoots and travels in general. I’ve been arrested on suspicion of terrorism, almost walked off a cliff after hiking a volcano at night, been driven off the road by a junkie in the middle of the desert, drove into the eye of a hurricane, swept out to sea several times, and swam with sharks. A lot of what I do in the ocean would be considered crazy by most people too. It’s all subjective I guess.
What are the basic building blocks to an epic photo?
An eye, brain, camera and finger. Light helps too, obviously.
What’s a common mistake people make shooting with their smartphones and what’s a quick fix?
The overuse of flash is a pretty big one. If you’re shooting a landscape during the day, you probably don’t need the flash on. Best advice would be more selective with the flash. During the day you almost never need it, and with the way cameras are now, you often don’t need it at night either. Less is more with flash.
Finish this sentence: To get a memorable photo you need to…
Capture an authentic moment. Everything else can be manufactured–lighting, location, scene–but if you manage to capture a pure moment then those are the photos that tend to stick.
Where are you yet to visit, but really want to go?
There’s a long list, but I’d love to see Antarctica in the near future. It seems so raw, pure and untouched. It’s not easy to get there, which seems like a good thing. Interstellar travel would be at the top of my list though. Fingers crossed it happens in my lifetime!