A few years ago I flew in a Hughes 500 helicopter around the north of Kauai (Hawaii) in order to capture aerial perspectives of the remote and rugged beauty of the Na Pali coastline. With no doors on the chopper, fresh air blows into the cockpit as the aircraft whizzes through the air and I get the distinct feeling that I am sitting in the abdomen of a giant mechanical insect. I’m consumed by the sights – defiant mountains scarred from battles lost to the patience and power of erosion. Abstract patterns, revealed from up high, are the genius of an artist with a palette of earthy reds, streaming blues and shades of green. The experience is, naturally, inspiring.
Fast-forward to late 2014 when I spontaneously act on a strong desire to see the coastal landscape of my own backyard – Sydney’s beaches – from up in the air. Again, I find myself in a door-less whirlybird looking down at nature’s mesmerising scenes but this time peppered with human activity; crowds of beach lovers – surfers and sunbathers. We fly and hover above some of Australia’s most famous beaches, Maroubra, Bronte, Tamarama and, of course, Bondi Beach.
Seatbelt loose, leaning out of the helicopter with camera in hand, compose, focus, click and repeat. Some of those photographs follow.