From lush forests to Outback deserts, Australia's landscapes offer tons of opportunity for incredible photography. Melbourne-based photographer Pat Whelen is an expert at looking close to home for those photos, capturing unique views of his country's environment.Pat is currently a university student, on lockdown yet again in his hometown Melbourne, where he's focusing on coursework, bike rides, and editing photos, of course. We talked to him about his photo story.Pexels: How did you get started with photography?Pat: I guess I’ve always had somewhat of an interest in cameras, but it wasn’t until 2018 when I decided to buy a DSLR that I think my interest really took off.

The main reason why I started was actually due to Instagram. I was fifteen at the time and used Instagram a lot, so I was always seeing travel content and nice photography on my feed which inspired me to start taking photos myself. Since then, it’s taken off and I’m still doing it.

What camera gear do you use?

I use a Canon EOS R with the kit RF 24-105mm f4 lens, as well as the new Canon RF 50mm f1.8. I also use a Feiyu-Tech AK2000 gimbal for videos, and a DJI Mavic Mini for all my drone work.I love all my gear and have always taken a minimal approach to my camera gear. I don’t like carrying around heaps of gear, so a camera with one or two lenses has always been perfect for me.

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What's your favorite type of photography to shoot?

Travel photos. I enjoy having to take a journey somewhere to take a photo.This journey doesn’t have to be a holiday as such, it can just be a hike or long drive to a new location. I love looking at past travel photos and reflecting on that journey and what the photo means to me.

What inspires your photography?

The biggest inspiration for me right now is the land around me.Victoria, my home state, is lucky to have so many different landscapes to explore so close to home. We have beautiful forests, pristine coastline, farmland, mountains, islands, cities, the list goes on. Living in a place like Melbourne where I can always find a new environment to shoot in really motivates me to go out and shoot.I’ve been spending a lot of time in a place called the Yarra Ranges recently. It’s a big area with lots of mountains, hidden waterfalls, creeks, and cliffs.The main town near these ranges, Healesville, has been a big source of inspiration for me recently. I love going through there as I’m heading into the mountains — it always gets me excited for an adventure.

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So many to choose from! This photo has always been my all-time favorite photo of mine, as I love how peaceful it is.My family and I had to drive on a road through Austria to get to where we were staying in Germany, so we were only in Austria for about twenty minutes.

I saw this place out the window, so we quickly stopped and had a couple of minutes to take some photos. This was one of the few photos I quickly snapped. But the main reason I love this photo is because this photo was taken on my first ever holiday with my camera.I had bought my DSLR about two months before this photo, and once I had taken and edited it, I think that’s when I realized photography was truly something I loved. I have a Pexels collection showcasing my thirty favourite photos, which can be found here.I’d say there are three photographers on Instagram right now whose work I’m loving: @nev.in.color, @saxonkent, and @chance_jackson.

All these people’s work is based on the outdoors and nature. I think they all capture the tranquillity and serenity of nature perfectly.

I’ve also always been inspired by more popular creators, particularly in the travel category, such as Sam Kolder and Aidin Robbins. Anyone whose content is both authentic and immersive can generally inspire me.

Amelia W. Reed

Amelia W. Reed

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