Australian Photography goes behind the scenes with Australian travel photographer David Metcalf to see how he creates his remarkable images.

Lone photographer
Early one morning in Death Valley, California I was wandering around the sand dunes of this incredible geographic wonder and I spotted this photographer out on his own. I wanted to create a more interesting effect so,  with my camera on a tripod, I put the lens hood partially over my lens  to frame this shot. The curve of the sand dunes leads into the photographer quite nicely.

Nikon D800, 28-300mm lens @ 300mm, 1/250s @ f/11, ISO 160, tripod.

Cultural dance is a big part of life in Bali. My intention with these two Legong dancers was to line up their arms and eyes at the same time to give an effect of perfect symmetry. The dark background worked well as it isolates them in the frame. This kind of photo requires a lot of patience, correct positioning and a bit of luck. Getting the depth of field is also important as I wanted the viewer to be drawn more to the woman in the front.

Nikon D800, 50mm f1.4 lens, 1/160s @ f/2.8, ISO 1250.

Sometimes you can add interest to a photo by framing it between other objects.   look to shoot through natural settings to compose my images. In this case I used some yellow flowers to frame the face of this female monk's face while praying at the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar. This is such a beautiful peaceful place I thought this was reflected in her look of serenity.

Nikon D800, 28-300mm @ 300mm, 1/320s @ f/5.6, ISO 400.

David Metcalf is a Bali-based travel photographer. He runs photography tours in Bali and Java and to other locations including Myanmar, Borneo and the US, including Alaska. His photo tours support the communities in which he travels and 10% of the tour price supports cultural and education projects in Borneo and Bali. In July last year he opened Taksu Photo Gallery in Ubud, Bali.

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