The name ‘Sixty Summers’ came about through conversation with a close friend. Sitting on an island beach, beer in hand, we reflected on the amazing place in which we live and the epic times we’ve had over the years, particularly in summer. We discussed savoring every moment to avoid regret before your time is up.
"You know...we've probably only got sixty summers left"
My friends remark struck a chord. What truly makes you happy? Shouldn't you be filling your days with that?? Since I was a kid it's always been the simple things, waves, surfing, camping, exploring. Sixty Summers is a by-product of enjoying the simple things. Letting Mother Nature do her thing and just making sure I'm ready to capture it. I often get asked how the process works from taking an image to getting a print onto peoples walls, generally it goes like this:
1. Get Adventuring!
Packing up the car and hitting the road is definitely a passion of mine. I'm like a little kid at Christmas before every trip, I am lucky to have found a partner that loves it just as much as me. Sarah and I are constantly chasing new camping spots, surf breaks and empty beaches. We've traveled around most of Australia, but luckily this place is massive and there is always more to see. The destination is not always set in stone, many of my favourite spots (and photos) have come from exploring that overgrown track that no one seems to go down. There is something super special about sleeping and waking up on a deserted beach. If you're going remote, be sure to let someone know your plans and make sure you have the right gear.
2. Getting the Shot
To get started I gathered some decent equipment (not top of the range), turned into a part time weather man, and took as many photos as possible. Whilst I loved every minute of it, my early work was pretty average. I wasted many good opportunities due to not knowing my gear and surroundings, missing the good tide or not beating the sun out of bed etc. Experience turned out to be my best teacher, and the more I shot, the less errors I made. I recommend to shoot even when you don't think it will turn out. The image of the surfers below was taken in the dead middle of winter, seaweed all over the beach, I very nearly didn't put the drone up. Turns out this is one of my more popular images, and it almost didn't happen. Also, patience is key, often you may have to sit and wait for a few different components to align, don't rush it.
Getting the shot is important, but not at the expense of pissing people off. I am fully aware that drones can be rather annoying. I like to shoot remote, avoiding crowded areas, but if you must fly near people, please consider they also might be trying to enjoy that golden sunset.
It's normally a quick scramble to the get the SD card into the laptop to check out what goodies were captured. I then like to spend some time narrowing down which images will be selected for print, this process often includes a beer with good music in the background. Im not a big fan of over-edited photos. I capture nature to show its raw beauty, no need for too much lipstick. However, every image available for print has had some correction. Lifting or lowering light/shadows is a regular adjustment, along with temperature correction. I edit to try and reflect what my eyes were seeing at the time. Adobe Lightroom is used to do my image processing, sizing images 2:3 to keep everything uniform for printing and framing, however custom sizes are easily created upon request. I create a second copy of most images which are optimised for use on Instagram and Facebook (4:5).
4. Ordering, Printing and Delivery
I have an online platform where framed prints and canvas's are available for purchase. I have tried to set up the website so consumers can gain an understanding of what the final product will look like. An in store experience is on the horizon. Apart from being outside capturing these images, sharing my experience with people is the best part of the whole process. Orders come through on my phone and I instantly forward them (along with any custom requests) to my print man. Alex from SundaySunset Images then starts his printing process, normally complete in 10 days. Once the prints are ready I will deliver (or post) them personally to each customer.
I love chatting about all things exploring/drones/editing and prints, so if you have any comments or questions please drop me a line. Also feel free to check us out on Instagram (@sixtysummers) and Facebook.
All the Best, Joshy.