Focused Expeditions are proud to announce the winners of our 2024 Photo Competition held on 18th February 2024.

Your images gave voice to Coastal Town & Rural Lifestyles.

The following photos submitted to our 2024 photo competition captivated our judge, Jacqui Bateman the most.


Grand Prize Winner


Endless Summer - Phillip Hardy
Endless Summer – Phillip Hardy

The stand out photo of the day.
Lovely composition & tones, added interest of surfers silhoutted against the sky cemented this as the winner.

Special Mention

Sea Horse - Photo Competition 2024
Seahorse – Anneliese Staubli

Very quirky shot of seahorse & dog.
Great colours and exposure.
Would like to see this image cropped more at the top to exclude dog’s eye & the sky to take away from the crooked horizon.

Honorable Mention

Vertical Shoreline - 2024 Photo Competition
Vertical Shoreline – Brittney Scott

Lovely shot, tones & composure.
Would like to see this image with more sand on the left hand top shoreline to make the image flow a little more.  More detail in the leaves by increasing aperture could have added more interest, rather than distracting from the image.

Honorable Mention

Cliffs - Photo Competition 2024
Cliffs – Nikki Kirkland


Great composition and light.  Lovely image.


Honorable Mention

Frog - Photo Competition 2024
Frog – Angelita Zammit

Beautiful frog macro.

Thank you to all those that entered.


Photography enthusiasts and sea lovers, mark your calendars for the 17th and 18th of February! Join us at the picturesque 2024 Spirit of Robe Boatshow for an exclusive photo workshop that promises to elevate your photography skills to new heights.

Why Join the Coastal Towns & Rural Lifestyles Photo Workshop?

  • Expert Guidance: Learn from Jacqui Bateman and Chris Matthews who knows exactly how to capture the magic of coastal towns and the vibrant lifestyles they encompass.
  • Hands-On Experience: Dive into practical sessions right on the bustling grounds of the Robe Boatshow, capturing the essence of coastal life, from the serene to the spectacular.
  • Connect with Like-Minded People: Share this unique experience with fellow photography lovers. Exchange tips, share stories, and maybe even find your next photography buddy!
  • Stunning Scenery: The Robe Boatshow isn’t just about boats; it’s about the beauty of the coast, the charm of Robe town, and the lively atmosphere that you can freeze in time through your lens.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out with a camera, this workshop is designed to offer something for everyone. From the technicalities of camera settings to the art of composing the perfect shot, you’ll leave with not just memories but also skills that last a lifetime.

For more details and to secure your spot, register on our website: Coastal Towns & Rural Lifestyles Photo Workshop

Don’t miss this opportunity to attend these workshops and meet Jacqui Bateman and Chris Matthews. Let’s make every shot tell a story.


Focused Expeditions are pleased to introduce the Coastal Photography Prize. We are calling for everyday photographers of all abilities to enter their best coastal and wildlife photos to go in the draw to win a prize valued at over $1000. All entries will be on display at the 2024 Spirit of Robe Boatshow and the winner will be chosen by renowned local photographer, Jacqui Bateman.

Photo of Robe Oblisk taken by Jacqui Bateman

How it works…

Submit your best coastal landscape or wildlife photo to be in the running to win a 1-day photographic expedition with Focused Expeditions worth over $1000.

Free entry

Take a beautiful costal photo and submit your entry online or in person at The 4 Mile Studio.


All photos will be displayed at the 2024 Spirit of Robe Boat Show. The winner will be chosen by renowned local photographer, Jacqui Bateman.


The winner will join Focused Expeditions on a 1-day Limestone Coast Rural Lifestyles Tour.
Enter Now

Terms & Conditions Apply

In the world of photography, capturing the shot is only half the battle; the magic often lies in the post-processing. Editing can transform a good photo into a masterpiece, and for this, photographers need robust tools. Let’s dive into the top 5 editing tools that are a must-have for every photographer, from beginners to pros.

1. Adobe Photoshop: The Industry Standard Adobe Photoshop has long been the gold standard of photo editing. Known for its unparalleled features, it offers everything from basic adjustments to complex composites. Its layering, masking, and retouching capabilities make it a favorite for photographers who want full control over their images.

Key Features:

  • Advanced retouching and layering capabilities.
  • Extensive plugin support.
  • Ideal for both raster and vector graphics.

2. Adobe Lightroom: Streamlined Workflow Adobe Lightroom is a go-to for photographers who need an efficient workflow. It’s not just an editing tool; it’s a complete photo management system. Lightroom’s non-destructive editing allows photographers to experiment without altering the original image.

Key Features:

  • User-friendly interface.
  • Powerful cataloguing tools for photo organisation.
  • Cloud storage for easy access across devices.

3. Capture One: The Professional’s Choice Favoured by professional photographers, Capture One offers high-quality image processing and colour grading. Its tethering capability is a huge plus for studio photographers. Capture One also provides a more detailed editing process, appealing to those who prioritise image quality.

Key Features:

  • Superior colour grading tools.
  • Advanced tethering capabilities.
  • Detailed image processing.

4. DxO PhotoLab: Noise Reduction Expert DxO PhotoLab excels in noise reduction and lens corrections. Its unique selling point is the DeepPRIME technology, which delivers exceptional noise reduction. It’s an ideal tool for low-light photography where noise can be a significant issue.

Key Features:

  • Outstanding noise reduction with DeepPRIME.
  • Automatic lens and camera body-based corrections.
  • Intuitive local adjustment tools.

5. Skylum Luminar: AI-Powered Editing Skylum Luminar is gaining traction for its AI-driven editing capabilities. It’s perfect for photographers who want to achieve a polished look with minimal effort. Features like AI Sky Replacement and AI Structure are groundbreaking, saving time without compromising quality.

Key Features:

  • Innovative AI editing tools.
  • Sky replacement and augmentation capabilities.
  • User-friendly for beginners. Each of these tools offers unique features and capabilities. The best one for you depends on your specific needs, workflow, and the level of control you want over your edits. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, integrating these tools into your workflow can elevate your photography to new heights.

Each of these tools offers unique features and capabilities. The best one for you depends on your specific needs, workflow, and the level of control you want over your edits. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, integrating these tools into your workflow can elevate your photography to new heights.

In the world of digital photography, the debate between shooting in RAW versus JPEG format is a recurring topic. Both formats have their unique advantages and drawbacks, and understanding these can significantly impact the quality and flexibility of your photos. Whether you’re a budding photographer or a seasoned pro, knowing when to use RAW or JPEG can elevate your photography game.

1. What is RAW?
RAW files are uncompressed and unprocessed data directly from the camera’s sensor. Think of RAW as the digital equivalent of a film negative. It contains a wealth of information, allowing for greater control during post-processing. When you shoot in RAW, you’re capturing all the data your camera sensor sees.

Advantages of RAW:

Maximum Quality: RAW files have higher quality as they contain all the data from the sensor.
Greater Flexibility in Post-Processing: With more data, you can adjust exposure, white balance, and colors without significant quality loss.
Better Detail Retention: RAW files preserve more details in highlights and shadows, crucial for high-contrast scenes.

Disadvantages of RAW:

Larger File Size: RAW files are significantly larger, requiring more storage space.
Requires Post-Processing: RAW files need to be processed and converted to a standard image format like JPEG.
Not Ideal for Quick Sharing: Due to their size and the need for processing, RAW isn’t the best for immediate sharing.

2. What is JPEG?
JPEG is a popular image format that uses compression to reduce file size. When your camera shoots in JPEG, it processes the image (adjusting colors, contrast, sharpness, etc.) and compresses it before saving.

Advantages of JPEG:

Smaller File Size: JPEGs are compressed, making them more manageable for storage and sharing.
Ready to Use: JPEGs come out of the camera processed and ready for use, with no additional work needed.
Universally Compatible: JPEGs are widely supported across all platforms and devices.

Disadvantages of JPEG:

Lower Quality than RAW: Some details and data are lost during compression.
Less Flexible in Editing: Limited data means less room for adjustments in post-processing.
Can Degrade with Editing: Repeated editing and saving of JPEGs can reduce image quality over time.

3. Choosing Between RAW and JPEG
The choice between RAW and JPEG depends on your needs and workflow. Consider RAW for high-quality prints, extensive editing, or challenging lighting conditions. JPEG is ideal for quick sharing, casual photography, or when you need to conserve space.

RAW and JPEG serve different purposes in photography. By understanding their strengths and limitations, you can make informed decisions about which format to use in various shooting scenarios. Remember, the best format is the one that aligns with your creative vision and practical needs.


The art of wildlife photography is a dance with the unpredictable, a symphony of patience, skill, and a deep understanding of the natural world. It’s about capturing the essence of the untamed, the fleeting moments of raw beauty that nature so generously offers. As a seasoned content writer for a leading Wildlife Photographer Company, Focused Expeditions I’ve had the privilege of conversing with some of the most renowned names in the field and witnessing their passion for the craft. In this blog post, I will share five advanced photography tips that embody the wisdom of these experts, designed to elevate your wildlife photography from mere snapshots to compelling stories of life in the wild.

Tip 1: Understand Your Subject

The cornerstone of great wildlife photography is an intimate knowledge of your subject. Renowned wildlife photographer Frans Lanting once said, “I want to interpret the natural world and our links to it. It’s driven by the belief of many world-class photographers that we need to care for our planet.” To capture the soul of your subject, you must invest time in learning its behavior, patterns, and habitat. This knowledge not only prepares you to anticipate action for that perfect shot but also ensures you respect the creature’s space, keeping both you and the subject safe.

Tip 2: Master the Light

Light is the paintbrush of the wildlife photographer. The golden hours of dawn and dusk often provide a magical palette that can transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. However, the midday sun can cast harsh shadows and wash out your images. Nick Nichols, a photographer known for his work with National Geographic, often utilises the soft light of overcast days to create evocative and moody images that tell a story. Experiment with different lighting conditions to discover how each can dramatically alter the mood and impact of your photographs.

Tip 3: Composition is Key

The rule of thirds is just the beginning. Dive deeper into the composition by incorporating leading lines, framing, and the balance of elements within your shot. Take inspiration from the work of Marina Cano, whose compositions often include an environmental context that tells a broader story of the wildlife’s habitat. Remember, sometimes breaking the rules can lead to the most breathtaking images, so don’t be afraid to experiment.

Tip 4: Patience Pays

Wildlife photography is not a sprint; it’s a marathon. Often, the difference between a good photograph and a great one is the time spent waiting for that decisive moment. Michael ‘Nick’ Nichols spent months in the field to capture his iconic images of Serengeti lions. Embrace the wait, and be prepared to capture the action when it unfolds. Your patience will reward you with shots that are both technically sound and emotionally charged.

Tip 5: The Gear That Gets You There

While the photographer’s eye is paramount, having the right gear can make a significant difference. A sturdy tripod, a fast camera with high ISO capabilities, and a selection of lenses from wide-angle to telephoto can prepare you for any situation. Andy Rouse, an award-winning wildlife photographer, emphasises the importance of understanding your equipment so that it becomes an extension of your vision, allowing you to capture those split-second moments that are the heart of wildlife photography.


Wildlife photography is a journey of continuous learning and passion. Each foray into the wild is an opportunity to not only witness nature’s marvels but to also bring back stories that can inspire conservation and appreciation. By understanding your subject, mastering the light, composing with intention, practicing patience, and knowing your gear, you are well on your way to capturing images that do more than document; they enchant and advocate for the wild world we are a part of. So, load up your gear, head into the wilderness, and let the world see through your lens the untamed beauty that you have the privilege of witnessing. Happy shooting!

Packing the right items for a wetlands and wildlife tour is crucial to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience in the great outdoors. Here is a list of essential items to consider when preparing for your wetlands adventure:

  1. Appropriate Clothing: Dressing in layers is key when exploring wetland environments, as weather conditions can change rapidly. Pack lightweight, breathable clothing that provides protection from the sun and insects. Long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and a wide-brimmed hat are essential to shield yourself from the elements. Don’t forget to bring a waterproof jacket or poncho in case of rain.
  2. Sturdy Footwear: Wetland terrain can be uneven and muddy, so it’s important to wear sturdy, waterproof footwear. Opt for comfortable hiking boots or rubber boots that provide good traction and ankle support. Waterproof socks can also be beneficial to keep your feet dry during walks or boat trips.
  3. Binoculars and Camera: To fully appreciate the beauty of wetland wildlife, it’s essential to bring binoculars and a camera with a telephoto lens. Binoculars will allow you to observe birds and other wildlife from a distance, while a telephoto lens will enable you to capture close-up shots without disturbing the animals. Don’t forget extra batteries and memory cards.
  4. Insect Repellent and Sunscreen: Wetlands are often home to mosquitoes and other biting insects, so packing a high-quality insect repellent is essential. Look for one that contains DEET or other effective ingredients. Additionally, don’t forget to bring sunscreen with a high SPF to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.
  5. Water and Snacks: Staying hydrated is crucial when exploring wetlands, so ensure you bring an adequate supply of water. Pack energy-boosting snacks such as granola bars or trail mix to keep you fueled during your adventures.
  6. Field Guides and Reference Books: To enhance your knowledge and identification skills, consider bringing field guides or reference books specific to the wetland region you’ll be visiting. These resources will help you identify the various bird species, plants, and other wildlife you encounter along the way.

By packing these essential items, you’ll be well-prepared to fully enjoy your wetlands and wildlife tour.