Oceanic, underwater and wild photography
by Jeremy Somerville
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    Foto Frenzy on Lady Elliot Island 2017

    Article - Posted on 2nd May 2017

    I just got back from an incredible week of photography on Lady Elliot Island, at the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef. I was there participating in Foto Frenzy Lady Elliot Island with mentors Darren Jew & Jasmine Carey from the Foto Frenzy team; nature, ocean and wildlife photographer Sean Scott; Gary Cranitch from the Queensland Museum; and Colin Baker & Greg Sullavan from the Canon Australia team. The event is a week long photography workshop with a focus on underwater photography and it's not hard to see why Lady Elliot Island was the destination of choice. 

    The Flight

    Lady Elliot Island is a mere 40 min flight from Hervey Bay/Bundaberg or if you're so inclined you can also fly from Brisbane or from the Gold Coast like I did. Taking off from the Gold Coast in the morning is an incredible sight to behold.

    There's also a free Lady Elliot flight app that I had on my phone. It's got a heap of information on all the sights that you can see out the window on the plane trip which is pretty cool. It's also got a bunch of information on stuff like your current speed and altitude which is pretty interesting to look at.

    Such a spectacular flight at the perfect time of day.

    There's something to see the whole way to the island. The way from the Gold Coast is dotted with islands, canals and all sorts of interesting things. It pays to keep looking out the window.

    On approach to the island, the view of the reef is spectacular. You can see the western side of the island in this photo, complete with lighthouse and a couple of snorkel/dive boats out on the water.

    The Island

    Lady Elliot Island is a spectacular dot in the middle of the deep blue ocean. Straight across the centre is a small airstrip large enough to land small planes and it must be said that taking off and landing is one of the highlights of the trip. The island is only 600 metres across which makes walking across it an absolute breeze. The island itself is a coral cay located at the very southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef.

    From this angle you can see the resort and the lagoon clearly (left hand side).

    Lady Elliot Island Resort Palm Trees

    After landing this is one of the first sights you are greeted with. A row of palm trees just to remind you where you are (like you could forget).

    Lady Elliot Island palm tree right in front of the lagoon.

    This shot is taken from right near the restaurant. Palm trees, lagoon and blue skies is pretty hard to beat.

    The Wildlife

    There is such a wide variety of wildlife on and around Lady Elliot Island. On land there are a huge number of birds that are always flying around everywhere but it's in the water where thing start to get really interesting.


    Lady Elliot Island may be home of the manta ray but the first animals you really notice are the turtles. There are dozens of turtles chilling in the lagoon and they would have to rank among some of the most friendly turtles that I have ever swam with!

    A friendly Green Sea Turtle that I found out in the lagoon. I love the way they look like they're are waving their arms around!

    Taken just before sunset out on the western side of Lady Elliot Island. A green sea turtle rises to take breath.

    Being in the water at sunset is a truly magical place to be. It's made even better when you get turtles popping up everywhere!

    One of my favourite spots on the island, this sandy patch right near second reef is a joy to photograph marine life on

    Other Marine Animals

    While turtles may be what everyone will be talking about, there's so much life in the water out on Lady Elliot it really boggles the mind. So many fish, rays and sharks. There's so much to see and every time you go in you'll see something different!

    I spotted these eagle rays (on that same sandy patch). Normally eagle rays don't approach too closely but these two were happy to let me free dive down to them. Awesome experience!

    Summing Up

    I love lady elliot, it's such an incredible location and I really can't recommend it enough! 

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