Why you need to see the Whitsundays by air Posted by Hamilton Island - 11 December 2017 When award-winning photographers visit Hamilton Island, the first thing they put on their itineraries is taking a helicopter flight over Whitehaven Beach, Hill Inlet and the Great Barrier Reef. The opportunity to photograph and witness these incredible natural wonders with their own eyes is what photographer’s dreams are made of. We recently made the journey alongside Jason Ierace and Andrew Caitens to get their unique perspective on seeing these wonders by helicopter. Taking to the sky with Hamilton Island Air. Photo by Andrew Caitens. Andrew Caitens – Photographer - @caitensphoto How would you describe getting to see Whitehaven, Hill Inlet and the Great Barrier Reef by air? I've been lucky enough to have walked the length of Whitehaven, hiked the Hill Inlet lookout and dived in the Great Barrier Reef, but nothing gives you a better perspective of this region than a scenic flight - prepare to be overwhelmed. Rugged rocky coastlines, swirling sand displays and of course the stunning turquoise water. Every moment in the air is packed full of beauty. Right above the incredible swirls of Hill Inlet. Photo by Andrew Caitens. What surprised you about seeing it in “Real Life” compared to in photos? Hill Inlet, Whitehaven Beach and the Great Barrier Reef are undoubtedly some of Queensland's most iconic natural formations. Scenes I'd seen a thousand times on social media seemed new for me when I experienced them first hand. The iconic Heart Reef. Photo by Andrew Caitens. Any tips for shooting the experience? Shoot fast - a high shutter speed will help reduce motion blur in photos, particularly if you're using a telephoto lens. Using your camera's burst mode will increase the likelihood of capturing a frame without the helicopter's propellers in it. Adding a Circular Polarizing Filter to the front of your lens does wonders for cutting glare from the water and will really show off the Whitsundays’ famous hues - it will also help reduce reflections if you're shooting through the heli's windows. Lastly - don't get too caught up in trying to capture every moment. Remember not to just see everything through your camera lens. The splendor of the Great Barrier Reef. Photo by Andrew Caitens. What was your favourite photo taken on the day and why? It's definitely a hard task to choose a favourite image from a flight around the Whitsundays! I landed on this shot of Hill Inlet as it's (what I like to think) a different take on a classic scene. Instead of focusing just on the swirling patterns of the silica sand, I shot wide to include a boat making its way past Tongue Point. Including a human element adds a sense of scale and really sums up what life in the 'Sundays is all about. Andrew's favoruite photo from the flight. Photo by Andrew Caiten. Jason Ierace – photographer - @jasonierace How would you describe getting to see Whitehaven, Hill Inlet and the Great Barrier Reef by air? To be honest, I think the only way to really appreciate the beauty and the expanse of the area is by air. Once you are above everything looking down, you can really see the way all the colours of the sand and water work together, as well as the expanse of the reef and how it all works together. It’s just amazing. The amazing swirls of colour popped as we flew over. Photo by Jason Ierace. What surprised you about seeing it in “Real Life” compared to in photos? The biggest surprise I think was the expanse of the area. We did a one-hour flight and although we saw a lot, that was only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the reef and the area as a whole. The other surprise is, it really looks like the photos. I mean there’s no trickery. The water, landscape and reef really looks like the pictures you see - it’s not photo-shopped- it’s unbelievably real. The vibrant colours of the Great Barrier Reef. Photo by Jason Ierace. Any tips for shooting the experience? The biggest tip I think is to shoot with a polarising filter. This way you can really take the glare off the water, so you can see the reef, the patterns and the textures that lay underneath. The memorising kaleidoscope at Hill Inlet. Photo by Jason Ierace. What was your favourite photo taken on the day and why? For me I like to shoot landscapes and aerial shots so they are a little more obscure. I like them to be quite graphic or have an element to the image that makes you have to look twice to see what it is and what is going on. I took this around Hill Inlet and just love the human element on the sand but the pattern and expanse of the water. Giving a sense of perspective on Whitehaven Beach. Photo by Jason Ierace. About the Author Part of the Whitsundays, and in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, Hamilton Island is one of Australia’s most spectacular and sought-after holiday destinations. On a holiday to Hamilton Island, you'll be surrounded by pristine white beaches, and a kaleidoscope of coral and marine life.