Behind the lens

John Laurie: Wanderings

How old are you?


Where are you based?

Melbourne AU

How do you make a living? Professional commercial, editorial and fine art Photographer

What camera do you use?

A few. Contax 645 film camera. Canon 1dx and 5dIII. Phase one and just trying to get into Large format. I predominantly use one lens for most things –  the 50mm . I dig its real vibe

How has travel made an impact on your life?

Massively. It got me started. I’ve always had itchy feet. I studied Marketing at uni then worked for Leo Burnett and then quit after two years and went travelling through Indonesia, India, Thailand, Canada and USA. It was on this trip with Nikon FE2 that I really started to explore the medium of photography. I became aware of the corners of the globe and wanted to explore the people and cultures and this is what I did. Now I make a living from doing it.

What does adventure mean to you?

Remoteness, untouched cultures, open landscapes, campfires, great waves, hiking, sunsets, sunrises, stars, reading, meeting people, being still and present. It courses through your veins like an addiction that drives you pursue the different, the obscure, the meaningful and the mesmerising

This was taken onboard a cruise ship for a story I covered for Australian Gourmet Traveller. It is in the middle of the Baltic Sea early in the morning during Summer so the days were really long. Thank goodness for block out blinds

This photo was taken on the island of Sumba in Indonesia. They are traditional Sumbanese horseman who ride bareback on pretty wild horses as part of the Pasola battle ritual. By then end I think they were pretty keen to spear me. Photographers can be pretty annoying sometimes. Or maybe its just me

Taken from the side of the road in the Tierra Atacama in Chile. Completely unplanned, I got out of the car to take a landscape photo and this awesome 1960s style brown pickup cruised through. It’s got a real Easy Rider vibe to it that I really dig. The whole place is pretty incredible and pretty hard to take a bad photo that’s for sure! Although i’ve just had a look through my files and there are some shockers. Maybe I just got lucky

On piste shot on a recent snowboarding trip to Myoko in Japan. I’d been there all week with friends and family and had been riding empty runs for days. It’s a pretty awesome place. Unchanged since the 1970s and very Japanese and local. I’d decided to dedicate this first day of the weekend when it was the most crowded to shooting and really got into all the colours and constructing little tableaus of people as form in the landscape. I’ve got this printed massive on my wall at home. I think it looks good. But im a terrible judge of things so I could easily be mistaken.

Fox glacier New Zealand. Shot from a helicopter. I like the snow and ice and I want to do way more it this year. This was at the end of the season as it slowly began to melt away. I probably didn’t need to tell you that but I had some space left in the caption and feel the urge to use it all up.

This guy made me laugh! Shot in St Mawes in Cornwall England. I was there photographing the people on holiday in this beautiful cove. Then this guy rocked up. He’d never spearfished before and I think he still had his clothes on under his wetsuit. He was super cool though and I liked his vibe. So I photographed him and sent him on his way. Goodbye I said.

Salt pans of Maras in Peru. I love repetitious patterns in nature. This place is off the hook. Cascading salt pans that terraced down the side of a valley set amongst the mountains. I was here on assignment for a few weeks exploring Peru and Chile with a writer friend. I enjoyed this possibly more than Macchu Picchu. Its pretty hectic there but still has a vibe. They knew their stuff the Incans that’s for sure. Well played Incans. Tip of the cap.

This was onboard a traditional Fijian Camakau sailing boat. It was a pretty relaxing way to spend the afternoon cruising around with this dude although he got confused as to why I kept asking him to look wistfully out to the horizon. I was on assignment for an American travel magazine shooting the incredible luxury resort called Laucala, a private island in Fiji. It was during off-peak season so I pretty much had this entire resort to myself. You win some you lose some. Gin please!

Hell yes. Valle de la Luna (Valley of the Moon) in Chile. I literally could have thrown my camera in the air and it would have taken a good photo. Zero plants, desert palette, hot as hell, a couple of mountain bikers and a bronze van. The ingredients were there. I just stirred the pot.