It’s such a pleasure to share the spectacular work of Sydney photographer Lina Hayes here on Cohabitaire. Reading through Lina’s responses I can’t help but feel a kindred spirit in our midst, her words pretty much sum up my thoughts about the magic of photography, so if anyone was to ever interview me I’d probably say ‘what she said’! But enough about me and onto the talent, and what incredible talent Lina is! Hope you have a great day and enjoy this little Q&A with Lina….
Thank you, I’m very flattered to be on your blog! My name is Lina Hayes and I’m a 21 year old self taught photographer. I’m currently living in Sydney, Australia.
I’m currently studying exercise science at Sydney University and my primary job is as a sports coach. Definitely a contrast to what I do with the rest of my time! My free time is predominantly spent looking for inspiration anywhere I can find it, and being out and about with my camera.
I have a very strong impulse and desire to travel and see everything that I possibly can, and I hope this impulse never slows down. For me, photography is my way of placing my heart and eyes on the same continuum, and a way of enjoying life rather than just a hobby.
I have a confession to make. I have an incurable obsession with light. Which is ironic considering the origin and meaning of my name is exactly that – ‘light’. I love how it highlights certain aspects of the landscape during different times of the day. Lens flare is something I aim for, not avoid, and I don’t think I will ever lose my fascination with Golden Hour (the golden light that presents itself the hour after sunrise and before sunset.)
In combination with light, my eyes are also instantly drawn to colour. And VIBRANT colour! This goes hand in hand with my love of sunrises and sunsets, and the different colours that nature presents for us every day.
Another recurring theme with my photos is the use of a human figure subtly within my landscape shots. I try to make sure the human element doesn’t distract from the elements of nature, but rather offers a different perspective on the photo. The use of a figure helps to convey a story as well as depict my own fascination with nature.
In regards to the equipment I use, I’m actually still using a lower market Canon 400D which I received quite a few years back as a birthday present. As a uni student, I’m slowly but surely saving up for a new range model. Any portrait or close-up shots I have my 50mm or 35mm f/1.8 strapped on the camera, otherwise I use a wide angle lens for my landscapes. I’ve always believed it’s the person behind the camera that makes the magic happen, not the equipment!!
Choosing one from this year is incredibly tough as it has definitely been my busiest year for photos!
I really like the composition in this shot (left) from Bondi. This particular afternoon I received an email from a friend recommending that I should head down to the beach if I had the chance, as the swell was supposed to be massive. Huge swells and stormy weather collided with the beautiful sunset to create this scene before me – definitely one I will not forget!
This other shot (below) is taken in the small town of Yamba, NSW. I’ve visited this place every year since I was a child, and every single year I manage to discover something new there. I don’t believe I will ever lose interest in this place in this life-time. This photo shows one of the most vibrant sunsets I’ve witnessed to date, with the colours lingering around afterwards for what seemed like hours. I guess someone must have pre-empted my visit, leaving a chair and bottle of Corona there for me!
One of my latest shots is this one taken on the South Coast of NSW, Australia. Having a free Sunday off, I travelled with my partner (also an avid photographer) to the South Coast, as it was a spot that was yet to be crossed off the list.
As we were driving along the coast and the sun was quickly setting, we tried to work out the best spot to pull over and get our sunset shots. We finally decided on this beach in Austinmer, which turned out to be a good choice! With the area predominantly deserted, we wondered around trying to capture the pastel colours that lingered in the sky, before they quickly disappeared with the setting sun.
I think my love for nature stems from my childhood, being a kid that was always encouraged to roam around and explore my surroundings. These days I’m still doing the same thing while trying to capture and preserve them with my photos. Nature provides a type of nostalgia for me, and a feeling that I find very comforting and relaxing when I’m surrounded by it.
I have a never ending list of landscapes to visit, which only seems to grow longer even when I feel like I’m ticking things off quickly! Every photo I post has some sort of meaning or memory hidden behind, sometimes obvious and sometimes subtle, but nature would have to be an underlying theme in every photo I take. I don’t believe humans were made to sit down all day in one place, I think we need to use the most of the opportunities we have.