Professional photographer Pete James has had quite a few close calls with nature as he captured some ground-breaking photos.

Pete defies the elements to capture the perfect pic

June 5, 2019 BY

OCEAN Grove photographer Pete James has nearly been struck by lightning twice, nearly been washed off the Point Lonsdale Pier when a huge wave hit it and nearly been washed off rocks a few times.

He’s also found himself in some pretty bizarre locations at weird times of the night and day.

But Pete says when it comes to landscape photography, you have to be in it to win it.

“I’ve had quite a few close calls with nature,” Pete said.

“With my landscape photography, I do spend a lot of time out early in the morning, out in wild weather and late at night, and quite a bit of travel and driving around.

“But you need to put yourself in the right situation to get the good shots.

“You can’t just head out at 9am randomly and expect to get ground-breaking photos.”

Pete said his shot of a wave and a ship at the Point Lonsdale Pier had become one of his favourite images.

“I had been keeping an eye on the swell that was predicted to come all week and was getting pretty nexcited about the prospect of what I could capture that day,” he said.

“My initial plan was to head to Bells Beach before sunrise hoping to capture the iconic Bells line-up image as the first light of the day descended on it.

“The swell was big, but it just wasn’t lining up how I’d hoped.

“Then I got a call from a friend who had gone to Point Lonsdale and he said the waves out from the pier were firing, so I raced up from Torquay to see what was going on there.

“Sure enough there were quite a few large waves rolling through and a few photographers were out there getting shots.

“A couple of them left but I hung around as I could see a ship coming towards the heads from Port Phillip.

“I could picture this image in my head, of the ship and a large wave breaking off the pier.

“So as the ship sailed closer I was hoping like crazy that a large set wave would come past at the same time.

“And well, as you can see, it obviously did.” Pete said the light on the rear of the ship was his favourite part of the image.

“To me it is just the icing on the cake,” he said. “Sometimes all the elements come together perfectly for you to grab that awesome photo.”

Pete said one of the things he loved doing these days was running his photography tours.

“I run weekend tours down the Great Ocean Road and also run six-day tours of the South Island of New Zealand,” he said.

“It’s amazing how a group of strangers become great friends within a day or two when you are together with a common interest,” he said.

“And to see people improve by the day and see their delight on their faces when they take one great shot after another.”

To learn more about Pete, visit or follow him on Facebook – or

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