Jim Picôt

Country: Australia 🇦🇺

I’m happily married to Floranie and have 2 children, James and Grace, residing at the beautiful Blue Bay, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. The Central Coast has an abundance of photo opportunities, with pristine beaches, beautiful countryside, lakes, and creeks…It has it all.

I took up photography in 1977,... and shortly afterwards decided to learn to fly, and gained my aeroplane license in 1986, I concentrated on aerobatics , mainly flying the Bellanca Citabria, a purpose built aerobatic aircraft for performing rolls , spins, loops etc. In 2000 I obtained my unrestricted Helicopter License, after training part time, at Newcastle Helicopters ( Now Skyline Aviation ) for 2 years. I am also a Hang Glider Pilot and have been flying the cliff’s of the Central Coast for 12 years,….. funny my wife did not like me flying the aeroplane or Helicopter, but liked me flying the Hang Glider !!.

My passion of photography came back in a big way 20 years ago when I purchased a second hand Linhof 617S camera from my friend Ken Duncan. So I was off to capture the landscape with excitement, which has if anything, only intensified. The early morning is my favourite time to take photos, the air is still clean and when the clouds blossom with colour anything can happen. Each time you go out the landscape and light is different, could be unusual patterns in the sand, a special light or a bizarre looking tree. Being of strong Christian faith when on location is a chance to connect with our creator, so it’s a double blessing!
In the early stages of photography I traveled extensively through south East Asia, and other places such as, The Seychelles Islands, Mauritius, Reunion Island. I also travelled to Nepal, India, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Tahiti, Hawaii, Vanauatu, Fiji, East Timor, Siberia, parts of Europe and USA.
In the late eighties I travelled around Australia 2 times on a motor bike, once clockwise and in ’87 anti clockwise, mostly camping in a small tent.

In 2004 I hired 2 shipping containers ( a 40 foot and a 20 foot ) and filled the 2 containers with second hand hospital equipment and shipped it over to Somalia… I raised the monies for the shipping costs of $13,000. They were in desperate need with one hospital servicing 800,000 people and a handful of doctors. Long story,… I will not go right into it,… I travelled with a Somali national and we covered vast areas within Somalia visiting other hospitals and TB clinics. With over 20 years with no government, so there were some uneasy moments. There were guns everywhere, we were searched often and stayed in very dangerous locations.
I spent some time in Afghanistan just before the Russian invasion, and me being young and naive was wondering why there were no tourists in Kabul, … I did not see one single tourist while I was there. I walked into big hotels that were empty !! I had to leave my passport at a military barracks and returned to pick it up with an Exit Visa on the day I flew out.

I also visited East Timor in 2009, a very poor country, the poorest in South East Asia and one of the poorest in the world. The people are very nice and many seem to forgive the Indonesians, which is a very good thing for their own sake. I visited Balibo , the location where the 5 Australian journo’s were murdered by the Indo forces in 1975, going by the photos, it has not changed much, and was a bit spooky as when I returned to Australia, the movie ‘’ Balibo ‘’ was just released and I watched the movie in Darwin a matter of days from where the movie was shot.

I climbed Mt Kilimanjaro , Tanzania , January 2012 , was a great experience. My blood oxygen level was still at 92% at 19,800 feet, so was blessed with no altitude sickness. I travelled on this trip with 2 bodies, a Canon 5D mark 3 and a Nikon D800e. The lenses I took were: Canon 2.8 16-35, fisheye, 24mm tiltshift and a 4.5-5.6 100-400 ( would have been nice for a more expensive tele, but it was still good ), and a 2.8 14-24 Nikor. A Gitso carbon tripod. Really right stuff ball head. I do not mind taking a heavyish tripod and head while travelling as one needs a good sturdy set up, especially considering spending all the money to get there, not much point in using a flimsy thing that makes you limited to what you can shoot in some circumstances.

My main background in photography is Landscape, I also shot weddings for 8 years solid, got some nice gigs in Fiji, Lord Howe Island and Uluru. I have also done some portrait work , real estate work ( in film days ), and various commission works.

 My main cameras 14 years back was a Linhof Technorama 617S, Noblex 150UX , and a Hasselblad XPan ,….. all great film camera’s. Now in the digital age I use a Nikon D810 for landscape and also a Canon 5D Mark 4 for any commercial work that comes my way.
Been flying DJI Drones for over 5 years now, and love taking photo's from the drone so much, that I rarely use a normal digital camera now. The Drone opens up a new world of photography, and I catch every sunrise and sunset of every day, weather permitting.