It’s only been a month or so since I got my new BMW G310GS and so far I’ve managed to clock over 2500 kms.

Photo BMW G310GS off road amongst pine trees in Imbil State Forest, Queensland, Australia. Photography by Joseph Byford.

“The pine forest was so dense you could see the curves of the trail cutting through the canopy above.”


ADV Bike BMW G310GS parked outside a tent in a camp spot in NSW, Australia. Photograph by Joseph Byford.

A private camp spot in Broadwater, NSW, Australia. This was a catch up with old high school friends just before the start of the new year.

 

I like to take short photography adventure rides whenever I have a chance. If I find myself with a free night, I’ll often pack camping gear alongside the photography equipment. Obviously, the motorbike doesn’t have much room for gear. With just the tail bag and no saddle bags yet, I have to be pretty selective on what photography equipment I choose to come with me on these overnighter road trips. Never an easy task for me, but, I just keep reminding myself it’s not a commercial shoot, I don’t need 4 lenses, studio lights and modifiers for a motorbike ride… plus, limitations usually encourage creativity, right?

I managed to fit the camping gear in with room to spare for the Nikon D850, Nikon 14-24 2.8 lens, a tripod and the Lee filter 150 system with a 10 stop neutral density filter. This trip I thought I would focus on landscape photography.  In particular, I had a few night sky shots in mind. The filters I brought because I thought I might get some nice moving water shots with the creeks and waterfalls I would visit during the day. It was the best filter I could find that fits the bulbous beast that is the Nikon 14-24 2.8 and the 10 stop ND filter (just a sheet of glass that slides into the bracket) allows me to take an exposure of 25 seconds or more in the midday sun. This gives any moving water a smooth, ghostlike appearance. Here are some commercial architectural photography samples I do here in Brisbane that demonstrate what I’m talking about. Sadly, while I found some fantastic waterways, I just didn’t find the shot I was after this time. Sometimes I chose swimming over shooting.

 

starry sky photography while camping in Cononldale National Park BMW G310GS photographed with a starry sky in the background. Photography by Joseph Byford while camping in Cononldale National Park

I have already had a few little goes at taking this small adventure bike, often referred to as “The Baby GS”, off the beaten track, and I loved it. Granted, I haven’t much to compare it to. Unless you count the postie bike I rode growing up on the farm, and a little 125cc two-stroke dirtbike I had on my gap year in Italy, it’s my first bike. But I do know it feels good to be off the bitumen, so, I set out to find some more dirt roads. I also liked the idea of photographing nature for a change.

BMW G310GS offroad adventure in Qld, Australia.

A quick Google search for 4x4 tracks near Brisbane led me to Conondale National Park which has some 4x4 tracks as well as a camp ground called Booloumba Creek. The campground site warned it was only accessible by high clearance 4x4 on account of the two rivers that had to be crossed to reach it. I set out the next day. This trip to Conondale National Park turned out to be a fantastic mix of ADV Motorbike riding, photography and camping.

Camping with the BMW G310GS

4x4 track in Colondale National Park, QLD, Australia

The next morning, after checking out the Booloumba Falls, I gunned it to the dirt trails and 4x4 tracks in the Imbil State Forest. I had planned to stay around the Conondale National park area but it wasn’t until I got there I found out most trails were closed for controlled burning. Trying to be sensible, I decided against riding into a literal valley of fire and headed toward Kenilworth, Queensland instead. That’s how you enter the Imbil State Forest and sample all the tracks it has to offer. So much fun! Every now and then, after bumping and sliding about the skinny tracks, I’d stop to take out the camera.

Road Closed Ahead. 4x4 track in Colondale National Park, QLD, Australia

Adventure motorbike BMW G310GS off road.

All in all it was a blast. I’ll be doing it again for sure, only next time I’ll be camping somewhere closer to a creek, maybe Charlie Moreland Camping Area.

Nikon D850 and Nikon 14-24 2.8 lens in the field.

A few BTS shots as well as a couple cheeky video clips from the journey.