Luke Dean-Weymark is a Ducati-riding, music-loving, ocean-dwelling extreme sports junkie and travel photographer. And he’s not one to just sit back and snap—he gets in on the action. From the Golden Hand wall ball championship to canoeing the Kangaroo River, Luke doesn’t miss a thing. Here, he shares how he got started, his dream destination and what he gets out of Pinterest.
First question—it’s an easy one—who’s your favorite band?
My playlists generally consist of music from the ‘60s and ‘70s like Pink Floyd, The Doobie Brothers, The Rolling Stones, Carlos Santana and Eric Clapton. But above all, Led Zeppelin is my all-time favorite band. I’m a bit of an old soul.
An old soul who needs an adrenaline rush every now and then.
I love extreme sports—skating, snowboarding, BMX, surfing, downhill mountain biking, motocross and motorcycle racing. I spend most of the time bodyboarding or riding my Ducati. I get in the ocean for a surf or out on the open road a few times a week to get the blood pumping.
You just returned from shooting—and competing in—the Wall Ball International Golden Hand Championships in Australia. Do your hands hurt?
Yes, they’re sore! Wall ball is a high-impact sport, so after a full day on the court, I feel like I’ve been hit by a bus. And this was the first ever “official” wall ball competition. Two hundred men and women went head-to-head, determined to take home the prestigious Golden Hand trophy. It was very exciting and the vibe was incredible.
Tell us about riding in the Ducati tour around Tuscany.
It was a seven-day tour through the crème de la crème of riding territory, including the Futa Pass, the road used to test Ducatis and Ferraris. We stayed in four- and five-star hotels, drank Tuscan wine and had enough red meat to give you the sweats. At the end of the day, there was nothing better than sitting by the pool drinking a much-deserved ale with your tour mates.
Do you bring your camera along when you’re just hanging out with friends?
I always have my camera. Last Fall, I went on a kayak and camping tripon the Kangaroo River with 20 of my friends and a few essentials (cold beer and cask wine). Every day, we paddled for about four hours through Morton National Park. One of the highlights was my buddy Nick dressing up like a pirate for no particular reason. He definitely looked the part paddling down the river.
When did you get the travel bug?
It all started in 2010. My partner Natalie and I always wanted to travel through Europe so we packed up our lives in Sydney, Australia and setup basecamp in London, England. As soon as I touched down on foreign soil, a giant-sized travel bug bit me! Over the course of a few years we visited Iceland, Scotland, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Corsica, France, Switzerland, Morocco, Norway, Spain and probably a bunch more that I’ve forgotten. My favorite memories are from this time.
Travel is such a rich experience and shouldn’t just be about ticking off destinations from your bucket list. It’s about the people you meet, the unique cultures and the history you experience first hand. The feeling is unbeatable.
When did you pick up photography?
Photography was part and parcel with traveling. I started a blog, LDW Photography, to keep our friends and family updated on our trip. I’m self-taught, although I keep saying I’m going to do a proper course. Thankfully, I learn from my mistakes. My skills come from lots of experimentation and loads of error. I take my camera everywhere—persistence and repetition help me learn.
Where are you going next?
My dream destination is about to become a reality. This September, I’ll spend five weeks in Central and South America. I’ve always been drawn to locations with natural beauty, rather than cityscapes, and these are huge countries with a broad range of culture, landscapes, history and people. I’ll shoot in Mexico, Costa Rica, Peru and the Galapagos Islands off the west coast of Ecuador.
When people see your photography, what do you want them to experience?
A personal connection. All my photos are of my life experiences, they’re not commissioned. They give me great joy and I hope they do the same for others.
I use Pinterest to research new travel destinations, buy things (which I do quite often) and just for general inspiration. Group boards are a great way to band together with like-minded people. I contribute to group boards like For Men Only and recently paired up with the San Diego Zoo on my Animals board.
Now that I have so many followers, people often approach me with campaign ideas, collaborations and new business ventures. Pinterest has opened up a lot of opportunities.