Photographic Biography

Text from an invited article I wrote for Australian Photography APS Gallery December 2019

Dombrovskis’ Morning Mist, Rock Island Bend, National Library of Australia, Canberra

My love of photography began in my teens in the early 1970s was inspired by the amazing Tasmanian wilderness photography of Olegas Truchanas and Peter Dombrovskis who I had the fortune to meet at the time.

I took thousands of slides of the wild areas especially in south west Tasmania and always had a keen audience of friends and family for slide nights.  Slide film was expensive so I started developing and printing my images with the B&W wet chemistry of the day. In these early years I was encouraged by my brother, who took up photography as a hobby about the same time and a group of enthusiastic school and university friends – we did a lot of gear and idea sharing.

Photography is a part of my life. At home I document our family’s journey through life, photographing weddings and funerals, children through childhood, pets, holidays, places and events. At work I became the unofficial department photographer, recording social and departmental events as well as documenting my research. Making images for departmental publications and for sharing with colleagues became one of my releases from the pressures of work as an academic. When travelling to conferences I always scheduled time before or after to explore the locale and return with a collection of images that narrated my journey.

I resisted digital for a while – how could digital possibly be better than good old Kodachrome slide film? But once I tried, I quickly appreciated the versatility and immediacy. Suddenly images became cheap and I could experiment with no extra cost. My shutter count rose exponentially, and ever larger disk drives were needed.

With retirement impending, my wife and I joined the Waverley Camera Club as something to keep us busy once we no longer spent all our days in paid employment.  This was an excellent move. We got to see lots of other people’s efforts in a stimulating social environment. We learned lots of new approaches and techniques, and, in particular, began to realise the power of post-processing to transform an image. We both rapidly improved our skills and became frequent award winners on our club competition nights.  With the encouragement of the club I started submitting images to national and international competitions and gained enough acceptances and awards to qualify for AAPS. We now spend several months a year travelling, photographing wild places around the world before they suffer more damage from climate change and human rapaciousness.

My photographic interests are broad, and I try always to be ready with a camera to capture the next image and to soak up new ideas to apply to my own photographic journey.