Events and Blog
Call of the Wild - An Exhibition of Nature and Wildlife Photography
My images will feature in this exhibition of works by Victorian Nature Photographers - Some works will be available for purchase.
When: 7-24 February
Gallery Hours: Thursdays 12noon - 8pm Fridays,Saturdays and Sundays 11am - 5pm
Where: Domain House Gallery, Royal Botanical Gardens
Mallee, Broken Hill, Flinders and Gammon Ranges Road Trip
Travelled through arid areas in Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia. You can't beat the desert for viewing the stars and at Emu Lake (no water to be seen) in Kinchega National Park I took a great image of a magnificient Wedge Tailed Eagle flying a couple of metres off the ground. My wife and daughter marvelled and laughed at the way I attracted emus to me at Wyperfeld National Park so that I could get some close up photographs of them. I used the old aboriginal hunting trick of coaxing the emus to within spearing range by lying on my back and "pedalling my legs in the air" as if on a bicycle. The curious emus find this irresistible and run over to see what this strange creature is. To top it off I managed to find a blue bearded dragon that I eagerly photographed on our trek to Wilpena Pound in the Flinders Ranges National Park.
Photographic Expedition - Outback New South Wales and Queensland
During July I will be travelling north through outback NSW and Qld. I do not know exactly where - I just let the journey unfold when I am on the road. No doubt I will have many inspirational photographic opportunities. I will definitely be going "Back of Bourke" a term that symbolises the outback in Australia - the term refers to the town of Bourke and that anything further west is definitely in the outback. - I'm back and we ended up travelling through outback South Australia as well and even photographed some dingoes at Innamincka. Went to Cameron Corner where NSW, Qld and South Australia's borders meet. Got some great images of raptors, budgies, western grey, red and euro kangaroos and emus.
Speaker at Careers Night - Monash University
On the 14 August I will be speaking to Science students and graduates on Science Industry Night during National Science Week as part of the Biological Sciences Panel. The night will give science students and graduates a look at the careers available to them.
The science industry night went very well. It was a pleasure speaking to such enthusiastic young scientists. The thankyou email that I received reflected the success of the evening - "On behalf of the organising committee for Science Industry Night, please accept my most sincere thanks in being a part of the event. Your enthusiasm and input onto the panels was so well received by the students who attended. Talking to them after the event and judging from emails I have received today, the feedback has been overwhelming positive." Carolyn Vark (Careers Education Consultant)August 2013
Digital Show Melbourne Exhibition Centre (Jeff's Shed)
The show ran from Friday 13 - Sunday 15 September. There was some lovely equipment on display such as the S medium format and M systems at the Leica stand and the Alpa cameras and Phase one IQ digital backs at the L&P stand. I think that the best stand for interactivity was the olympus stand with its full frame challenge where photographers could pitch their full frame digital cameras against the new olympus OMD EM1. The OMD gave surprisingly good results when large prints were made from both the full frame and OMD EM1 (micro 4/3) image files and then displayed side by side. The lectures given by professional photographers during the show were also a highlight.
21 June 2014
Launch of the "Flora of Melbourne" 4th edition
This authoritative text by Marilyn Bull and with line drawings by George Stolfo also includes many colour photographs was launched at Kuranga Nursery in Mt. Evelyn. About 100 of my photographs of indigenous flora were used in the book and also on the front and back covers.
16 July 2014
Using the Sony A7r
This little mirrorless camera with the big full frame sensor is proving to be great for my nature photography and photography through the microscope. I have had to develop techniques to avoid vibration due to shutter vibration as there is no "silent mode" as in my canon eos 7d. I am looking forward to producing high resolution images with this little 36 megapixel Sony camera.
Nature Through My Eyes - Exhibition at the Ramp Gallery Monash Gallery of Art
During the month of September I will have an exhibition of my photography at the Monash Gallery of Art. It will show the diversity of Australian life from insects to cockatoos in flight. It will show life from the oceans, land and sky through my eyes. Runs from 3 Sept - 5 Oct (except on Mondays).
Click for Media Release. or Slideshow of exhibition images.
An Australian Threepence, the Lord's Prayer, King Edward's Abdication and the engraver - An unusual assignment.
I had an unusual photography assignment this May.
Dr. Ross Lamplugh asked me to photograph a 1925 Australian Threepence that his Grandfather had skillfully etched the Lord's prayer onto.
His Grandfather was so talented that he was offered the task of designing coinage and currency for the coronation of King Edward VIII in the 1930's. Unfortunately fate intervened and the coins were not produced due to the abdication of Edward.
Art Show - St. John the Baptist Primary School
I was requested to donate a print for an Auction at the St. John the Baptist Primary School at Ferntree Gully, Victoria. I chose my image of a Cool Temperate Rainforest in the Yarra Ranges. I like this image because it has an ancient moss covered Antarctic Beech surrounded by Tree ferns. If you would like to attend the art show and auction on the 3rd September you can book here.
Letter of appreciation for the artwork.
Megan Lewis Photojournalism Workshop
I attended a workshop presented by the award winning photojournalist Megan Lewis on the 26th September. Megan is a Kiwi photographer based in Australia she worked for many years for the Reuters News agency. She went freelance to undertake a project where she lived with an indigenous community in a remote corner of West Australia the book that resulted was "Conversations with the Mob" the images within show a real empathy with the community and exhibit real emotion. Megan emphasized that capturing emotion in your images comes first and technique second. Megan is currently an ambassador for the Fujifilm range of X cameras. These mirrorless cameras have an excellent range of interchangeable lenses (Warrick Williams from Fujifilm also showed me some lenses with real aperture rings!) and I especially liked that the cameras have a silent shutter mode and that the XT1is weather sealed.
Converting underwater housing to digital
I recently converted an old underwater film camera housing of mine to take my e-series olympus digital cameras and lenses. Until now I have done all my underwater work with the reliable film nikonos system with the fantastic 15mm lens and my underwater extension tubes for my 35mm lens for macro work . However it is getting tougher to get slide film and processing done. The results from the digital system are promising (lace bryozoan -2X conv.+50mm macro) but I still like the compact nikonos and the results I get from scanning the slides. Curious porcupine fish (Nikonos 15mm lens) and porcupine fish portrait (Nikonos 35mm lens + extension tube).
New Acquisitions Nikon D500 and Olympus Omd em1
My initial thoughts on the Nikon D500 is that it is a fine camera and takes fine images but my initial usage shows that I still really need to use manual focus and predict the flight paths of birds myself to get successful bird in flight shots - which is a pity because BIF shots is what I bought the camera for. (*I have found that when I use back button AF combined with continuous high advance and central spot AF that I can use the D500 effectively for BIF shots for example this swallow in flight). The lens that I purchased with the D500 was the Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6 this is a lens that gives lovely image quality for a reasonable price. I purchased the Olympus Omd em1 and immediately updated the firmware to version 4.1 so that I could do focus bracketing and stack the resulting images in my computer. The stacked images I use for photomacrography and photomicrography of small organisms like these live aphids (stack of 200 frames). My 4/3 lenses work flawlessly on the Omd body with the m4/3 adapter I used my 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 zuiko lens for this shot of Blue Wrens that were feeding on the aphids.
Bargain Microscope - Epic Drive
I came across a Lomo Metallurgical Microscope (Great for incident light and darkfield photomicroscopy) for a bargain $100 but the seller would not post it. So I undertook an epic return drive of 2400km from Melbourne to Taree in northern NSW. I took my dog Lucky as company. We successfully undertook the drive in about a day and a half (with rest stops). On the way I saw a flock of about 100 yellow tailed black cockatoos flying out of a pine forest (the introduced Pinus radiata). They feed on the pine cones - cracking them open with their powerful beaks and eating the seeds within. Although the pine plantations tend to be biological deserts as far as indigenous fauna and flora go. The cockatoos fly back to surrounding remnant native vegetation to roost and nest.
Converting underwater housing to digital - 2nd instalment
I undertook further modifications of my film camera housing to hold my sony 36mp A7r with either my 45mm rokkor or 20mm Nikkor lenses. Behind a dome port this gives me the equivalent of my 35mm and 15mm nikonos lenses underwater. This Mosaic Leatherjacket was photographed using this system.
Nikon Small World 2016
I am honoured to have been awarded an Image of Distinction in this premiere photomicrography competition for my Central Florets of a Daisy.
I needed a bit of relaxation so I took a few insect images around my home garden. For a bit of fun I converted a sequence of images into an animation of a Hoverfly Landing.
Hasselblad Phase One Digital Back
I generally hire digital backs for my Hasselblad V system because they are so expensive and my needs vary between colour backs and the Phase One black and white achromatic back - I could not resist however buying a second hand Phase One H20 back for a song - they originally cost US$25,000. The build quality is superb and the back gives wonderful results here is my first test shot of a Golden Daisy.
Using my old Minolta srt 101 and 7.5mm Fisheye lens
I shot a roll of 200 iso Agfa negative film and captured this image of 'Governor LaTrobe and I reading' - outside the State Library of Victoria in Melbourne. (The camera is out of frame in my right hand).
Michael's Camera - urban scavenger hunt
The image above was taken as part of a competition to challenge myself with someone else's brief other than my own - my biological photography is generally driven by nature and the seasons. I won the urban sculpture category with my image of discarded polystyrene packaging in a Melbourne City wheelie bin and achieved an honourable mention in the upward and onward category for my image where I point out a crane adding new floors to a skyscraper.
Super Blue Moon Lunar Eclipse
In Melbourne we had a wonderful view of Lunar Eclipse starting on the 31 January at 10.48pm with the maximum total eclipse at 12.30am and finishing at 2.11am on the 1 February. This is a composite of some of my images.