Ahoy to a great year that has been but not yet gone!

Ahoy there and Merry Christmas!

The last 12 months have been pretty amazing! Lots of progression with my work. New clients and opportunities making their way to the surface. My Tasmanian Devil photo project going very well with the biggest thing yet to happen (I can't tell you but I'll let you know I promise). Refining camera trapping techniques and working out what gear works and what doesn't is quite time consuming, sometimes tiring and very frustrating but very rewarding in the end. I have it pretty well sorted and feel the work will get better and better rom here on in. I attended a Joel Sartore (National Geographic) keynote talk and spoke with him about my work, a top guy and very inspirational. See Joel's work here -

Competitions - there are so many of these things out there who really know what is legitimate. The BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year and BBC Camera Trap competitions have always stood out to me more than any others. This year one of my Tasmanian Devil images received a commended in the Camera Trap competition which is exciting, since then I have some more images and will be entering the 2014 competition when it opens. The Camera Trap competition aims more towards science and conservation than simply pretty pictures. So, I try to blend the two and make beautiful pictures of unique species, easier said than done... There is another competition I have been meaning to enter a couple of times but miss the date every time, this time I got it. (Thanks Jason L. Stephens for the reminder) It's called the International Loupe Awards, there are amateur and open awards and is very popular. The open awards has more specific categories such as science/nature and photojournalism. I entered four images - two in science and nature, one in photojournalism and one in sport. Good results with three bronze awards and one silver.

The future is bright, many exciting things on the horizon. I've been teaching some camera basic courses based out of Watt's camera store in Burnie. Passing on some knowledge feels pretty good, helping others clear up some technical issues and learn some of the core fundamentals of this addictive hobby/job/.

This last week of the year and early 2014 is looking exciting already, I'll be heading to Hobart in a few days to shoot the Rolex Sydney to Hobart yacht race for AAP along with another Round the World race at New Year. I did this last year and was a pretty good experience and everyone was happy with my work. More confidence this year so this can only be a good thing! Late in January I'll be shooting Wildside MTB also, should be good!

Thank you to everyone who trusts me to shoot quality work for them - real estate agents, builders, newspapers/newswire, commercial clients and of course those elusive Tasmanian Devils making appearances right where I want them!

Below are some images I mentioned earlier, if anyone has some great ideas for creative shoots, give me a call 0487 407 901 or email

Adios, go get yourself some tequila!


BBC Camera Trap competition 2013, commended,

International Loupe Awards, bronze. Sport 13th outright.

International Loupe Awards, bronze. Photojournalism, 18th outright.

International Loupe Awards, bronze. 

International Loupe Awards, silver. Science and Nature, 18th outright.


Working on your craft is pretty important, no matter what it is. Everyone wants to get better! Those BMX and downhill racers aren't just born good or fast, sure there is natural ability to go along with it, but they train very hard and develop skills and strengths. Photography is no different, personally it can be hard to tell whether you are progressing or not. Sometimes I look at my work and just think what the hell am I doing. Anyone can put some pretty pictures on FB and get a whole bunch of likes, but in reality that means nothing.

I recently photographed a new home built by Collins Homes in Devonport. Not a big fancy mansion which looks like it was brought down from the Gold Coast on a truck, but a really nice normal home. Funnily enough I photographed the exact same house (design) a couple of years ago, only it was a mirror image and in a different street, this first shoot was for competition so I really made sure the work was top quality. It has since won many awards in national HIA builder awards, hopefully with the help of my work... See -

This second shoot was a perfect way to personally assess my own progress. Since the first version of this house I now realise I have learnt a LOT, particularly about lighting technique and the colour of light, along with other small technical details. In the past year or so I've been to several workshops/talks by some of the best shooters in the business. Some are long time National Geographic shooters (my dream job). The most educational talk and book I have read in this time (The Hot Shoe Diaries) was by Joe McNally, who is a bit of a lighting guru, especially location lighting with regular speed light type strobes (not big grunt studio packs). These workshops and books may not be aimed at shooting houses but I figure the principles are exactly the same so I use what I've leant, plus I shoot editorial jobs so this has been very valuable knowledge.

Here's a brief comparison of the two shoots: I shot half the amount of frames the second time around and processed them in maybe a quarter of the time all in Lightroom 5. Basic adjustments - straighten the verticals, WB fine tune, contrast, open up some shadows and boom, finito! The first shoot was all processed in Lightroom 4 also but I do remember doing some heavy dodging and burning along with the other processes.

My little tip for the day. Learn your craft, attend workshops. Read books. Pay for training or tutoring and learn real skills because at the end of the day anyone can sit there and click auto fix and hope for the best.

Here are some image comparisons, hopefully if you look closely you can see some kind of progress... Ta!


Shoot 1.

Shoot 2.

Shoot 1.

Shoot 2.

Shoot 1.

Shoot 2.

Shoot 1.

Shoot 2.

Copperhead session.

The warmth brings out the reptiles, I often go out bush for a random wander and this time I took a bunch of gear with a certain shot in mind. After shooting some snakes last summer I wanted to light the snake a lot nicer than what the mid day sun can, which is usually not that nice.

Armed with a light stand, some Canon strobes, mini and flex pocket wizards and ac3 zone controller, gels, small softbox and so on... I wandered.

For this idea I wanted a tiger snake but came across this copperhead in the brushes which I've seen several times over the last few weeks. I started shooting some regular shots getting an angle and observing the snakes behaviour. I shot some ambient only and also mixed with a bit of on camera flash with dome diffuser and a 1/2 cto gel to pump some warm fill light in there. Not beautiful light, but dialling the power back for some warm fill helps a bit.  It's very important to take your time and  not go blasting in there. Two things will happen, snake takes off fast and no chance of a shot, or get bitten. Patience is the key.

This particular day was very Tasmanian - blue sky, warm, then wind and rain, repeat six times. After taking cover a couple of times I decided to setup and work on this shot I had in mind. I put a 580ex2 on the light stand with a pocket wizard, 1/2 cto gel and frosty gel with the head zoomed all the way to 120mm then slowly put the light in place where I thought would make a nice angle hitting the snake.

I sessioned this for a little while and sure enough, rain again. I plan to use this technique throughout the summer and get it spot on. Take a look at some of the shots from the day.

Wide shot with ambient only.

Scale detail with fill flash.

Ambient only. 

Tighter frame with fill flash.

Lighting the snake with almost no ambient and directing a warm diffused flash to create nice highlights, controlled shadows and saturation.

Lighting the snake with almost no ambient and directing a warm diffused flash to create nice highlights, controlled shadows and saturation.

Tasmanian devil image hunting #1

I'm going to keep these posts short and sweet. This is #1 of more to come... I'll explain my project over several posts and share what information and shots I think others might like to see. Feel free to share this and my website.

I had this idea maybe 2 years ago while living in Singapore. After scanning the internet for what was available, (which there was very little) I though about attempting to shoot some high quality images of Tasmanian Devils. A few conditions I gave myself were: The devils had to be 100% wild, absolutely no bait to attract the devils, to keep the images as natural as possible. In the beginning I had no idea how to do it, after questioning some people I concluded that camera trapping was the only option to get the images I visioned.

In my "Life of a Tasmanian Devil" gallery you will find a selection of what I've shot so far in a photo essay type layout.

So yeah, this blog is way behind. But I though I should share some other info I've collected over the 18 or so months.

The Tasmanian Devil shares its habitat with many other species so I do get some other visitors which are welcome. These camera trap shots are always a lot more up close than usual. Here are a few shots of other visitors.

Stay tuned. 

Sometimes I get other visitors to the area. I don't mind this as camera trap images are a lot more intimate than shooting from way back with long lenses.

A big ole wombat passes by a trap.

This young healthy devil is looking pretty serious about life. The next frame however is a lot less intimidating. You'll see that next post.

1st post, ever!

Well, my new website is here, all refreshed.

I must start to use this great blog feature that is built in. I'll try to write about my work as I go, mostly my Tasmanian Devil photography project. I'm getting some great results lately. Right now I'm midway through finishing off a lengthy application form to hopefully be a part of a great photography organisation.

Stay tuned and wish me luck!


A couple of links which might interest you.

WWF Australia featuring a recent devil shot on their FB site: HERE.

A guest blog I wrote for ARKive: HERE.


Adios for now!