My first Wilderness walk was in 1974. with borrowed boots, borrowed coat, borrowed pack. I was introduced to "Bushwalking" by a friend from work, Michael Higgins. My camera hardly left my pack because the long week-end in June is not known for it’s good weather. Snow, sleet rain and hail is the norm for that time of year. Following that bleak start it could only get better and in the next 2 years it seemed almost non stop trips through Tasmania’s Wild areas. Many of the tracks had yet to be discovered by the average walker. In just a few short years tracks that we got lost on would become treacherous and soggy bogs, sometimes almost like a 4 wheel drive track.

In July of 1976 my walking partner Michael Higgins, took his own life at the age of 26.

First Public Work
“At the time of Michael's death I was working on putting together my first exhibition, a local display in the (then) new Launceston Library. That Exhibition was opened by the Launceston Museum Curator, Mr Frank Ellis. I dedicated the Exhibition to the Memory of Michael and although having been left Michael’s extensive transparency collection all the exhibited material was my own, from 6cm negative."

"I printed all the images in my own darkroom and made my own frames – money did not exist for the important stuff like frames and mounting. I was always a bit of a perfectionist in the darkroom and the resulting prints and their total lack of any retouching impressed Mr Ellis enough to sponsor and encourage me to apply for a Churchill Fellowship. It never happened. I did track down an overseas university that had a post graduate course in Fine Printmaking, however both the Hobart and Launceston campus of arts felt they had nothing to teach me in the art of making photographic prints and were not into offering honorary degrees.” In fact both campus's suggested I might like to teach as a guest or specialist lecturer.

Second Showing.

From the humble beginnings at the Library an exhibition and “artist in residence” at Ritchie’s Mill Art Gallery during March of 1977. This was followed in September by an Exhibition at Beechworth Gallery in Victoria. For an “unknown” artist these were quite successful with over 40% of the images sold. A number of Art show entries and magazine published material spanned over the next 18 months.

Expansion was a dream. I became heavily involved in computers with the idea of computerising the 8000 plus slides and 3000 negatives. This was before the “personal computer” phrase was in use. This other "hobby was to shape my career. Until 1982 I continued to add to the collection with a trip to New Zealand and of course the much loved Tasmanian Bush. Several multi screen slide presentations took up 2 years. I designed and manufacturing my own dissolve and multi screen projection units as well as producing several shows with this gear.

And then there were kids.

In 1982 I was offered a position with a new photographic company in Tasmania as the Technical Services manager – processing.

I helped produce hundreds of thousand of prints for people and quite suddenly lost my own passion for photography. The reality is that having 3 children did not really affect my interest. If anything having kids of my own switched me from Landscape to people. I had always been quite good at portrait work and in fact it paid for most of my film and consumables for my exhibitions. I have some great shots of my kid’s if anyone would like to see them”.

Recent Times

In 2001 I walked through Cradle Mountain National park. 25 years after my last walk through.

Basically this was a trip down memory lane for me. I hardly used the camera, I have some nice photo's from that trip but I have hundreds more from years pastl. While I was enjoying the view over the Kiora Valley from the climbing gully of Mt Ossa on this trip, some young guys stopped to chat. Inevitably they asked when was my last visit here,? I replied “1976” – “gosh pops that was before we were born”.

So at 50 I felt suddenly quite old, and not long after that I decided that I really needed to do something with my photographs (and my photography).

So the camera case has mildew on it and there are some really very nice cameras in the shops but what really makes life so very interesting is the new digital cameras and printing technologies.

The Digital Era.
In late 2002 I decided that changing to 6x4.5 Mamiya SLR was the wayforward for me. After 3 months of having others scan my material to digital and the frustrations caused by me being so fussy I decided that although film was wonderful with the new Fuji Velvia, I would persue an all digital path. With noted exceptions the images on this web site are from a Fuji S2 digital camera. Images are pin sharp to 16 x 20 inches and with computers and digital software I have some seamless merging of beautiful panoramas of the Tasmanian Landscape.

What next.
Revisit many of my favourite places and capture new images in digital. Exhibit, write and publish. Oh ! and start taking pictures of my grown up kids.

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