Oct 152010
 

In late October 09 to early Nov 09, I spent 11 glorious days on Norfolk Island, my third trip to this glorious place. This beautiful island sits between Australia and New Zealand, in the South Pacific, and is only a few hours by plane from Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne. My time was spent partly having a much-needed break with my wife, Dena, (and helping celebrate her 40th birthday!) as well as lots of photography. Norfolk Island is only 8km x 5km but there is so much to photograph! Wherever you go, there are sweeping ocean views, stunning cliffs, great sunrises and sunsets, lots of birds and convict ruins. I also had an opportunity to cruise around the island for half a day with a whale research team as well as taking a boat trip to Phillip Island, just 6kms from Norfolk Island, to photograph birds.

Tasman Booby with chick

Tasman Booby with chick

I also had a lovely surprise whilst on Norfolk, receiving a phone call from Sorrel Wilby, asking if I’d like to catch up. For those that haven’t heard of Sorrel, she is an award-winning adventurer, author of numerous books, tv presenter (including a 9 year stint as presenter on Channel 9’s Getaway program), journalist and keynote speaker. One of her recent projects was to develop a series of documentaries titled “Best of Australia” for Australian Geographic, as well as being Chairperson for the Australian Geographic Society. Dena and I spent a lovely few hours with Sorrel, her husband Chris and kids at their home, sharing stories and experiences. She is a delightful person, so enthusiastic about life and very passionate about nature/wildlife and our environment. It was a pleasure to spend time with her – a real inspiration to me.

Michael with Sorrel Wilby on Norfolk Island

Michael with Sorrel Wilby on Norfolk Island

Anson Bay - Norfolk Island

Anson Bay – Norfolk Island

 

During my stay, I spent time doing research for the proposed Photography Workshop 7 day “Norfolk Island Experience”, scouting accommodation venues/photographic locations and talking with Travel Agents. The “Norfolk Island Experience” is set for early November 2010, but details need to be confirmed. For further details (in the not-too-distant future), please visit my photography workshop website wildnaturephotoexpeditions.com

 

Michael on Phillip Island - off Norfolk Island

Michael on Phillip Island – off Norfolk Island

 
 

While at Norfolk Island, we also had the pleasure of seeing my friend David Warth’s documentary “Rainforest – the secret of life” premier on ABC TV. Feedback to the documentary has been very positive and dvd sales at the ABC Shops have gone through the roof! Having spent so much time helping David and my mentor in photography, Glen Threlfo, during the filming of it, makes this documentary very special to me.

 

In late November I headed to Tweed Heads, on the border of Queensland and New South Wales, to adjudicate the Tweed Photo Arts Club‘s monthly photography competition. It was great to see both novices and more advanced photographers enter some great photos into their club’s competition.

 

Late November also saw the opening of the summer season’s exhibitions at the Wilderness Gallery in Cradle Mountain, Tasmania. I’m pleased to announce that twenty of my wildlife photos are displayed there this year, as matted and framed 20″ x 30″ prints. My exhibition is titled “Wildlife of Australia – a nature photographer’s journey” and will be shown at the gallery until Easter 2010. To see the photos I have exhibited, please click here.

Oct 152010
 

The results of the 2009 ANZANG (Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica and New Guinea) Nature Photographer of the Year competition were announced on the 1stOctober 2009. I’m pleased to announce that five of my images were chosen to be published in the official award winner’s book, two of which are part of the exhibition currently showing at the South Australian Museum (Oct/Nov 09) and which will be travelling to various locations around Australia after that.

Albert's Lyrebird displaying - ANZANG 2009 - exhibition and book

Albert’s Lyrebird displaying – ANZANG 2009

The images chosen are:

  • Albert’s Lyrebird displaying – Threatened Species (book and exhibition)
  • Mantis – Animal Portrait (book and exhibition)
  • Breaching Humpback Whale – Animal Behaviour (book)
  • Tawny Frogmouth – Animal Portrait (book)
  • Bronzewing Pigeon wing – Interpretive (book)

Some great images entered and congrats to the winners!

Mantis - ANZANG 2009 - exhibition and book

Mantis – ANZANG 2009

Oct 152010
 

In early September I travelled with a friend and fellow-photographer, Howard Aron, on a nature photography trip to Kangaroo Island, South Australia. This stunning island has been called the “Galapagos of Australia”, due to its amazing array of native wildlife and the distinct lack of pest species.

Nankeen Kestrel – Kangaroo Island

Nankeen Kestrel – Kangaroo Island

One of the main reasons for travelling to Kangaroo Island was to photograph the Australian Sea Lions at Seal Bay. Around 600 – 700 of these magnificent mammals live here and I was fortunate to have three attempts to photograph them right on the beach, over three days. Access to the beach is only available via guided tour, either with a tour group or ranger.

Kangaroo foot prints - Yuraygir N.P - ACF Diary 2010

Yuraygir N.P – ACF Diary 2010

Also in September, The Australian Conservation Foundation released its 2010 Wilderness Diary, which features 5 of my photos. These include a breaching Humpback Whale, Lace Monitor, Masked Boobies, Red-tailed Tropicbird and kangaroo prints on sand dunes. All profits from the sale of the diaries go to fund the Australian Conservation Foundation and its conservation projects. For more details on ACF, please visit their website: www.acfonline.org.au

Australian Sea Lion juvenile – Kangaroo Island

Australian Sea Lion juvenile – Kangaroo Island

Just days before we arrived, the island had been battered by weeks of gale-force winds and horrid weather – certainly not conducive to photography! Fortunately for us, the weather was extremely kind and offered made for pleasant living and great photography.

Australian Sea Lion juvenile scratching – Kangaroo Island

Australian Sea Lion juvenile scratching – Kangaroo Island

A couple of days after arriving back from Kangaroo Island, on the 6th September 09, it was up to O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat for Michael’s Photography Workshop’s third fully-booked 5 day photography workshop. Dena, my wife, joined me and had a bit of a holiday while Mark and I presented another successful 5 day workshop. The weather was kind to us, lots of photo opportunities and a great bunch of participants made for a fantastic 5 days.

Red-tailed Tropicbird - ACF Diary 2010.jpg

Red-tailed Tropicbird – ACF Diary 2010

Oct 152010
 

On the 6th of Aug 09, I presented an audio-visual on Australian wildlife at the Queensland Camera Group’s monthly meeting. My presentation was different from the ones I had shown lately, with many new species added. My aim was to show club members some of the techniques that were used to capture the images shown on the night. Mark Rayner, my business partner in Trekabout Photography Workshops, also showed an audio-visual on macro, landscape and wildlife photography. The night was very well received by all in attendance. For anyone interested in finding out more about the Queensland Camera Group, you can visit their website at www.qcg.org.au

Michael Snedic and Mark Rayner with Qld Camera Group member, Karen Miles

Michael Snedic and Mark Rayner with Karen Miles

Oct 152010
 
Lace Monitor

Lace Monitor

Musky Rat Kangaroo

Musky Rat Kangaroo

During July, I went to the Wet Tropics (Tropical North Queensland) for the fourth time in 2 years, to photograph some of the amazing wildlife endemic to the area. I spent quite a bit of time in the rainforest in Rocky Point, north of Port Douglas, the Daintree, Mossman Gorge and Julatten.

Orange-footed Scrubfowl

Orange-footed Scrubfowl

Some of the species I photographed included Musky Rat Kangaroos, Spectacled Flying Fox, Lace Monitors, Spotted Catbirds, Macleay’s Honeyeaters, Orange-footed Scrub Fowl, Spangled Drongos and a Grey Goshawk. The weather was very kind to me on this trip and was therefore able to photograph these species unhindered.

Oct 152010
 

From the 6th -8th of June 2009, Caboolture Photography Club hosted the 2009 Photographic Society of Queensland (PSQ) Convention. I was one of the guest speakers, my presentation being an audio-visual on wildlife photography. My aim was to give attendees some technical information behind the photos, stories on how I achieved them and some encouragement along the way. The audio-visual room was standing-room only and my presentation was very well-received. Overall, the convention went smoothly and credit goes to organiser Steve Baker and his committee for a job well done!

White-faced Heron

White-faced Heron

A few days later, on the 10th of June 2009, I headed to Tweed Heads on the New South Wales/Queensland border, where I was asked to be guest speaker at the Tweed Photo Arts Club. Once again, I presented an audio-visual on wildlife photography and also critiqued some nature photos brought along by some of the members. I thoroughly enjoyed the night and thanks to Allen Peate (committee member) and his wife for being wonderful hosts. The following morning, I was invited by Allen and some other club members for an early morning shoot of some shore birds along a local lagoon. Species photographed included Intermediate Egrets and White-faced Herons.

Oct 152010
 

Michael’s Photography Workshops presented our second 5 day photography workshop, starting on Sunday 17th May 2009, once again conducted at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat in Lamington National Park. This workshop was again fully booked out. Regardless of the torrential rain and winds we encountered throughout the week, Mark Rayner and I filled program with lots of photographic activities. During heavy rain, we set up indoor macro shoots, presented audio-visuals, critiqued photos and gave tuition on numerous subjects. When the rain cleared, we all piled out and photographed the amazing amount of birdlife that surrounded our every move, as well as plants, fungi and landscapes. Despite some adverse weather, we again received fantastic feedback and testimonials about the workshop.

5 day photography workshop – May 2009

5 day photography workshop – May 2009

Oct 152010
 
Australian Photography Magazine - March 2009

Australian Photography cover – March 09

The March 2009 issue of Australian Photography Magazine features my photo of an osprey flying with a fish, on their cover. The response to this cover has been fantastic and it’s great to see so many people giving positive feedback. The magazine also features my sixth feature article on nature photography for the magazine, this one being a 6-page article on photographing wildlife behaviour. To read the article, please click on this link: Talk to the Animals – Photographing Wildlife Behaviour

Michael’s Photography Workshops presented our 5 day photography workshop – March 09, starting on Sunday 15th March 2009. It was conducted at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat in Lamington National Park, south-east Queensland and was completely booked out (maximum of 12 people). I was kept quite busy with lots of group tuition, one-on-one tuition, audio-visuals, hands-on photography and 4WD treks to some wonderful locations on O’Reilly’s properties, not accessible to the general public. The weather was kind to us and there were plenty of subjects to photograph. Feedback to our inaugural 5 day workshop was brilliant, with lots of testimonials sent to us from some very happy participants.

5 day photography workshop – March 2009

5 day photography workshop – March 2009

Oct 152010
 

On January 28th 2009, Mark Rayner and I were guest presenters at the Caloundra Camera Group on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland. Mark’s audio-visual was on our Photography Workshops while mine was based around my book on Australian wildlife. We were also co-judges in the club’s monthly photography competition. Some great entries received by some very talented photographers.