Underwater at Shelly Beach

Underwater at Shelly Beach

I recently started diving again. So in between races, I decided to do an underwater photography course with my local dive shop Dive Centre Manly. They got on board the talented Pete McGee to run the course. Pete put the course together, which went from photography fundamentals and touched on the more advanced topics of strobes.

Whilst I knew the fundamentals it is always good to have such things reinforced and explained from a different viewpoint I believe. The lessons on strobes underwater were invaluable to me though as strobe placement underwater is quite different to how I would use strobes on dry land.

I missed the first dives due to being ill but Pete kindly let me do the dive section at a later date. While the water quality was rather poor with lots of sediment floating around making visibility limited the dives themselves were fantastic. the 2nd dive was my longest dive to date being 98 minutes underwater. What bliss!!!! Nudibranchs, Wobbegong sharks, Giant cuttlefish, the big Blue gropers and even a Banded Coral Shrimp were all out to play.

If you’ve got an interest in learning about underwater photography I’d highly recommend this course with Pete. Since it’s not a PADI course, Pete can be more flexible with what he teaches and can, to a degree, tailor the course to your skill level.

Posted by Richard in Nature, Travel, What's going on


It’s been a hectic month. After 5500km or thereabouts, I think I have been on the road and away more than I’ve been at home. Thredbo, Sydney, Mt Buller, Sydney, Thredbo, Narooma, Sydney, Orange and home again. I managed to sneak a couple of days of R&R into the mix while at Narooma.

I was in Narooma to shoot the Rocky Trail Superflow on the new MTB trails they have there, 2 days of racing on 4 different trails. It’s the first time they’ve had a race there and guessing by all the smiling faces it won’t be the last. The trails are fantastic or at least the couple I saw, smooth and flowy with some unique features such as the half-buried car. The trail system is big. I was surprised looking at the map just how expansive it is. I only saw a couple of the trails this time but by all accounts, Dirt Art has created another masterpiece.

Narooma has long been a favourite coastal destination of ours. The coastline is spectacular, the water is beautiful (not called the Sapphire Coast for nothing), and the marine life is fantastic. There’s a small colony of Australian and New Zealand fur seals living on the harbour break wall easily accessible from town. Sitting off the coast is Montague Island or Barunguba where a much larger colony lives. If you are visiting Narooma paying a visit to Montague Island for a dip is a must-do in my opinion. I’m already looking forward to a planned visit later in the year when the water is clearer and the seals more numerous.

Posted by Richard in Events, Places, Travel, What's going on
Mt Buller

Mt Buller

I seem to be running around a lot at the moment. A couple of weeks ago I was in Thredbo for Cannonball then back in Sydney for a Bikes Online shoot, then back south to Mt Buller for the Rocky Trail Superflow. Now I’m back in Sydney for a couple of quick shoots but will be on the road again soon. Not that I am complaining, I love getting away from Sydney. Maybe though, I should just plan things a bit better and stay away rather than bouncing up and down the East Coast.

Mt Buller is always a favourite. Well, anywhere in the mountains is always a favourite for me. The Australian Alps have a unique and distinct flavour, a remoteness, an easy place to get lost. Even standing in the village of Mt Buller (which isn’t very remote) and looking out across the surrounding hills you know there are a lot of areas where you could get lost and not be seen again.

I even managed to get up one morning and go out to take a few sunrise shots. Not something I do too often these days. While not the most colourful of sunrises smoke from bushfires filled all the valleys around Mt Buller and gave it a beautiful softness and an eerie charm.

Posted by Richard in Bikes, Events, What's going on
A decade of Cannonball

A decade of Cannonball

This year was the 10th anniversary of the Thredbo Cannonball. For us, I think it was year 7 shooting the event as Outer Image. It’s been great to see this event go from strength to strength and has become the premier MTB event in Australia attracting athletes from all across the continent and even from abroad.

It is always a hectic week of work for Gil and I with 5 solid days shooting and doing our best to get the images tagged, edited and uploaded each night after the day’s activities. If we don’t, the stockpile of images tends to grow larger and larger as the week goes on. This year we delivered around 7500 images to the competitors on behalf of Thredbo Mountain Bike.

Below is a selection of images that I took over the week.

Posted by Richard in Bikes, Events
Visiting an old friend

Visiting an old friend

Last week I caught up with Michael Willis, a downhill mountain bike racer and we swung by a local track I hadn’t been to for many years, the Manly Dam International Freeride Zone (MDIFZ).

MDIFZ (if you know you know) is one of the more technical tracks in Sydney with some of the features being high-risk. It is good to see tracks like this still around. It seems a majority of the tracks these days are built with the intermediate riders in mind with many of the jumps having tabletops for safety. While tabletops are always a great feature to encourage riding, advanced riders need locations too where they can push themselves and improve their skills. MDIFZ has always been one such area. Big drops, demanding gaps and small landings require you to get it right.

It was good to see and shoot there again. Michael and I just did one quick pass through stopping off at each feature and shooting along the way.

Posted by Richard in What's going on
Favourite 23 Images of 2023

Favourite 23 Images of 2023

2023 saw me driving up and down the East Coast of Australia again. I didn’t reach Queensland this year but I did get down into Victoria a couple of times. The images below are my favourite landscape and nature images picked from my favourite 200 or so that are being uploaded to the website. There are no sports images in this group. Once I have finished uploading the landscape and nature shots, I shall fire up a sports gallery.

I once saw a meme somewhere that said:

As you age, it’s ridiculous how fast bird-watching creeps up on you. You spend your whole life being 100% indifferent to birds and one day you are like “Damn, is that a yellow-rumped warbler?”

Internet Meme

And so it seems it happened to me last year. I was never 100% indifferent to birds but, out in the bush shooting the races, I’m always surrounded by birdlife. I took many photos of birds in between waiting for the competitors to pass. Seems the natural thing to do is just point the camera and shoot.

More of my favourite images can be found in the main gallery for Australia here, and more will be going up soon so be sure and keep a watch. Prints are available for all the images.

Posted by Richard in Nature, Places, Travel
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