In Search Of The Tasmanian Devil June 2019

The Tasmanian Devil has been under threat for several years from the Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD) which threatens to wipe out the wild population. Fortunately, there are several projects under way designed to breed devils that are resistant to the deadly disease. One of these is Devils@cradle, a privately funded conservation facility. We recently had the opportunity to vist and tour the facility, located close to Cradle Mountain National Park. The facility is also engaged in breeding the Spotted Tail and Eastern Quoll, also threatened by feral cats. These nocturnal animals are difficult to see in the wild, so being able to observe and photograph them in captivity is almost essential.

You can see more on Devils@Cradle HERE…

Tasmanian Devils

Arctic Adventures on the RV Kinfish

Waiting for the ice (c) Michael Smyth 2018

We have recently returned from a small ship expedition to the islands of Svalbard in the High Arctic. Svalbard lies well within the Arctic Circle, so in Summer it is light 24 hours a day. The image above was taken at about 1:30AM on a cloudy day. Svalbard is regarded as the “Jewel of the Arctic” due to its abundance of wildlife, spectacular scenery and historical sites.

We are working on a new series of guides called “Travel Tales” that documents unusual travel locations and provides information to help with planning your own trips.

Guillemots (c) Michael Smyth 2018

A Tribute to Stephen Hawking, 1942 - 2018

The Big Bang

With the passing of Stephen Hawking, one of the greatest minds we have ever known, it seems fitting to create an image that illustrates some of the strange and bizarre aspects of Theoretical Physics.  Here I have been experimenting with some techniques that yield some interesting and unpredictable results.  Each photograph starts out as a "normal" image, a landscape, architectural form or something similar.   I have then applied some standard photographic techniques to create the image I have imagined for the subject.  There are several steps to achieve the result you see here, I use filters and adjustments on the base image until it looks like the image I want.  This image represents the violent events that occurred at the time of the Big Bang - the beginning of the Universe.  Another example in this series can be seen on the home page.  

New Tutorial Added - How to use the Clarity tool in Lightroom

Correct use of the Clarity tool, along with other techniques in Lightroom can improve images dramatically

Correct use of the Clarity tool, along with other techniques in Lightroom can improve images dramatically

Many photographers are unaware of the use of the Clarity tool in their imaging workflow.  In another of our short tutorials we show what Clarity does and how to use it effectively.  

To go directly to the tutorial, click  HERE  or go to the Tutorials section and choose Processing and Enhancement.

New Tutorial Added - The Importance of Sharpening Images

Many people seem unaware of the need and importance of applying sharpening to their image files at various stages of processing and enhancement.  As part of a new series of mini tutorials we cover the essentials of sharpening.  Go to the Tutorials page and choose "Processing and Enhancement " or click HERE to go to the page directly.

Applying appropriate sharpening can make a dramatic difference.

Journeys into the Wild - National Library of Australia Exhibition

Iconic Australian photographers Peter Dombrovskis and Olegas Truchanas were largely responsible for changing public opinion and ultimately preventing the damming of the Franklin below Gordon river in South West Tasmania.  Communicating with the public via their remarkable imagery, they showed Australia and the world the natural unspoilt beauty of Tasmania, which galvanised public opinion against this project. Trachanas died in 1972 and his pioneering work was continued by the arguably better known Peter Dombrovskis.

It can be said that one of the purposes of photography is to change to world and the photography of these two men did just that in no uncertain terms.  

Commencing on September 21st 2017 and running until the 30th January 2018 at the National Library of Australia, is an exhibition of 70 of the best works of Peter Dombrovskis.  Peter died in 1996 and his images are now held by the National Library. 

These images, originally captured on large format transparency film, have been digitally remastered by Dr Les Walkling and I have been fortunate to have seen a preview of some of these remarkable images.  The originals were all degraded with mould, under exposure and scratches, but fortunately for all Australians, Les Walkling is not only a master image maker, he has a long love affair with the work of Peter Dombrovskis and has lovingly restored the images and created the prints for the exhibition.

I highly recommend this exhibition to anyone who appreciates fine art photography and who has an interest in the environment.  Below is an image made in South Western Tasmania that in a small way pays tribute to the pioneering environmental work of these remarkable photographers.   

There is a short YouTube video of Les' discussion about his approach to the prints that can be found  HERE. 

There is also a short promotional video of the exhibition HERE. 

Bull Kelp, South West Tasmania (c) Michael Smyth 2017

Bull Kelp, South West Tasmania (c) Michael Smyth 2017