From the very beginning, photographers have been drawn to untrammeled landscapes and beautiful wildlife.


A mother waiting, a baby in change. By Doug Gimesy.

[Don Norris editorial from Photo Review Magazine Sep-Nov 2015 issue]

In the summer of 1861, a 32-year-old Carlton Watkins set up his 18×22-inch format glass plate camera in California’s Yosemite Valley.  The series of 30 massive and intricately detailed images he created subsequently found their way to Washington DC, where they are said to have influenced not only the members of Congress, but President Abraham Lincoln to declare in 1864 that Yosemite Valley was ‘inviolable’.

Not long after that, thanks in no small part to the work of landscape photographers like Watkins, the American national park system itself was established.

Of course photography has played a similar role in Australia too. The late Peter Dombrovskis image ‘Morning Mist, Rock Island Bend, Franklin River’ is among the most significant and powerful conservation photographs captured in this country. To this day when many of us think of the Tasmanian wilderness, it is Dombrovskis’ transcendent image that comes to mind.

Asked in our most recent reader survey what they were planning to shoot this year, 90 per cent of respondents ticked the ‘landscape’ box, 73 per cent added ‘nature’, and 55 per cent included ‘wildlife’. Plainly, most of us love photographing the natural world. Although Photo Review didn’t put the question to our readers, my guess is that if asked, an emphatic majority would aspire to creating images of nature that were both beautiful and which made others want to cherish and protect that beauty.

Our Inspiration photographers in this issue are each drawn to different realms of the natural world, but they too share a common desire to open our eyes to the beauty and value of wild things and wild places.

Much of conservation and wildlife photographer Doug Gimesy’s work (see image above) is about capturing images that will most effectively create the kind of intensely empathetic response in his viewers that leads to the transformation of public policy.

In his conversation with Steve Packer, underwater expert Peter Strain reveals himself to also be a passionate advocate for the less visible aspects of nature. As you’ll see in this issue, his exceptional dedication  has uncovered a true ‘Octupuses Garden’ just below the surface of the southern hemisphere’s longest wooden jetty.

Margaret Brown’s Locations feature is all about beautiful natural landscapes and this time she takes a photo-centric look at the many wonderful picture-taking opportunities to be had during the cooler months in Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair National Park.

Speaking of Margaret, she has, as always, been very busy on your behalf since last issue. Her extensive Shooting Tips feature is devoted to those most magical of shooting hours, dawn and dusk. And then, in a bravura demonstration of her versatility, she takes a look at some of the best ways to improve your action photography technique. As always, Margaret takes us into the digital darkroom, where on this occasion she discusses the fine art of making levels adjustments during post-processing.

Along with the winners of our ‘Cozy’ challenge, I’m pleased to set before you a selection of Image Reviews – which, by the way, I very much enjoy doing.

We also have a guest contributor this issue in the person of Will Shipton, who edits new pro photography website, He takes a slightly wry look at the state of play in that most vexed of vexed areas, photographers and copyright. I wonder if we will ever figure this out”¦

It is our fervent hope that when you’ve finished reading this issue, the first thing you’ll do is pick up that camera of yours and go off picture-taking.

[Don Norris editorial from  Photo Review Magazine Sep-Nov 2015 issue]

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