As a child I grew up in the northern suburbs of Sydney with Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park as my back yard. After school and on weekends I would spend countless hours with my best friend and school mates exploring the bush, catching tadpoles, frogs, yabbies and cicadas, damming creeks and playing hide and seek.
During those years I developed a love for the bush and became interested in the various birds and mammals that lived around me. I was always fascinated by the wonderful wildlife photos in National Geographic magazine and was in awe of the expensive watches and SLR film cameras advertised on the back page. My passion for nature photography started at age fourteen when my parents bought me my first camera, a Kodak Instamatic. Dreams of magazine images were shattered when my first roll of film was developed and the beautiful Robin in my mother's rose garden appeared as a scarlet speck.
By age seventeen I had saved enough money for a Nikon F2 SLR camera and 300mm lens which my father purchased, duty-free. Without success in achieving the stunning images I dreamed about, my interest in wildlife photography waned until after my first child was born. It was then when free time was scarce, I decided one night to venture into the Royal National Park, near my home in Engadine, to see if there were any animals about. To my surprise and delight I saw possums and watched a Tawny Frogmouth fly to a dead limb, close enough for me to photograph.
After overcoming my fear of the dark I quickly started enjoying the solitude of being alone in a world of nocturnal creatures and the uncertainty and excitement of what I may find. With the advent of affordable digital cameras with fast and accurate autofocus and bright LED lights, it became much easier to take quality images. I look back at my prized film photos and enjoy them as momentos from the past.
My main photographic interests have been owls and nocturnal mammals but since retirement my interests have grown to include flowers, insects and night landscapes. I love nothing more than heading into the bush when most people are calling it a day. As the sun sets, a world few are aware of awakens, where I observe creatures and sights that most people only see in books.
I owe my continued interest in this hobby to Julie my wife for her loving support and ongoing encouragement for forty years. A huge thank you to Gerard Satherly who built this website for me at no cost.
You are welcome to use my images and articles for your personal (not for profit) use, but I ask that you reference me as the photographer. My images and articles are copyright, so if you would like to use them for another purpose, please contact me. My e-mail address is prsj56[at]optusnet.com.au