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Ōi

These are my birds. Grey-faced petrels have been my birds since my Master’s project was decided on two years ago. I say my birds. I don’t own them. I feel no sense of ownership of them. If anything, I feel empathy and protectiveness. The first Grey-faced petrel I held was the same age as I was – 23 years old. That’s one hell of an achievement […]

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Gratitudes

I am standing on a knife edge. The sea breathes below, hushing into narrow inlets through tumbled stone and washing quietly against steep cliffs. The breeze is gentle, a welcome relief from the heat of walking while kitted up for a night in the open, exposed in the dark. Soft, golden light is pouring across the wide sky, slanting along the rock-faces and glittering off […]

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Making time

In the throes of writing my Master’s thesis, it would be very easy for me to say “I don’t have time” for things like photography, blog-writing, reading, relaxing. But I’m still doing all of those things. Maybe proportionally less than I would be doing otherwise, but I still have time for them. And when I’m doing them, I’m not feeling guilty about not writing my […]

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Birds in the sea, fish in the sky

I never get tired of seabirds (that much is probably obvious by now). One of my challenges is taking photos of them underwater, when I myself am not underwater. Underwater camera housings are expensive, yo. So I’m quite pleased with the Fluttering shearwater above, with his head all stretched out by the rippled surface. I don’t usually get the opportunity to take photos of fish […]

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An overwhelming amount of cute

I feel extremely lucky to do the work I do and share the lives of some really special birds. I was drawn to seabirds for their mastery of the pelagic world. They are birds that few people get to see, living most of their lives out on the ocean. In Auckland we are lucky to have so many surrounding us in the Hauraki Gulf, breeding […]

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Patterns

We are wired to look for patterns. It’s why we see cloud-animals, and faces in everyday objects. We find regular, repeating, symmetric things pleasing to look at. I’m always looking out for natural patterns. Lines and regularity among the chaos. And every now and then, I find it. There’s something I really enjoy about making simple compositions. It’s like a breath of fresh air for […]

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On luck

There’s a lot to be said for luck in wildlife photography. Most of my photos I don’t plan in advance, and I just take what comes. I react to what’s around me as it’s happening, I watch and ideas come to me based on what the birds are doing. And there’s a lot of trial and error and missed opportunities. And then – sometimes I […]

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On the joy of image-making

It’s very easy to feel negative about our own photography. With a deluge of new, amazing photos alighting on our Instagram feeds every day, it’s often hard not to feel discouraged. To think that we’ll never measure up, never be as successful, never take photos that wow other people.   This is no way to measure ourselves as photographers. We can’t compare ourselves to others, […]

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2017 Highlights

This year has been dominated by my Master’s research, but it has also been a fun year photographically. Although my usual adventures were limited, being involved in seabird research has given me the opportunity to visit some fabulous places, and I’ve sneaked in a lot of photography along the way! I’ve also managed to cram in some fun times with friends – doing birdy things […]

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Another handful of Geelong birds

It was Dad processing photos for a blog this morning that reminded me I didn’t have anything written. It’s nice to be home, briefly, for the holiday season. I’m still working – I now have most of the data for my thesis and am wrapping my brains around the analysis of it. But it’s nice to be able to do that from home for a […]