Monthly Archives: May 2013

Fly fishing Photos to be Published in FlyLife Magazine

My friend Paul Miller has written an article about fly fishing for trout using float tubes and wanted me to take photos to include in the article. We have taken our float-tube fishing to an extreme technological level, where the float-tubes are fitted with depth sounders. An earlier post “Float-tube Fun” explains a bit more about float tubes. Anyway, Paul submitted his article to FlyLife. The editor thought my photos were great and is intending to publish the article.

Several friends have also got depth sounders fitted to their tubes. A small motorbike battery powers them. The sounders are cleverly attached with a strap that wraps around one leg of the tube. It is threaded through a plastic box that holds the battery and a plate where the sounder is mounted. The transducer is also looped through the same strap. The pressure in the inflated tube holds the strap and entire assembly in place.

We enjoy having sounders fitted to our float-tubes.  Others claim this is nonsense and is simply cheating!. Yes, it is true you can often find fish sitting at a particular depth. For example in summer fish will find a depth of water that is a suitable temperature. Lakes can have stratified layers of water. In this case it would be pointless to fish a dry fly on the surface if all the fish are sitting at a depth of 3m. In this circumstance you would start with a buzzer array under a float indicator.  However, there is still no guarantee that the fish will be biting!.

Fish are naturally attracted to underwater structures. These include sudden changes in the lake bed, weed bed edges as well as logs and rocks. The best use of the sounders is to find these structures.

I managed to hook a very solid rainbow whilst I was taking photos. As I have mentioned before it is very difficult to fish AND take photos! Also thanks to Nick for getting me back out on the water. My float-tube developed a small hole in a fold (on a seam). Nick had a tube of UV wader repair glue. This ended being a very quick fix.


Paul Miller silhouette

Paul prepares his flyrod for fishing

Early dawn launch for float-tubes

Paul and Nick prepare to launch float-tubes

launch float-tubes

Nick and Paul prepare to launch float-tubes

Paul Miller waits paitently for a trout to bite

Paul hopes a trout will take his fly

Paul Miller casts fly rod for trout

Paul casts in the early morning light

Float tube flotilla

Float tube flotilla


Mark Kelly catches solid rainbow trout

Mark Kelly lucky to catch a solid rainbow trout

Nick and Paul compare sounders on float-tubes

Nick and Paul are serious about their fishing






Sneaky Silver Award

My prints from the recent NSW AIPP Professional Print Awards judging just arrived. When I opened the print case I found a print that I did not see the judging for. This print was awarded a Silver.

Very happy that six of my prints were judged at Silver standard.

I need to build on this excellent result and try to achieve the next level of Silver Distinction, or that allusive Gold!

This image was shot near Kings Canyon NT on Adventures in Oz trip with Peter Eastway and Tony Hewitt. I loved the cloud that just drifted in for literally 5mins and soft pastel colours of sunset, but somehow ended up with the following image. I like to experiment with achieving a different look, and the cloud reflection  just seemed to work.

I think I can improve it by subtly removing some of the symmetry in the tree branches, so that the viewer has to look twice…

Silver Award – “Dragons” – near Kings Canyon, NT Aust

What A Pleasant Surprise – Finalist 2013 NSW AIPP Emerging Photographer of the Year

Last night at the NSW Australian Institute of Professional Photographers (AIPP) I was very pleasantly surprised to be announced as a finalist in the Emerging Photographer of the Year.

This is a new category for the NSW State Awards. Also, previously category winners would be picked from the highest aggregate score. Now finalists are chosen based on the aggregate scores. The best collection of prints determines the category winner. Thus it is possible that the category winner may not have the highest aggregate score.

In my previous post I was pleased to announce that I had been awarded Silvers for my prints. The print judging is a very interesting process. A panel of five judges evaluate the prints. Prints are presented under standard lighting conditions. Each judge enters their score. The panel chair announces the combined score. At this point judges can raise a challenge if they feel that the print deserves a different score. The panel chair moderates discussion for and against a revised score. In most cases the challenging judge is trying to convince their colleagues to review a score upwards. Judges then can re-score the print. If a judges score is outside a set band of scores, then this generates an automatic challenge. In this event the same discussion for and against a score revision ensues, however the judges score that triggered the automatic challenge is locked in, and only the other judges get to re-score.

Since these awards are for professional photographers there is an expectation that “professional practice” is your normal standard, so to get an award the work has to include creative and artistic elements beyond normal professional practice. Each state has their own awards which then culminate in the National Event – the APPA’s
(Australian Professional Print Awards) This event is the pinnacle of professional photography in Australia. It is a chance to benchmark your work against the best of the best. Award winners get their photos published in the annual AIPP APPA book.

Mark Kelly Finalist in the 2013 NSW AIPP Emerging Photographer of the Year

Finalist 2013 NSW AIPP Emerging Photographer of the Year

AIPP 2013 NSW Professional Photography Awards

The judging for the Australian Institute of Professional Photographers 2013 NSW Professional Photography Awards was conducted in Canberra last weekend. I was very pleased to receive 5 x Silver Awards in the landscape section.

Oxers Lookout, Karijini NP

Silver Award – Oxers Lookout Karijini NP

Gloomy Day, near Queenstown, New Zealand

Silver Award – Gloomy Day near Queenstown, New Zealand

Tree clings to life on the edge of a billabong in the desert, near Alice Springs, NT Aust

Silver Award – Gnarled Gum on the edge of a billabong near Alice Springs, NT Aust

Tree clings to life on the edge of a billabong in the desert, near Alice Springs, NT Aust

Silver Award – Gnarled Gum on the edge of a billabong near Alice Springs, NT Aust

Tangled tree roots on the edge of a billabong in the desert, near Alice Springs, NT Aust

Silver Award – A Tangled Mind – Gnarled Gumtree roots near Alice Springs, NT Aust

Later I learnt that the last print would be disqualified as it is the same topic as one of the previous trees. I did not notice this had occurred as there was some time between first round of selections and subsequent edits. To be honest I am not overly concerned as at least the judges had thought it worthy of a Silver award.

I have taken some of the judges comments on board already & have started “tweaking” a couple of images for the Nationals (APPA’s). The 2013 APPA will be held in Melbourne in September.


When Is Too Much Not Enough? – Part 2

My previous post certainly focused on the colourful side of Autumn in New Zealand. Some of the images are quite surreal, but that is precisely the feeling I got when was capturing them. Also, a slightly slower shutter speed and the wind moving leaves gives the images a “painterly” look which I like very much. In Part 2 this folio of images have a much subtle use of colour. I am particularly happy with the tree images as the fine detail have a texture that looks like brush strokes.

The water texture is gorgeous & the single leaf lets you assume it is autumn

A black and white image with tiny splashes of colour

I love the patch of colour and the back-lit trees

These trees almost look like feathers

Dead trees contrast against the rugged hills

The trees look like beautiful brush strokes

Receding layers of different trees creates a wonderful depth

Soft light through branches creates a brush-stroke appearance








When Is Too Much Not Enough? – Part 1

Autumn in New Zealand is certainly in full swing. The riot of colours in many of the old gold mining areas is simply amazing. The range of photo opportunities is endless and range from wide panoramas down to a single leaf. I really enjoyed seeing complete hillsides covered in colour. The images show my attraction the colours. I guess there is always a choice, but for me I loved the vibrant palette so emphasised the colours. It was a case when too much was not enough!

Autumn Panorama – 10 x image stitch

Autumn Panorama – detail

The Arrow River winds past a riot of colour

A slow shutter speed and wide angle lens makes the water appear silky against the gold background

The overhanging autumn canopy provides the surreal glow

The autumn colours make the willow appear it is on fire

A trio of leaves contrasts against a dark trunk