Behind the lens: Redlands Camera Club photographer profile - The Community Leader and Real Estate New and Views


Photos: Brian Russell.

A lifetime love of natural history led me to begin recording in the late ’70s what I saw through the medium of photography.

During the last 20 years, I have a developed a strong interest in pelagic (seabirds), not just those who frequent our shoreline, but those that spend almost their entire lives in the “Big Blue Paddock”, only coming to land on some isolated island or remote shore to nest and continue the species.

The great Southern Ocean, that wild expanse of ocean between Australia and Antarctic continents, is home to an amazing array of seabirds – from the well-known Albatross species with wingspans of up to three metres, to the tiny Storm Petrel with wingspans measured in centimetres.

I had the privilege of traversing part of that Southern Ocean in 2018 and visited a number of islands situated therein. These islands are collectively known as the Subantarctic Islands of Australia and New Zealand.

But it wasn’t just about birds. I also sought to understand the complex yet fragile ecology of this special place in our world. While man has exploited and nearly destroyed some of these fragile ecosystems in the past, the work and commitment of the Australian and New Zealand governments recently in restoring these remote sanctuaries by removing the introduced species, is commended.

This is a win for the unique species that rely on these islands to breed.

The home to the species that live there, some temporarily, is a dangerous and harsh environment, but at times can show a beauty not seen elsewhere on our planet.

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