Being ‘hooked on nature’ since a very early age, my interests started to lean towards fishes, frogs and reptiles when I was about ten years old and has been with me ever since.

By the age of 14 I had started to draw and paint wildlife, but, not considering my ‘efforts’ good enough, I turned to photography as soon as I could afford to buy a camera at age 18, for the sole purpose of photographing aquarium fish. Having a camera, but no clue on how to use it (with advisors who were just as clueless), I learned the hard way - by trial and error.

After several equipment changes, and taking up frog and reptile photography along the way, I settled on a camera made in my hometown Braunschweig (Brunswick) in northern Germany. It was a Rolleiflex SL 66, at the time ‘state of the art’ and worth the equivalent of a small car, it proved to be so suitable for what I was doing, that I stayed with the brand for 27 years.

For the past 21 years however, I have been using Nikon equipment and about 90% of all images seen here were taken with Nikon cameras and lenses.

Right from the start I strived to have my images published, and did so within months of taking up photography. Since then, my images have been used in over 500 publications, on almost as many covers and posters worldwide, even on the cover of ‘Australian Geographic’ magazine (99 – Jul-Sep 2010).

In the past 15 years my richly illustrated natural history stories and travelogues have been published globally in 23 magazines and in eight languages.

I have contributed to many natural history books, have written three books and was co-author/principal photographer of another, winning two Whitley awards in the process.

All of this came about because I made my home in Australia in 1965, have lived in every state for some time, but mostly in Queensland where I reside with my family since 1986. I live in the hinterland of the Gold Coast, which I consider to be one of the best biological ‘hotspots’ in the country.

When I came to Australia whaling had only ceased a few years earlier, but hunting harmless grey nurse sharks with explosive power-heads was still in vogue. Frogs were used as live bait by anglers and the only good snakes were dead ones, with lizards faring only marginally better.

Although keeping fish was a well established hobby, native freshwater species were considered to be dull, boring and grey, and only the ones fished for sport or food were better known. The fish kept in aquaria were almost exclusively exotics, few people cared about frogs, and snake keepers were seen as ‘weirdos’.

Thankfully attitudes have since changed for the better, thanks to the work of many dedicated naturalists, scientists, TV personalities, and many of the fish, frog and ‘weird’ reptile keepers.

Interesting articles in papers and magazines, natural history books, ever improving wildlife photography and especially television, have played an important part in changing these attitudes, but there is still a lot to be done.

As much as protection laws and the creation of new national parks deserve to be applauded, they alone cannot halt the continuing destruction of wildlife and, more importantly its habitats, only further changes of attitude can. I hope that my writing, but more so my images, have played a small part in changing attitudes. I know at least some people, especially younger ones, were inspired by my images and hope this will continue.

Natural history books have become rather thin on the ground in recent years, possibly because of the ‘all conquering internet’ and the wealth of information on it. Much of this information needs to be treated with caution though, and should be checked for accuracy before being accepted as ‘gospel’. (I expect no less scrutiny for the information given here).

But just as I believe that wildlife images need to be good to be inspiring, I also believe that misinformation is worse than no information at all. Just because something is printed does not necessarily mean it is also true.

I am taking great care to get everything right with the works presented here, and take responsibility for any oversights and errors. Presenting this work on the internet however, also means that omissions and mistakes can be corrected almost instantly, and up-dates, if necessary, can be done much sooner than possible in printed form.

When all current volumes are finished they will contain well over 3000 of my best images and a lot of information based on my own observations and experiences, as well as those of many amateur and professional enthusiasts from Australia and around the world. They are aimed at the general public, particularly the younger generation, but I hope the already ‘converted’ will get some pleasure out of viewing the images and reading the pages as well.

Title

Year

Australian Freshwater Fishes - Biology & Management (co-author) Whitley Award ‘Highly Commended’

1984

The Cold-blooded Australians (Author/Photographer) Whitley Award ‘Best Illustrated Natural History Book’

1985

Rainbowfish (Author/Photographer) published in German, Dutch & English

1998

A Wild Australia Guide - Freshwater Fishes (Author/Photographer)

2008

Title

Year

Das Grün hinter dem Gold: Im Hinterland der australischen Goldküste. Aquaristik Fachmagazin.

2 parts. Aug & Oct 2011. 16 pages with 42 colour images.

Als Naturfreund im Top End – von der Halbwüste in die Monsunregion. DATZ-Magazin.

Sept, 2011, 6 pages, 11 colour images.