Bill, Michelle … & Cyclone Jasper …

“Forgotten in a Paradise Lost to Disaster” 

… that’s the headline The Australian used above my image of Bill and Michelle Dunn standing in the wreckage of their home, published earlier this week.

Their rural property at the tiny far north community of Degarra on the bank of the Bloomfield River Cape York, was not just flooded but scoured away by near 3 metres of rainfall over two days in the aftermath of Cyclone Jasper. 

The pic was used 5 columns across page 3 … (and if it wasn’t for the coronation of Australia’s Danish Queen would likely have been on page 1) … and is arguably the most moving and emotional image I’ve made for some time.

Bill (73) and Michelle (58 ) managed to escape the torrent with their lives as the waters rose “a foot every ten minutes” forcing them to swim out of their kitchen window. Using wound sheets Bill tied the couple to a tree but the flood waters grew too high. Fearing the worst they had to let go … and were swept by the rapidly rising waters to a higher tree where they sat for ten hours before being rescued by another local – their son – in a ‘tinnie’. 85 year old neighbour Ray Dark wasn’t so lucky … he was swept away and is believed to have drowned.

On Sunday … a month after the flood event … I choppered to Wujal Wujal and Degarra with Douglas Shire Mayor Michael Kerr to meet and document the couple and hear their story.

Clearly still highly traumatised, Michelle didn’t want to go right up to the shattered and still saturated remains of the house where she had spent much of her life … “I can’t do it, I can’t do it” she said on the edge of tears. I did manage a few portraits with their house in the background amongst the wreckage and destruction … until Michelle broke down in tears and fell into Bill’s chest. This was one of my very last frames of the few made of Bill and Michelle together that day.

Degarra is still waiting for the ADF to arrive to help Bill, Michelle and the rest of the community start recovery and begin the rest of their now vastly different lives.

Was a very emotional day …

Image © Brian Cassey, (the bottom image is an emotional ‘crop’) … the page 3 image © The Australian

Portrait of Humanity … Covid, Leanne & Ice Cream …

Stoked to once again be selected on the ‘Shortlist’ of the prestigious “Portrait of Humanity”.

The 2022 edition of the “Portrait of Humanity” awards have just been announced … and I’ve been buzzing about this for some time but was sworn to secrecy until Thursdays official ‘announcement’. … so pleased to be ’Shortlisted’ again for the International POH awards with my work “Covid Vax & Ice Cream” .

Now in it’s 4th ‘edition’ and organised by the British Journal of Photography, 1854 and Magnum … “Portrait of Humanity” has fast become one of the most select collections of portrait photography on the planet. 

The image of Leanne with her ice cream was made after she received a Covid Pfizer vaccination in her home from a team of roaming ‘door to door’ doctors and medical staff … followed by a pink ice cream van (complete with musical ‘Green Sleeves’ tones) dispensing free ice cream to the newly vaxed and the communities numerous children.

The portrait will be amongst the other short listed works published in the “Portrait of Humanity 2022” hard cover book printed by Hoxton Mini Press.

I was also stoked to be ’short listed’ in the first and second editions of POH a few years back and three of my winning portraits … “Aurukun – Generations”, “Ramnami” and “The Skin I’m In” where exhibited in the stratosphere above the planet and then digitally transmitted through the unending vastness of space, as a result.

My photo of Leanne and her ice cream was published in The Australian newspaper in October 2021 and further images of the home vaccination program were used on their Instagram account at .

Thanks to my (almost) unwitting subject Leanne at Yarrabah, who I’m sure will be as pleased as I am when she finds out ;-).

… and all absolutely nothin’ to do with the Easter Bunny 😉

Below – “Covid Vax & Ice Cream” © Image by Brian Cassey

Nikon Walkley Portrait Prize #3 … Yes !

… well, that was damn exciting and unexpected !

A few days ago received an email (proceeded by phone calls) with the great news that I’d once again won the ‘Nikon Walkley Portrait Prize’. Really stoked with that …

The Walkley’s usually announce the winners of the ‘Nikon Portrait Prize’, the ‘Nikon Photo of the Year Prize’ and the finalists of the other Nikon photographic categories during state capital evening ‘events’ … but Covid this year meant a much quieter disclosure via an 8am email.

Wasn’t expected anything … so missed the initial email and only learn’t that my pic “The Yarrick Family of Kunhanhaa” had been selected as the portrait prize winner when colleagues started ringing me !

The pic was made on Mornington Island (Kunhanhaa) in the Gulf of Carpentaria in far northern Australia … an indigenous community that is experiencing multiple ‘social issues’ mostly due to the tyranny of distance and … well …  being ‘forgotten’. Myself and ‘gun’ journalist Michael McKenna travelled to the island in December 2020 to document the story of massive overcrowding in the communities basic homes … and the image and story was published on page one of ‘The Australian’ (below).

Many thanks to Michael … and also to the ‘driven’ Mayor of Mornington, Kyle Yanner, who is single minded in solving the issues that have beset his community.

This portrait was also a part of my pic essay “Mornington Island – The Queenslanders Left behind” that recently won the ‘Photographic Essay’ category of ‘The Clarion Awards’ … Queensland’s media awards.

Also, huge congrats to brilliant Sydney Morning Herald colleague Kate Geraghty who scored the ‘Nikon Photo of the Year Prize’ with an evocative image of a Covid-19 patient that was also published as a page1.

Can’t forget the several of my colleagues that received the news that they are ‘Finalists’ in the remaining Nikon Walkley photographic categories who won’t now learn their fate till the big announcements at The Walkley Awards presentation night of nights in Tamworth in February 2022. I’ll be there ‘with bells on’ !

Below I’ve also posted images and links to my other two previous winning ‘Nikon Walkley Portrait Prize’ photographs in 2016 (here) and 2011 (here). Also just a couple of the links to all the Nikon Walkley winners and category finalists here and here.

STOP PRESS: Was interviewed in the days after the announcement by the Walkley Foundation’s Kate Burgess for an article in The Walkley Magazine. Kate’s work and my words may be found here …

Images © Brian Cassey


2021 Nikon Walkley Portrait Prize - Winner - "The Yarrick Family of Kunhanhaa' - by Brian Cassey

2021 Nikon Walkley Portrait Prize - Winner - "The Yarrick Family of Kunhanhaa' - by Brian Cassey for The Australian

'Abdullatif - Beaten Asylum Seeker' - Winner 2016 Nikon Walkley Portrait Prize - image by Brian Cassey

'Carol - Burne Survivor' - Winner 2011 'Nikon Walkley Portrait Prize' - image by Brian Cassey

Covid Vax & Ice Cream …

Every now and then there comes along a really rewarding story … and every now and then that story throws up a ‘special’ pic.
Last week, for me, this job threw up one of ‘em.

I thoroughly enjoyed being allowed to document the ‘door to door’ Covid-19 vaccination program in the far northern indigenous community of Yarrabah. Orchestrated by the Gurriny Yealamucka Health Service, the operation was startling and well organised … teams of doctors and health workers went from home to home to inform and vaccinate the indigenous population that had been lagging far behind in Covid-19 vaccination numbers.

Following behind the vaccination teams was a pink ice cream van … complete with musical ‘Green Sleeves’ tones … dispensing free ice cream to the newly vaxed and the communities numerous children.
In my favourite image of the day (top below), 67 year old Leanne Bulmer sits in her home with her ‘vaccination ice cream’ after receiving her shot of Pfizer from a doctor on her verandah. I nearly missed it … a health worker spirited Leanne a choc coated soft serve … and I overheard him casually mention it. Leanne was delighted to allow this portrait before her ice cream melted in the tropical heat.

In the second image Dr Peter Roach vaccinates elderly Yarrabah resident Raymond Davidson in his home assisted by health worker Belita Kynuna. The bottom pic shows 19 year old Sherrie Bligh as she is vaccinated by nurse Susie Jarman and enjoys her free ice cream at her Yarrabah home, watched by 2 year old Cleo Costello.

The story and two of my images (including Leanne’s) was published in Thursday’s ‘The Australian’ newspaper under the great head “Jab Blitz Proves As Easy As Pie With Ice Cream”.

The later publication of seven of my images and story link on The Australian’s Instagram account accrued over a thousand ‘likes’ …but, sadly. also led to a stream of readers ‘comments’ (inexplicably to me) highly critical of the vaccination program and the newspapers coverage.

Nevertheless, the ‘door to door’ program proved to be a big success with many residents having their fears allayed and taking the vaccination plunge. All that ice cream just sweetened the deal.

Images © Brian Cassey


'Covid Vax & Ice Cream' - images of the covid vaccine door to door rollout in the indigenous community of Yarrabah, north Queensland - by Brian Cassey ©

'Covid Vax & Ice Cream' - images of the covid vaccine door to door rollout in the indigenous community of Yarrabah, north Queensland - by Brian Cassey ©

'Covid Vax & Ice Cream' - images of the covid vaccine door to door rollout in the indigenous community of Yarrabah, north Queensland - by Brian Cassey ©



Mornington Essay Wins At Clarions …

Scored a nice tidy hangover … and Best Photographic Essay gong … at ‘The Clarions’ (Queensland’s media awards) presentation event at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre on Saturday eve.

A great evening honouring the best work of Queensland’s media industry over the last troubled year, it was also a brilliant opportunity to catch up with media mates and colleagues for a drink or two (honest!). To win the award for Best Photographic Essay with my work documenting the dire strait of the Mornington Island indigenous community in the Gulf of Carpentaria for The Courier Mail and The Australian was a very pleasant bonus.

The judges (for whom I have the greatest respect 😉 ) commented thus on my work ‘Mornington Island – The Queenslanders Left behind’ … “This series of images beautifully captures and communicates the plight of a forgotten community. Brian has included both dramatic candid moments and evocative portraits to tell the subjects story while seamlessly using a variety of techniques to create a moving connection to both people and place.

You will get a better look at the entire pic essay on my ‘Awards’ page at …

Huge Thanks to all at the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance for once again hosting the awards and the evening … and to the wonderful people of Mornington for their hospitality.

Images © Brian Cassey (pages The Courier Mail & The Australian)


2021 Clarion Awards (Queensland Media Awards) - Winner - Best Photographic Essay - 'The Queenslanders Left Behind' by Brian Cassey (The Courier Mail and The Australian)

2021 Clarion Awards (Queensland Media Awards) - Winner - Best Photographic Essay - 'The Queenslanders Left Behind' by Brian Cassey (The Courier Mail and The Australian)

2021 Clarion Awards (Queensland Media Awards) - Winner - Best Photographic Essay - 'The Queenslanders Left Behind' by Brian Cassey (The Courier Mail and The Australian)

Mornington … Clarion Media Awards Finalist …

… it’s always a pleasure … a once a year excuse to trek to Brisbane and spend a very pleasant eve with southern media colleagues that I far too infrequently get to socialise with.

The ‘Finalists’ in the Clarion Awards … Queensland’s prestigious awards which recognise the best of the Sunshine States media for their work across the year … were announced this week … and very pleased to be selected as one of three photographers in ‘Best Photographic Essay’.

So … if the Covid virus plays nicely (i.e. elsewhere) … will be off to Brissie in October to enjoy another year of the Clarion Awards ‘presentations’ … this time at a cocktail function at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Greatly looking forward to catching up with photographers Darren England and Evan Morgan (co-finalists in ‘Essay’), David Clark, Annette Dew and Tertius Pickard (finalists In ‘News Photograph’) and ‘Regional’ finalists Rob Maccoll and Cairns colleague Brendan Radke. Big congrats guys n gal. Not forgetting the wonderful journalists, scribes, blunts (whatever you choose to call ‘em) that pen the words that fill the spaces between our photographs.

My selected work is a pic essay compiled from images made for The Sunday Mail and The Australian, documenting the plight of the indigenous residents of the remote Gulf of Carpentaria township of Mornington Island. Entitled “The Queenslanders Left Behind”, it comprises eleven images made during two journeys to the island, concentrating on the issues of housing overcrowding and other social ills.

Five of those eleven pics are here below … from top … Shaylene Yarrick and her children bed down in the lounge of their overcrowded house … Mum Cheree Loogatha and daughter Arizona outside their Gununa house …  Shaylene Yarrick sheds a tear outside her tiny overcrowded home … The Loogatha family yarn around the fire outside their house … Mornington Island sisters Yvonne Wilson (17) and Corrin Wilson (13) suffer from type 2 diabetes. Corrin also has rheumatic heart disease, whilst their mother is receiving dialysis following renal failure.

Very pleased to once again have the chance (it’s now twelve years of ‘Finalists’ with a fair few ‘Wins’ over the last decade and a half) to enjoy Queensland’s media ’Night of Nights’.

Covid-19 … please don’t stuff it up !

Images © Brian Cassey

Clarion Media Awards Finalist - Photographic Essay -“Mornington Island – The Queenslanders Left Behind” by Brian Cassey

Clarion Media Awards Finalist - Photographic Essay -“Mornington Island – The Queenslanders Left Behind” by Brian Cassey

Clarion Media Awards Finalist - Photographic Essay -“Mornington Island – The Queenslanders Left Behind” by Brian Cassey

Clarion Media Awards Finalist - Photographic Essay -“Mornington Island – The Queenslanders Left Behind” by Brian Cassey

Clarion Media Awards Finalist - Photographic Essay -“Mornington Island – The Queenslanders Left Behind” by Brian Cassey

Getting Wet on the GBR …

… made a lightning fast visit to the Great Barrier Reef out from Cairns recently for The Australian.

Journalist Graham Lloyd and I were choppered out to Moore Reef … certainly one of my quickest (and shortest) visits to the Great Barrier Reef !

A twenty five minute helicopter flight … then straight into the water with camera, reef crew Katherine, reef ecologist Eric and journalist Graham … forty five minutes working in the lagoon, the flat and the wall of Moore Reef … then straight back on the chopper to Cairns.

The Australian published a couple of my images to accompany Graham’s story on page 3  (middle pic below) with a pointer from page 1.

In the top two images below Katherine is exploring the ‘wall’ area of Moore Reef which was smashed during Cyclone Yasi in 2011, impacted by Cyclone Ita in 2014 … and then extensively bleached during climate change related extreme temperature events in 2016 and 2017. Damage on the ‘wall’ section is still evident but it does appear that corals are making a comeback (and the fish numbers were astonishing.)

Even on the ‘flat’ area between the lagoon and the wall … where there has been extensive bleaching (which I documented back in May 2017 for @everydayclimatechange and News) … there is some coral regrowth.

Sadly, with more frequent extreme temperature events and cyclones almost a certainty as the planet warms, the World’s largest reef system still faces a distinctly uncertain future.

The reef trip also gave me a chance to use a nice new bit of kit … the Sealife 0.5X wide angle dome lens … on my Sealife DC2000 underwater camera (pic bottom below). The wide angle is perfect for my choice of underwater pics … making underwater ‘landscapes’ much more impressive. If you are interested in any underwater kit (including the excellent Sealife system) may I suggest contacting Tim Hochgrebe at Underwater Australasia for the best range and prices.

Images © Brian Cassey




Inside Manus … Abandoned Asylum Seekers …

Last week News Ltd journalist Rory Callinan and myself managed to get inside the now ‘closed’ Australian asylum seeker detention centre at Lombrum, Manus Island in Papua New Guinea.

We were invited to join a small band of refugees who were running urgently needed foods and medicines back to the detention centre where near 600 asylum seekers had been abandoned and left with no food, water, electricity, health or any other services by Australia’s ‘closure’ of the centre. The food run was to be one of the last … police next day stopped the boat trips and arrested local boatmen.

Our visit was short and chaotic … we were mobbed by men desperate for help and desperate to tell their harrowing stories of four years detention or to beg for medicines. Conditions were obviously deteriorating fast … despite their attempts to keep basic order and collect water from a makeshift well dug in the camp. Some were visibly ill and others showed signs of mental torment.

I’m not sure how long we spent in the camp but we were soon ushered back to the boat as we were warned the police were coming. But we were there … unlike the overwhelming majority of Australia’s media.

The images were used in News Corp publications including three on the front of The Australian.

A sobering experience … although in depth comment at the moment eludes me …

Have now compiled a photo essay of the images made. Below are just a few from the full essay which is now published on my web site at …

Images © Brian Cassey and News Corp.

Inside Abandoned Manus - pic essay by Brian Cassey - inside the now abandoned Australian detention centre in PNG where near 600 asylum seekers are surviving without food, water and all other services

Inside Abandoned Manus - pic essay by Brian Cassey - inside the now abandoned Australian detention centre in PNG where near 600 asylum seekers are surviving without food, water and all other services
Inside Abandoned Manus - pic essay by Brian Cassey - inside the now abandoned Australian detention centre in PNG where near 600 asylum seekers are surviving without food, water and all other services

Inside Abandoned Manus - pic essay by Brian Cassey - inside the now abandoned Australian detention centre in PNG where near 600 asylum seekers are surviving without food, water and all other services

Eric the ‘Beef Boss’ … & Lunch …

Eric Rosendale of Bonny Glen Station, Cape York Peninsula says he needs to clear more of his land for grazing and to make it possible to muster stock on horse back. He was critical … in a story by The Australian journalist Michael McKenna … of the Queensland Governments proposed tree clearing crack down.

I’ve just learnt that the picture I made to accompany the story has now been recognised in the ‘2017 Queensland Rural Press Media Awards’ … and I get to go down to Brisbane for a nice lunch at the Stamford Plaza in a couple of weeks to receive a couple of rural ‘gongs’ … courtesy of the Rural Press Club.

The image of Eric (below) was selected as the Winner of the ‘People’ category in this years photography awards … and then also selected as ‘Overall Winner’ across all photographic categories. It will now go on to represent Queensland in the Nation wide ‘Australian Star Prize for Rural Photography’ which is decided by the Australian Council of Agricultural Journalists. If successful there it will move on to represent Australia in the planet wide competition run by the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) to be announced in South Africa. Some ‘If’s involved in all this … but pleased to receive the recognition so far and to follow up last years similar win with ‘Beef Farmers’.

‘Beef Boss’ Image © Brian Cassey

'Rural Press Photography Awards Queensland 2017' - Winner - 'Beef Boss' by Brian Cassey - Eric Rosendale of Bonny Glen Station, Cape York Peninsula

50th Anniversary – The Australian …

Very gratified to be included at number three out of thirty in ‘The Australian’ newspapers 50th anniversary ‘Heart Of The Nation’ collection today.

The blurb on the title page of the collection reads thus … “Heart Of The Nation – Our best of …
As part of our 50th anniversary celebrations, we present this gallery of the best of The Weekend Australian Magazine’s photo-feature page, ‘Heart Of The Nation’. A weekly snapshot of modern Australian life, Heart Of The Nation is a showcase for the country’s best photographers.”

Excellent to have my work included amongst a stellar line up of Australia’s top photographers … and many thanks to ‘Heart Of The Nation’ editor Ross Bilton for the inclusion. Would also like to take this opportunity to again thank my subject – David Glasheen – who is still doing it tough on remote Restoration Island off the coast of northern Cape York Peninsula.

Below is a screen shot of my image as displayed in todays ‘The Australian’ 50th anniversary collection.

Image © Brian Cassey


Cape York Cattle Muster Essay …

Have now found time to post a new photo essay from the Cape York mustering trip – “Cattle Muster Cape York”  – to the web site of my collective ‘fotostrada’ under ‘Latest Stories’. The new essay is in addition to the “Aak Puul Ngantam Stcokman” essay of portraits posted earlier.

This set of images were made during the mustering operations – by horse back, helicopter and quad bike, on the remote property out from the indigenous township of Aurukun. The stock they are mustering, numbering about 5000, are the remnants and descendants of a failed cattle venture in the 1990’s.  The participants are a mix of elder experienced former aboriginal stockman, young indigenous men from Aurukun keen to learn the ropes, a white family of head stockman, wife and cook and two daughter Jillaroos, a teacher for the kids and a ‘roustabout’ – all of whom are directly involved in the day to day hands on mustering operation.

The venture is an attempt to provide sustainable employment and a sense of pride in the indigenous town – and break the cycle of booze, drugs, violence and welfare dependency.

They have already had some success with the sale of mustered stock fetching record prices at a recent Mareeba cattle auction.

The work was made for ‘The Australian’ newspaper with text by journalist Michael McKenna and was published over four pages (including page 1) of  ‘The Weekend Australian’ edition (see earlier post below.)

Posted below are just three images from the complete essay which can be found in full at

Images © Brian Cassey

“The Australian” … Best …

… another ‘Best of 2012’ collection … this time from “The Australian” newspaper.

I’m fortunate to have half a dozen images amongst “The Best of the Australian 2012” collection … and my ‘fotostrada’ colleagues Sam Mooy and Kelly Barnes also weighed in with a dozen pics between them.

I’ve posted below a screen shot of the first page of the collection … my image of 79 year old Herbert McLean from Hopevale on Cape York Peninsula … and the complete gallery can be accessed here at …

©  image Brian Cassey


Thousand Kilometre Images …

Often the easiest part of making images is pressing the shutter … and the hard part is getting to the right place to take them!

Such was the case this week on a job for ‘The Australian’ broad sheet.

The object was the take pics to accompany a story by Brisbane based journalist Sarah Elks on the subject of the controversial and now doomed Queensland Wild Rivers legislation and the opinions of grazier Scott Harris at Strathmore Station between Georgetown and Croydon in remote north west Queensland.

It entailed a round trip drive of well over a thousand kilometres dodging rock spitting road trains …  a substantial amount on corrugated gravel roads … which equated to almost fourteen hours behind the wheel over two days. A few of the native wild life met their demise over those hours including a rather fat bird of prey who obviously over indulged feasting on a road side roo carcass, failed to gain sufficient height on take off and smashed into my windscreen. Had to confess the rather large crack from top to bottom of the screen to the hire car company on my return.

Grazier Scott Harris and his wife Kerry were extremely gracious hosts and we spent dinner in the evening with their crew planning the best scenario for images.

Strathmore muster by helicopter and quad bike (not a horse in sight) and we made a plan to make the images of the choppers mustering stock across the Einasleigh River at dawn.

At first light we took off in the Robinson 22 helicopters and watched the sun peak over the horizon from a thousand feet.

The mustered cattle did their part as Scott and contract pilot Mike Fleming coaxed them across the river and the images were made. ‘The Weekend Australian’ ran with a large image on page 1 and a further 3 images and story on page 5.

The Australian also ran a ten image slide presentation “Helicopter Cattle Muster” on their web site which can be viewed here.

Below I’ve posted a grab of the image of  The Weekend Australian’s front page, another of page 5 … and an image of grazier Scott preparing to take off pre dawn.

Images © Brian Cassey

Instagram, The Australian, and me …

I’ve spent my entire career making images of other people from the back side of a camera.   So it was a little daunting and very different to be asked to supply an image of myself “Instagramming” for an article in The Australian newspaper on the rise of the social media photography application.

“Instagram” has quickly grown to 27 million iPhone users in just 17 months … and a version for Android users is due to be realised any day now.

It is widely used on a daily basis by a growing number of Australia’s top photojournalists who delight in the creativity and competition that the app invites.

The article in The Weekend Australian – written by journalist Chris Griffith and published across the entire top half of page 7 on Saturday March 24th – tells of the rapid rise and the possible future for the “Instagram” app, and my experiences using it.

The main pic in the spread was an image I (reluctantly!) shot of myself using the iPhone at beautiful Mission Beach … and this was surrounded by some of my most ‘liked’ “Instagram” images. (I promise not to get into the habit of taking pics of myself!)

Below I’ve posted an image of the top half of page 7 showing how The Weekend Australian ran the story.

The text of the article can be found here … and The Australian’s gallery of some of my “Instagram” images – all taken on a now ageing iPhone4 –  is here.

If you wish to follow my work on “Instagram” look for … @brian_cassey

Tough ‘Day at the Office’ …

Another ‘reef story’ in the Australian gave me the opportunity for yet another day of underwater imagery (I need the practice!)… this time courtesy of the crew of “Passions of Paradise” at Long Bommie near Michaelmas Cay off Cairns.

Journalist Sarah Elks wrote of the latest findings that some corals are hardier than expected when faced with climate change … and the story and pic ran over six columns on page 3 today 14th November.

Once again I have to thank a long suffering ‘dive buddy’ … or, in this case. more like a dive ‘daddy’ – “Passions” Adam O’Malley … without whom I would have found it difficult to get an image! Also a thanks to ex pat Frauleins Judith and Claudia who endured a hard day snorkelling amongst the coral gardens.

As on previous underwater occasions I used – with my heart in my mouth – the Ewa-Marine flexible housing (model U-BXP100), this time with my shiny new (thank you Nikon) D700 and trusty old 17-35mm lens.

Below is a tear sheet of the image as used on the Australian page.



The Reef …

Something a little different from the norm … The carbon tax launch by the Australian Government last Sunday was the catalyst for a visit to the outer Great Barrier Reef at the request of the pic editor at the Australian newspaper.

The requested image – an underwater reefscape – was to accompany a story on the carbon tax and the reef conundrum – the reef desperately needs measures like carbon tax to put a halt to global warming and ensure it’s survival … but any tax may make the reef  more expensive for reef tourism operators and therefore less accessible to reef visitors. The jobs of crew and dive staff may also be in jeopardy in the future.

The full story penned by journo Sarah Elks – and the image (also below) – can be found here in the Australian on-line edition.

I travelled to the outer reef with Tusa Dive on their vessel Tusa5. Their relatively young and enthusiastic crew and staff were extremely professional and amazingly helpful and my ‘wishlist’ was attended to very efficiently.
Special mention must go to my long suffering dive buddy/instructor/sitter – Lindy – who showed amazing patience with a wayward non-certified diver!

For anyone interested in such things, the image was made on a Nikon D3S with lens focal length at about 20mm … and the kit nestled rather worryingly inside my German made Ewa-Marine U-BXP10 (flexible) housing. No idea now of exposure settings although they would be in the EXIF data. (actually looked it up … 640asa, 250 @ 5.6, bit of fill flash)

Image © Brian Cassey 2011