Forest Issues

Vale Ern Mainka Photographer. Obituary by David Tatnall.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Ernest Gordon Mainka 1954 – 2014.

The nature conservation and photography communities were saddened to hear of the death of the photographer Ern Mainka.

Ern learned his skill as a photographer whilst working for Telecom (before it became Telstra) and his overriding love of the natural world led to him taking a redundancy package in the mid 1980’s to devote his time and energy to photographing nature. At that time the forests of Victoria’s East Gippsland were the site of an intense battle for their preservation and protection from clearfell logging and woodchipping. Ern’s photographs played an important part in saving these forests. His photographs were an example of the power of the photographic image.

Ern’s photographs also played an important role in the campaigns for the protection of the Mallee, Victorian Alps, Otway and Central Highlands forests and Murray River Red Gums.

Ern went to enormous lengths to get photographs; he was the first person to photograph Errinundra Plateau’s First Creek Falls. His day and night photographs of a Ghost Fungus (Omphalotus nidiformis) in the Rodger River involved him making one exposure of the fungus in daylight and without moving the camera exposing another piece of film during the night for eight hours while he sat in a sleeping bag nearby to ensure Tiger Quolls or Possums didn’t knock the camera over. Those photographs were published in the Victorian National Parks Association Calendar in 1986.

It wasn’t uncommon to hear reports that someone had seen Ern’s tent at Frosty Hollow, Waratah Flat or Goonmirk Rocks in East Gippsland and in the weeks following see a group of excited people gathered around the light table in the Environment Centre looking at Ern’s beautiful photographs.

Ern exclusively made colour photographs working with medium format transparency film using 6 x 6 and 6 x 17 cameras. He later went on to use digital cameras, making remarkable atmospheric photographs of storms and lightning, but it’s for his film photographs that he will be best remembered.

Colour transparency film produces the best and most accurate colour and requires great skill to get the exposure correct. Ern used his camera with masterful efficiency making not only beautifully exposed photographs but also beautifully composed photographs.

His photographs live on in many books, magazines calendars and diaries. A great number can still be seen online, including many of the Bend of Islands near Warrandyte, his home for many years.

Over many decades, conservation campaigns benefited greatly from Ern's talent and commitment, and the special places in nature that Ern loved best, and helped save, remain a legacy to his life and a testament to the power of his photographs, many of which remain the finest examples of Australian nature photography.

Thanks to: Jill Redwood, Richard Hughes, Philip Ingamells, Peter Durkin,

David Neilson and Jane Mullett for assistance with this obituary.

David Tatnall.

- See more at: http://thelargeformatblog.com/2015/10/01/vale-ern-mainka-photographer-ob...

Ernest Gordon Mainka 1954 – 2014.

The nature conservation and photography communities were saddened to hear of the death of the photographer Ern Mainka.

Ern learned his skill as a photographer whilst working for Telecom (before it became Telstra) and his overriding love of the natural world led to him taking a redundancy package in the mid 1980’s to devote his time and energy to photographing nature. At that time the forests of Victoria’s East Gippsland were the site of an intense battle for their preservation and protection from clearfell logging and woodchipping. Ern’s photographs played an important part in saving these forests. His photographs were an example of the power of the photographic image.

Ern’s photographs also played an important role in the campaigns for the protection of the Mallee, Victorian Alps, Otway and Central Highlands forests and Murray River Red Gums.

Ern went to enormous lengths to get photographs; he was the first person to photograph Errinundra Plateau’s First Creek Falls. His day and night photographs of a Ghost Fungus (Omphalotus nidiformis) in the Rodger River involved him making one exposure of the fungus in daylight and without moving the camera exposing another piece of film during the night for eight hours while he sat in a sleeping bag nearby to ensure Tiger Quolls or Possums didn’t knock the camera over. Those photographs were published in the Victorian National Parks Association Calendar in 1986.

It wasn’t uncommon to hear reports that someone had seen Ern’s tent at Frosty Hollow, Waratah Flat or Goonmirk Rocks in East Gippsland and in the weeks following see a group of excited people gathered around the light table in the Environment Centre looking at Ern’s beautiful photographs.

Ern exclusively made colour photographs working with medium format transparency film using 6 x 6 and 6 x 17 cameras. He later went on to use digital cameras, making remarkable atmospheric photographs of storms and lightning, but it’s for his film photographs that he will be best remembered.

Colour transparency film produces the best and most accurate colour and requires great skill to get the exposure correct. Ern used his camera with masterful efficiency making not only beautifully exposed photographs but also beautifully composed photographs.

His photographs live on in many books, magazines calendars and diaries. A great number can still be seen online, including many of the Bend of Islands near Warrandyte, his home for many years.

Over many decades, conservation campaigns benefited greatly from Ern's talent and commitment, and the special places in nature that Ern loved best, and helped save, remain a legacy to his life and a testament to the power of his photographs, many of which remain the finest examples of Australian nature photography.

Thanks to: Jill Redwood, Richard Hughes, Philip Ingamells, Peter Durkin,

David Neilson and Jane Mullett for assistance with this obituary.

David Tatnall.

- See more at: http://thelargeformatblog.com/2015/10/01/vale-ern-mainka-photographer-ob...

Ernest Gordon Mainka 1954 – 2014.

The nature conservation and photography communities were saddened to hear of the death of the photographer Ern Mainka.

Review of 5% burn target admits failure – plans for more effective risk reduction

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The controversial hectare based burn target of 5% of public land annually was reviewed earlier this year by the Inspector General of Emergency Management. The findings and recommendations were released in April this year and the government is still to announce if it will adopt the recommendations.

What underlies the Minister’s lies?

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Minister Jaala Pulford is responsible for VicForests. She’s been caught with her pants on fire again trying to cover for it in reply to a question from Greens MP Sam Dunn in early September.

She asked about ‎VicForests’ self-allocation of an additional 316 new stands of forest in Victoria to be clearfelled. The Minister said it was OK because the same number of hectares was also removed off logging maps. What she didn't say was that most of those coupes VicForests had already clearfelled and were now handing back to DELWP to manage!

Abbott Government’s attack on the environment

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Ashton coal mine Hunter Valley AustraliaUPDATE: 19th September 2015 Malcolm Turnbull has postponed the planned changes to the law that would exclude most enviro groups from challenging bad government development decisions.

The Abbott Government’s attack on the environment knows no bounds and is reaching a peak that has even the most conservative minds staggering with disbelief! His coal-obsession has become a very obvious mental disorder.

Trans Pacific Partnership

Friday, July 31, 2015

While the nation argues over the treatment received by footballer Adam Goodes, the Abbott Government is overseas stitching up the secret TPP trade deal that no one wants but the major corporations.

Put simply, the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a deal which will agree to allow major corporations that produce chemicals, foods, medicines and so on, as well as fossil fuels, to dictate to the signatory countries that they must open all doors for these companies to profit. If a country decides to use its own laws to protect their people, resources or environment ahead of corporate profit – the governments of the countries can be sued and fine hundreds of millions of dollars!

This is a winner! Literally!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Jude Deland Lyrebird Mt Ellery

Our intrepid East Gippy photographer Jude Deland, has won the Animal Behavior section of the 2015 Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Competition - today! Congrats Jude! This was taken on the top of Mt Ellery earlier this year amongst the giant granite boulders, Alpine Ash and mist.

Over 2000 ha set aside for owls! EEG's 4th successful legal case

Friday, July 17, 2015

EEG’s fourth Court case challenging the government’s non-adherence to its own environment laws has been settled (17.7.15). This time it was for the owls.

Legal win for Owls over 2,000 ha set aside
EEG, DELWP and VicForests have agreed that the environment department (DELWP) take action to adhere to legal obligations and increase owl protected areas as well as assess the damage done to owl habitat and study owls post-fire to inform whether new protection zones are necessary. Logging in key areas of unprotected owl habitat scheduled for clearfelling will be halted for 4 years while this work is underway.

Protection for ‪‎East Gippsland‬’s giant trees are being reviewed by the Dept

Sunday, July 5, 2015

GECO

Years ago the govt announced trees over 12.6m circumf would be protected. All those 6-700yo trees under this size have been felled. At last the the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) is looking to increase safeguards for large old trees. maybe just protect all old growth is the answer. Giving one tree a 20 m buffer is failry pointless ecolcogically.

Planned Burns Review and Recommendations – admits failure – plans for more effective risk reduction

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Burning at Warnett Westernport BayThe Royal Commission recommended burns to over 5% of our natural landscape annually have finally been shown to be a waste of time, money and horrifically damaging to our biodiversity.

The recent review of the burn targets used 12 criteria to measure how effective the blunt hectare-based target is compared to the proposed risk-reduction target. The hectare burns scored 13/48 (a serious flunk!) while a risk-based target scored 40/48. This is what EEG and thousands of others have been saying since day one.

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