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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.

2015 Environmentalist of the Year Jill Redwood

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Originally published at: 

Jill Redwood is a long-time environmental campaigner and the coordinator of Environment East Gippsland, the longest running community group working solely for the protection of Victoria's last and largest area of ancient forest and surrounding natural environment. For over three decades, Jill has been a campaign stalwart for the protection of East Gippsland forests and Australia’s native forests. Jill is on the committee of the Australian Forests and Climate Alliance and has been an integral campaigner against native forest biomass burning in Australia.

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.

The Kink in the Human Brain: Why Are Humans OK with Destroying the Planet?

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Originally published at: 

In the lead up to Christmas this well-written piece explains how we add enormous pressure on our planet depending on the way we celebrate. It is estimates that we will this year spend almost $47 BILLION this year on celebrating Christmas, over-eating and buying presents.
George Monbiot looks at this big picture - and it’s quite sobering reading.

Pointless, joyless consumption is destroying our world of wonders.

By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 2nd October 2014

This is a moment at which anyone with the capacity for reflection should stop and wonder what we are doing.