The man who captures creatures great and small

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Posted

May 12, 2017 12:47:49

Meet the man who travels across Queensland to photograph the wonders of the outback as well as the deep, dark depths of the Great Barrier Reef.

Gary Cranitch has been the photographer at the Queensland Museum for more than 34 years.

He has captured creatures great and small in locations that naturalist David Attenborough calls his “most highly rated natural wonders”.

“My day-to-day is varied — it’s landscapes, it’s aerials, it’s underwater work, it’s frogs, it’s birds.

“As a wildlife photographer I’ve learnt to never get frustrated or disappointed.”

The award-winning photographer’s images are seen by hundreds of thousands of museum visitors each year.

The challenges of shooting under water

The Great Barrier Reef had always drawn Cranitch in.

He trained as a scuba driver early in his career and then went on to become a commercial diver and said shooting underwater was “a whole other kettle of fish”.

“It’s how you handle yourself under water to get yourself in the right position to get a picture,” he said.

“I started in film days, shooting under water with old school cameras, and after that it’s just about seeing the light and dealing with the light.

“It’s the same application as being on land but you have a big pile of water over your head.”

Experiences that stay long after the camera is off

Crantich said it was actually a recent trip that had had a big impact on him.

“We went to Raine Island which is the biggest green turtle rookery in the world.

“There’s an extensive recovery program happening up there with Queensland National Parks where they are trying to keep the hatchling numbers up as there’s been a decline there.

“That location was just wonderful, and the great man David Attenborough rates it as one of his top five locations in the world.”

Cranitch said he had to remember to concentrate being in so many awe-inspiring locations.

“You stop to look behind you, as well as in front of you, as I’m always seeing things as a photographer.

“I call it my little voice which tells me to concentrate on what I have to do.

“When you’re inundated by wildlife it’s an awesome experience.”

Teaching people the importance of nature

Cranitch is exhibiting his latest works in the Whale Mall at the Queensland Museum.

The exhibition, titled The Great Barrier Reef, shows a collection of images he took over a four-year period in which he logged more than 500 reef dives.

He said most days he stopped and watched people looking at his work.

“I wander past people and there will be a family looking at the pictures and reading the beautiful written captions of what’s in the picture.

“To see the young children take that in and stop and consider what they’re looking at and learn about what they’re looking at … my work is done.”

Topics:

animals,

photography,

human-interest,

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