Hervey Bay photographer wins gold at prestigious awards
MULTI-award winning Hervey Bay photographer Michael Smith was recognised at this year's prestigious Australian Professional Photography Awards.
Michael said to enter the national Awards, photographers must be an Australian Institute of Professional Photography member and have previously qualified at a state level.
The winning nature and science photographs were taken at Lady Elliot Island where Michael and his wife Shara visit up to three times a year, competing against thousands of entrants.
"My gold award winning image is of two green sea turtles swimming through coral reef bommies on Lady Elliot Island," he said.
"This is the highest scoring print I have achieved so far in my career.
"The silver distinction image is also of a green sea turtle, photographed in the lagoon on sunset with a unique technique I have been working on for some time."
Michael and his wife Shara run international photography tours in Tonga and Tahiti, but he said the Fraser Coast wasn't short of subjects to photograph.
"My absolute favourite subject on the Fraser Coast is the abundance of wildlife, especially our humpback whales," he said.
"To be able to see them up close in such a sheltered environment and in such large numbers is incredible."
Michael's advice to those looking to get into the industry is that while it's not mandatory to have formal qualifications, education is vital in such a competitive industry.
"For me it has been a lifelong passion and I have always been hungry to learn everything I can about the craft," he said.
"I'm an associate member of the AIPP, my goal is to achieve my master of photography in 2018."