I was keen on photography as a youngster, but gave it away when it seemed to be interfering with life: what was the point in going somewhere nice (I thought) if you spent the whole time taking pictures instead of enjoying it? So I stopped taking pictures.
It wasn't until I was 35 or so that I bought an early-model digital camera for another of my passions, the insides of old computers (if you are curious, visit the Red Hill Hardware Guide). At about the same time I started dreaming about ways to take pictures of wild birds and wild places and eventually bought a spotting scope and began digiscoping.
That was a life-changing event. Before long I was travelling at every opportunity, and constantly looking for better ways to see, photograph, and understand this wonderful continent. The digiscoping rig is long gone, replaced by a series of digital SLR cameras and an ever-growing collection of lenses, but the constant travelling goes on. I no longer worry about photography interfering with life, although life interferes with photography more than I like.
I still run Red Hill Technology in Ballarat, Victoria — we have been building and repairing computers for more than 20 years now — but over the last few years have been gradually spending more time doing web design work and photography. Neither one brings in enough income to support me, so I keep the shop open as well — but in any case, I doubt I'd stop building computers any time soon: it's a great job that I still enjoy.
In between all that, I squeeze in as much volunteer work as I can with two wonderful, hard-working, practical environmental organisatons: the Regent Honeyeater Project, and the Ballarat Environment Network. I'm also a member of Birdlife Australia and the Field Naturalists, but nowhere near as active as I want to be. Life is too short!
Tony Wilson (Tannin)