Behind the Bush Blitz lens

Photographer from Museum Victoria David Paul gets down close with some of the creepy crawlies found on the Bush Blitz survey at Neds Corner Station near Mildura. Photo: Jo Harding

It’s 1.30 am, the scientists have finally gone to bed after a day of collecting specimens and an evening of sorting and recording what they have found. But there is still a light on in the little shed up the back. David Paul is closeted in his make-shift studio surrounded by an array of vials and containers full of all sorts of critters rustling and fluttering around.

David Paul isn’t a scientist, but he is just as important to this trip as any zoologist or botanist. You see David is a photographer with Museum Victoria and his job is to capture images of the wonderful array of creatures we have found. David has set up a surprisingly professional photographic studio with specially-built tanks that he uses to get the amazingly detailed close-up shots that are almost impossible to capture in the field.

David tells me that photographing in a studio setting means there isn’t the risk of losing rare specimens while you are trying to get that perfect shot. Apparently there are some little tricks he can use to keep the more active critters quiet, such as putting spiders in the fridge. As he explained, losing venomous spiders in a studio adjoining sleeping quarters can be a trifle disconcerting. (Glad he chose the shed well away from my tent!)

One of David Paul's stunning photographs - the Bynoe's gecko. Photo by David Paul, Museum Victoria

So keep an eye on the website for more of David’s beautiful photography.

For a closer look at Neds Corner Station see

Jo Harding, Bush Blitz manager

Bush Blitz is a biodiversity discovery partnership between the Australian Government, BHP Billiton and Earthwatch Australia that aims to document the plants and animals across our National Reserve System.