Follow these Aussie natural history photographers and you’ll be occupied until the end of time

By Angela Heathcote 23 March 2020
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This is our round up of the best Australian natural history photographers to follow on Instagram to liven up your endless scrolling.

SO YOU HAVE to practice social distancing to avoid contracting or spreading Coronavirus, but your Instagram is filled with nothing but bad news and panic. Now’s the time to liven up that feed with some nature photography. There’s something for everybody.

Justin Gilligan @justingilligan

Justin Gilligan is by far one of the best underwater photographers in Australia, if not the world. He’s won numerous awards and features in the pages of Australian Geographic almost every issue. There are two very important reasons to follow Justin though. One, Justin’s scientific background means he writes detailed captions that explain exactly what you’re looking at. Two, at the moment he’s stationed out at Lord Howe Island for work, and regularly captures incredible images of the sea life living in the island’s world-famous reefs. 

Related: In pictures: coral spawning on Lord Howe Island

Su Rammohan @theinsectdiary

Su is one of the best macro photographers out there, and she beautifully captures the diverse insect life right out of Bunbury, Western Australia. Her instagram awakened me to the incredible colours of Australia’s native cockroaches, which to be honest was shocking to me because I’m so used to seeing non-native cockroaches. Her close-ups of blue-banded bees and ultra-colourful peacock spiders are also worth sticking around for. 

Related: Photographing WA’s colourful insects

Alex Pike @alexjpike

Alex is one of the younger natural history photographers that I love to follow. This is mostly because a lot of his photographs hit home. What I mean by that is, he often captures the ecosystems and animals that people living on the coast are all too familiar with. My personal favorites are his over-under Images of rock pools, where for instance you can see the banksia anemones below and the sky above. 

Related: Portals of life: inside Australia’s rock pools

Gary Meredith @gaz_meredith_images

For those who love outback wildlife, Gary Meredith is a must-follow. His images of the dingoes of the Great Sandy Desert are hard-work and it definitely pays off. Wild and unpredictable, the dingoes are a difficult subject, but Gary understands their behaviours well and that’s why he gets the images he does. You’ll also want to stick around for Gary’s award-winning images of rainbow bee-eaters and his fascinating images of the arid regions’ cave bats.

Related: Photographing the dingoes of the Great Sandy Desert

Sarah Lloyd @sarah.lloyd.tasmania

Now, I don’t want to call this too early, but Sarah Lloyd’s photography of Tasmanian slime moulds may be my favourite thing ever. First of all, slime moulds are just bizarre. They’re like fungi, but way weirder. They’re single cell organisms that, when observed up-close, are colourful and even sometimes, sparkly looking. And they always have cool names, like ‘dog vomit’.

Luke Tscharke @tscharke

Luke Tscharke is my go-to for Tasmanian natural history photography. He has even been compared to the late, great Peter Dombrovskis, whose photographs famously helped stop the Franklin River dam. Each time a Luke Tscharke image pops into my newsfeed, I get a crazy desire to travel to Cradle Mountain immediately. But the number one reason to follow Luke on instagram is for his unique blend of landscape and astrophotography, which makes for absolutely mind-blowing images of the Tasmanian environment. 

Charles Davis @charlesdavisphotography

Charles Davis is a master of alpine photography. As Australians, we’re not used to seeing our wombats, echidnas or kangaroos froclicking in snow, and so each time I see a Charles Davis image of, for example, a wombat with snow in its whiskers, I swoon. And it’s worth pointing out, there’s no one capturing images like Charles. In this Australian Geographic article, he tells us the extreme lengths he goes to to capture these images, and it’s seriously insane.

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Little Matilda, strong little legs

A post shared by Charles Davis (@charlesdavisphotography) on Oct 9, 2019 at 11:19pm PDT

Chris Bray @chrisbrayphotography

There is one very key reason to follow Chris Bray. He lives on Christmas Island and is constantly posting about the island’s incredible wildlife. He has the Christmas Island red crabs, great frigate birds and whale sharks well and truly covered. My favourite thing by far, however, are his videos of the annual Christmas Island red crab migration, particularly the one where the adult red crab sits in a sea of baby red crabs and gorges itself on them.

Related: Free online photography course with Chris Bray

Matt Wright @_faunagraphic

Owls-lovers rejoice, I have the perfect Instagram for you. Matt Wright is a bird photographer who specialises in photographing Australia’s beautiful owls. And he goes to great lengths to get these images. There isn’t an Aussie owl Matt hasn’t photographed, but his images of powerful owls are particularly breathtaking, especially when he captures them proudly holding their prey in their talons. Matt’s photography is also eye-opening. He regularly photographs owls who are victims of road collisions and rodenticides.