Image: Dr Barry Hutchins
Barry Hutchins working aboard his yacht.
- Barry Hutchins
- © Barry Hutchins
I received my box brownie camera in 1959 at the age of 13 and learnt the basics of photography from it. I moved up to a Kodak Retinette 1a which I carried everywhere through my surfing and university days, before swapping to an SLR camera that I purchased while in the Army in South Vietnam. I also acquired a Super 8 movie camera in Vietnam, which took over as my standard camera until it went to the bottom of the ocean while returning from a dive trip to the Rowley Shoals, Western Australia in 1973.
In 1977 I was offered a second-hand Nikon F2 with 55 micro-Nikkor lens complete with Ikelite housing which launched me into the underwater photography business. My first book, Marine Fishes of Rottnest Island, was published in 1979, and included a selection of my underwater photographs.
I subsequently added a 105 micro-Nikkor lens and started concentrating on fish portraits. Up until 1985, I had my underwater camera either in my boat or with me on every dive. I have photographed fish underwater along the whole Western Australian coastline, and also along much of the southern Australian coastline between central Queensland and Western Australia.
In 1985, I retired from the underwater side of photography. I still have my Ikelite housing, two Nikon F2 bodies, a Nikon 801 body and a Nikon Coolpix 5000. Unfortunately they rarely get below the water's surface these days, although special research-orientated images are occasionally produced. I am especially pleased when publishers still select underwater shots of mine from the 1970s and early 1980s for publication.
Barry was the Ichthyologist at the Western Australian Museum for many years prior to retiring in late 2007. He has published many papers and is the senior author of Sea Fishes of Southern Australia.