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Morning Coffee

September 26, 2013

IMG_5546_1_Martin_1400 Copy by Danielle Lancaster Feature image by Martin Calderon
Morning coffee at the office wasn’t the same today. Over the past few days this fine blend has been delivered by a rumbling Californian accent announcing ‘morning coffee Ma’am.’

This may not be luxurious for some. However picture the office we were residing in: our desks jetty pylons, our chairs a piece of pristine white sand, interchangeable with floating in the Great Barrier Marine Park with your office buddies gliding by.

For the past five days my work has taken me to Heron Island, a sliver of paradise bisected by the Tropic of Capricorn. Our boss, the Heron Island Research Station (HIRS); the largest and oldest research station on the reef.

_DSC4269_1400 My coffee connoisseur is Martin. He towers above me; I doubt I reach his shoulder. He is one of six photographers I took to Heron Island on a shoot for the University of Queensland operated HIRS. It’s a two hour catamaran ride from the port of Gladstone to an isolated, unique and beautiful environment, protected in and out of the water. Across his chest drapes a Canon camera and the battle begins for the shot. As we stand on the jetty below under an almost glass water surface an array of sharks, rays, fish are performing their early morning ritual. Image left: My bosses and I. L-R Kathy, Liz and Danielle

An elongated school of bait fish are shepherded tighter and tighter together by various patient sharks. Abruptly the water erupts as a charge of parrot fish come in for the attack. Bait fish jump for the sky, sharks thrash their tails and lunge with gaping maws while birds swoop for their share of the action.

Our brief as photographers was to document not only the environment but the significantly important research being undertaken at the station and the people involved. Scientists don’t usually like anyone interfering – merely walking on the floor can effect ground-breaking measurements. With their patience we captured some very special scientific imagery along with stunning sunsets, animals, fun times and most importantly we all learnt from each other.

230913heronisland_1400 Left: Neil Chan continues his experiments on corals. Image by Aaron Collins

Blogs should be short so over the next few months we’ll have more posted from us and others involved covering topics like our brief and its rules and regulations, the work being done at HIRS and its surrounds and a few memories thrown in of the great times we had.

To those at Heron Island Research Station: staff, scientists, researchers, lab assistants, lecturers, students (hope some of those tips helped), boat captions, and anyone we have missed out on a huge THANK YOU for allowing us to see and document the important work you are doing.

And Martin and my photography buddies, I really did miss our office this morning.

_DSC3667_1400 Left: My morning coffee buddies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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