Sally Hinton Wildlife Photography

I have been fascinated by wildlife and candid travel photography for many years. I was born in a small town (Murwillumbah) in North Eastern New South Wales Australia in 1957. My family moved to Papua New Guinea in the 60's as my father worked for the Australian Government as a Fisheries Field Officer. While my father traveled throughout PNG we were based in Port Moresby. Along with my two brothers we had an amazing childhood and grew up along side the emerging nation. My mother worked on the significant general election held in PNG in 1972 in the lead up to Independence. We all enjoyed an idyllic life of tropical beaches and coral reefs in a now extinct old fashioned colonial era. My father retired from PNG with the coming of Independence in 1975 and we all returned to Australia.

My fascination with photography started in these early years growing up in PNG. As a 6 year old I was my father's "assistant" (he probably had another name for it!) as he illustrated his three scientific shell books using photographic plates he took himself using an aged Bronica camera. As a reward for my help he gave me his old Nikomat 35mm manual camera and taught me the basics of aperture, speed and film speed (ASA).

On leaving PNG I studied applied science (Food Technology) with the aim of heading back to PNG. This dream did not happen for a multitude of reasons. I spent a short time as a Research Chemist in Sydney, until I decided I was not suited to city life. I returned to the north coast of NSW where my family had resettled and worked at an assortment of jobs primarily to save money to travel. In my 20's I traveled a lot, the usual "grand tour" most Australians do to Europe on a shoe string. I followed this with trips to Africa and South America armed with the old Nikormat camera given to me by my father. I remember returning home after each trip with countless rolls of film which I had gradually developed as finances allowed! I was generally pleased with my images and a few were published at the time, however, there were of course some disappointments and no ability to re-shoot. I was not able to develop my fascination with the camera at this point due to the expense involved.

My family by this time had started an import, wholesale and retail business and I was happily involved in the retail side of the business for many years. In the 1990's I recommenced my scientific career taking up a position in a local government Water Testing Laboratory in Tweed Heads which is where I am today working as a Microbiologist/Phycologist and completed my PhD in Phycology in 2013. My marriage in 1997 was happy but brief with a mutual parting of the ways after about 10 years. Breast Cancer revealed first hand how short and sweet life is and how tenuous a hold we have on it, hence I started travelling again and in July 2011 I attended a Phycological conference in Italy and incorporated with that a safari to The Ngorongono Crater, the Serengeti and the Masai Mara.

Newly single, combined with a serious health scare and armed with new DSLR equipment my photographic fascination was rekindled along with my bucket list of places to see and experience which seems to be forever growing! In November 2011 I joined a photographic tour to the Galapagos Islands, a most enchanting paradise and photographic heaven! June/July 2012 saw me in Alaska watching the brown bears catch the migrating salmon at Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park as well as walking with bears at Silver Salmon Creek. This experience with bears has been on my wish list for the past 30 years - an amazing experience! In 2012 I continued onto Botswana and the Okavango Delta as well as Chobe National Park - it was a very good year!

In March 2013 I returned to Africa as it seems to have got into my blood! Tanzania when the rains started was just incredible - a time of plenty for all - the rains came, the grass was lush, the young were born and the predators well satisfied with life! Namibia was my next stop and so very different to East Africa - much drier but amazingly clean and progressive. The stunning sand dunes of Sossussvlei and the eerie preserved trees of Deadvlei are impossible to describe - hopefully my images have captured some of their grandeur!

In 2015 I returned to Africa this time to learn a little about videography to enhance my still photography. I love learning and again Mashatu in Botswana was amazing - elephants from a hide at point blank range and a beautiful family of cheetahs to admire! I have indeed been very fortunate!

In 2017 I turned 60 and decided to celebrate by going to Alaska in hope of seeing the elusive Northern Lights. The temperature dropped to - 35 degrees centigrade at night which was a new experience but the beautiful Aurora danced and shimmered across the sky for me and it certainly was a life changing experience! I also went back to Mashatu in Botswana again - absolutely fabulous in the hide - so close to those amazing elephants!