28th January, 2015


Wow. Your Spring edition blew me away as I found myself wound up in the newsletter instead of getting an early start to the day’s workload. Wonderfully constructed and beautifully illustrated – not just a good read but emotive as well.

I loved Michael Ellem’s article and tips on better photography, especially as he took me well away from my desk and plonked me in the middle of a river taking my best shots of my favourite vehicles tackling a water crossing – he had me right there where the action is.
Having been trained by my uncle, a former professional, I feel I have developed a sixth sense when it comes to taking photos and when your right thumb can dial in a setting while your left hand is working a radio, you know you and the camera are as one.

But then I turned the page…

Michael’s work at capturing the Wedged-tail Eagle lifted me off my office chair and had me soaring alongside this beautiful creature and as I returned to my reality I realised the emotion and the pure brilliance one 250th of a second in time can create. I shed a man tear and held back the urge to let out a gasp of breath as this image sunk in.

Well done, Michael. I’d love to meet you sometime as I too share your passion for this country and it’s something that I love sharing too – sometimes words can’t do an image justice but I’ll try:

‘As we approached Dalhousie Springs just after sunrise from the west in the October of 2004, I caught the briefest glimpse of a bird of prey swooping behind a dune right beside me. Always at the ready, I knocked the gear into neutral, whipped the handbrake on (surely but gently) and leapt from the car while it was still moving and ran to the top of the dune, right hand setting the Canon to sport mode, left hand removing the lens cover and manually preparing the autofocus lens for a close up maximum aperture for this one.
‘As she whipped across the bottom of the dune with the rabbit tightly clasped in her talons, the larger than life hawk beat her wings harder and harder, gaining lift with every stroke. The Canon fired time and time again… the results of my labour unknown until the trip was over and the film developed. My heart leapt when I saw what I’d captured at 250th of a second that day near Dalhousie.’

The camera more often than not sits on my lap and sometimes on the passenger seat when I head off on my photo adventure weekends. Thanks again guys. I thoroughly enjoyed your work.

Michael, see you out on the tracks – I’m off to buy the Series lll 2x for my 400L.

– Mark


Hi Mark,
It’s great to hear how the Spring edition, particularly Michael Ellem’s advice and images, has struck a nerve.
Mike has played an integral part in ARB’s marketing for over a decade and has been into photography since a young age. He previously worked as a watersports photographer but after buying his first 4WD in 1987, his interest in the area grew so much that he moved into the 4WDing field a few years later. Open any 4×4 magazine now and you’re likely to see his name, his images, or both.
While the thought of heading off into the great beyond with a couple of 4WDs and a camera sounds like a bit of fun, in reality, it is a time consuming and exhausting process. After driving to a suitable location (potentially thousands of kilometres away), the perfect shot can require hours spent in the one spot, waiting for the right conditions. And because the best light for photography is around sunrise and sunset, it means getting up long before dawn and packing up long after dark.

Mike always puts a great deal of time and effort into his work. On a photo shoot, you may see him hanging out of a tree, trekking to the top of a sand dune or waist deep in water – all in the quest for the perfect shot. And when you see the extensive selection of images he returns with, it’s easy to see why ARB and the 4WDing community are so impressed with his work. For more information or to contact Mike, check out his website at www.offroadimages.com.au.
And be sure to check out more tips and techniques from Mike later in this edition, plus his vast array of superb images that continue to take the magazine to the next level.
I’m also happy to let you know that Mike’s advice and behind the scenes stories will continue to be a permanent fixture to ARB 4×4 Action.
– Kelly Teitzel, Editor