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The problem I had in the sixties was making satisfactory copies (or duplicates) of our slides (or transparencies). There is an art to it which I never mastered. I’d use daylight film instead of tugsten and the colors would also be excessively blue.

Plus the magazine printers in Australia were almost destroying our originals after even a single use. It was as though they were putting the transparencies on the floor and twisting their shoes over them. All came back ruined.

Maybe it was intended to give their employed photographers future work? Publishers were tougher people then.

Sending precious original transparencies to overseas photo competitions was also a risk. Nikon seemed more reputable than most and they were. I only entered a couple of competitions for fear of losing material. The 1971 Nikon bronze medal was not for the above picture. It was for a 135mm lens shot of some native kids in a canoe in New Guinea, with late afternoon side lighting.

Photo competitions are great for most people, it depends upon who the judges are and what skill or photographic eye they might have, or not have.

**To be fair on all, entries must be judged in secret – without the photographer being known by name and reputation. Only then do you have a true competition.**

THE SIXTIES Australian Skindivers Magazine

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Mount Gambier silhouetting Valerie Taylor. Photo by John Harding

October 2006 will feature original text from Sea Diary (1963) interesting today as it details our first travels with friends in the era of early underwater photography when spear fishing was the main thing everyone did. This was to change a few years later as other opportunities emerged, travel and film making replaced the spearing of fish and sharks as a greater appreciation of the sea began.

This was one of our favorite expeditions. No complete 16mm film record remains today.

Back then we were traveling the coast and paying for petrol and food by selling lobsters we


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Benard Gorsky, with Hassleblad camera photographs the prolific coral formations off Cooktown during the Belgian (Great) Barrier Reef expedition. Gorsky, a leading French skindiving article author, is the secretary to the million dollar, five month expedition, which includes Ron and Valerie Taylor, the only Australian film crew. Cover picture by John Harding.