Biography – Michael Gallagher

I was born in Australia, and grew up in a small country town where wildlife was fairly abundant – rainbow lorikeets congregated in the backyard, green tree frogs inhabited the frontyard, red-backed spiders lurked in the mailbox and I even remember encountering an echidna (an Australian spiny anteater) wandering down the street. Most school holidays were spent visiting relatives who lived at the beach, and some of my earliest memories are of energetically exploring rockpools, beaches and grassy sand dunes. Fuelled by my childhood fascination for the coast, I learnt to scuba dive at the tender age of 17, and scuba diving remains a particular passion of mine to this day.

Back in 2001 I moved to London, in the United Kingdom, which not only hosts a surprising amount of wildlife itself, but also provides a convenient base from which to explore the rest of the planet. Over the years I have been fortunate enough to travel to some very special places such as Costa Rica, the Galapagos Islands, Botswana, South Africa, Tanzania, Egypt, Sudan, Djibouti, Seychelles, Maldives, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Fiji and Vanuatu, as well as making regular return visits to my Australian homeland.

I have owned a variety of both film and digital cameras over the years, but my current choice of camera includes both the Canon 7D and the Canon 50D, coupled with a wide range of lenses. For topside photography I favour the Canon 300mm 2.8f IS, 70-200mm 2.8f IS and 100-400mm IS lenses, with or without teleconverters. I’m not a fan of tripods but from time to time I will use a monopod. For underwater photography I alternate primarily between the Tokina 10-17mm FE lens, the Canon 8-15mm FE lens and the Canon 60mm macro lens, always in a Hugyfot underwater housing with dual Inon Z240 strobes.

Like many who share my passion for the natural world and its wildlife inhabitants, I am extremely concerned for the future of the planet. I have been fortunate in my lifetime to be able to marvel at so many of the Earth's natural wonders. I only hope that when my beautiful daughter Eliane grows up, she will be able to do the same.