Buggin with Bridgey – March  2021 Exhibition at the Cairns Botanic Gardens

I’m about to start a 6 week-long Exhibition at the Cairns Botanic Gardens Visitors Centre.   The official dates are Monday 29th to 2nd May.  I was invited by the Tanks Curator to be their ‘Artist in Residence’ and I jumped at the chance.   It’s a perfect fit for me and Aussie Macro Photos as most of the photographs were taken in the Botanic Gardens, and ALL of the animals and Fungi can be found in the Gardens.  So, this blog is an in-depth discussion of the photographs featured as part of the ‘Buggin & Shroomin’ Exhibition and a bit about some of the featured photographs and the reason I have chosen them.

‘Baby Graceful’ is one of my new favourite images.   This tiny (1cm) juvenile Graceful Tree Frog (Litoria gracilenta) took up residence in a frangipani right outside my kitchen window.  I got a few different shots, but this is my favourite.  The cautious look over the rim of what appears to be a little boat melts my heart.   This image will be framed using some recycled wood that I have personally purchased and have teamed up with Nature Things (a new Cairns recycling business) to produce the handmade recycled wood frame.  This is a new venture that I’m very excited about as it combines my love for photography and the idea and philosophy of recycling materials.  If you are interested in any prints with recycled handmade frames please get it touch.

Exhibition Cairns Botanic Gardens Visitors Centre

‘Baby Graceful’  Available as a print with recycled purpose-built frame

Disco Bugs – Champaign Series

As you may be aware, 2020 was a year that I wanted to create a photography style and after much trial and error I finally perfected a technique to bring my imagination to fruition.  The Disco Bugs Collection has been inspired from my previous life as a DJ and the visual aesthetic of pretty lights and lasers that adorned the space around us.  I started with my Salticidae Series of jumping spiders on greeting cards (available in my shop or at the Cairns Botanic Gardens Gift Shops) and the exhibition will introduce you to the rest of the collection.   I have selected some images with the same colourtone as called them the ‘Champagne Series’ and they include the below photographs… ‘Champagne Mantis’, ‘Champagne Cocky’ and ‘Champagne Grasshopper’.  All of these were taken in my backyard with my portable makeshift photo studio.  It took a lot of experimentation, but I finally understood that a combination of natural and artificial light, combined with the right distances and specialised backgrounds I was able to get the desired affect that I wanted.   There are others in the collection as well, so if you like this style please come and check out more at the exhibition.

Exhibition Cairns Botanic Gardens Visitors Centre
Exhibition Cairns Botanic Gardens Visitors Centre
Exhibition Cairns Botanic Gardens Visitors Centre

L to R: ‘Champagne Mantis’, ‘Champagne Cocky’ and ‘Champagne Grasshopper’.  Mounted on 10mm MDF

The incredible creature featured in ‘Blue Featherhorn’ is you guessed it…a Featherhorn Beetle.  I stumbled across a colony of these fascinating insects two years ago, and I am eagerly awaiting their return again in July.  I really love this effect of the blue sky as the background, from shooting underneath the beetle and towards the sky.    I also have a Featherhorn beetle in the Disco Bugs Champagne Series on display.

Exhibition Cairns Botanic Gardens Visitors Centre

‘Blue Featherhorn’ available as an 3mm acrylic wall mount 90x60cm

One of the most regular critters seen on my Let’s Go Buggin Tours are Cairns Birdwing caterpillars.  I have ample opportunity to see and photograph these giant caterpillars and this one is probably my favourite.  ‘Birdwing Bokeh’ is a capture of this individual that slept the whole time I was taking its picture, which in itself is quite unusual.  The fact that these caterpillars are named the ‘Cairns Birdwing’, it is fitting that this is the largest print in the Cairns Exhibition and I’m excited to see who is keen to purchase it for themselves.

Exhibition Cairns Botanic Gardens Visitors Centre

‘Birdwing Bokeh’ available as an 3mm acrylic wall mount 90x60cm

Of course, I had to include some mushrooms as this whole macro photography journey was born out of my fascination of fungi.   I have selected three images of the same colour tones for the exhibition.  They can be seen as a mini-series and could be purchased together for a feature wall in a home or office.

L to R: ‘Fungi Mummy’, ‘Filoboletus Cluster’, ‘Mushroom Avenue’, all mounted on 10mm MDF

‘Frog in Bromeliad’ features a White-lipped Tree Frog (Litoria infrafrenata) sleeping in a bromeliad during the day.  Australia’s largest frog is regularly seen on my Let’s Go Buggin Night Walks in the Cairns Botanic Gardens.  This is a favourite amongst my dedicated Instagram followers and Brendan from CygnusTech uses this image on his ‘How to’ brochure to showcase the excellent light diffusion his flash diffuser can produce.

Exhibition Cairns Botanic Gardens Visitors Centre

‘Frog in Bromiliad’ available as an 3mm acrylic wall mount 90x60cm

‘Mantis and Spider’ is a magical moment I captured at Babinda Boulders as soon as I stepped out of my car.  To my surprise and delight the mantis was happy to pose on this leaf in a way I could use the bokeh as background.   The cherry on top was an unusual spider underneath the leaf and the mantis appeared to be looking at it.  It’s times like this that photography is a magical experience.

Exhibition Cairns Botanic Gardens Visitors Centre

‘Mantis and Spider’ available as a canvas print 90x60cm

I’ll be spending much of my time at the Exhibition at the Cairns Botanic Gardens Visitors Centre over the next few weeks and would love to see you there to check out some of these prints.  If you want to make sure I will be there, please send me an email and I’ll try my best to be available for you.

All items on display are available for purchase (without the watermark), and I am also able to print anything to your size and medium specification.  You can see a variety of acrylic wall hangings, and blocks as well as basic mounts, canvas and recycled wooden frames.  Hope to see you there!

Next Blog April.

Bridgette uses Olympus OMD EM1 ii, 60mm M.Zuiko lens and CygnusTech Diffuser.