Imagery specialists shoot surfers in dual training opportunity

Members of the Navy Surf Riders Association and the next generation of Defence imagery specialists both practised their skills at Maroubra Beach, Sydney, last week.

CAPTIONS: Main – Royal Australian Air Force imagery-specialist trainee Aircraftwoman Emma Schwenke captures a portrait of Royal Australian Navy Leading Seaman Michael Douglas from HMAS Canberra, at Maroubra Beach. Photo by Sergeant Christopher Dickson.
Right – Royal Australian Navy Leading Seaman Michael Douglas in action. Photo by Trooper Jarrod McAneney.
Story by Lieutenant Geoff Long.

As surfers enjoyed one-metre swells to hone their technique, the current crop of photographers shot them to practise theirs.

Trainees of the Service Basic Imagery Specialist course are undertaking full-time practical training at HMAS Kuttabul as part of the ADF Imagery Specialist Initial Employment Training program.

Imagery specialists play an integral role in delivering ADF capability by enabling military public affairs activities within defence and supporting operations.


Course instructor Petty Officer Imagery Specialist Andrew Dakin said shooting surfers in action was a challenging assignment but one the course members pulled off with flying colours.

“Photographing action sports from a distance is a challenge for anyone, but the trainees did exceptionally well and have managed to capture the surfers on the waves and in a range of scenarios at the beach,” Petty Officer Dakin said.

“We have to be innovative in providing opportunities for the students to capture imagery and in this case it was an excellent scenario to demonstrate the skills and learnings they have gained throughout the course.”

President of the Navy Surf Riders Association HMAS Canberra engineering Warrant Officer Dion Blair said there were a number of imagery specialists in the association and members were happy to be subjects for the trainees.

“This year’s Navy Surf Carnival was pushed back to next year because of the current COVID-19 situation, so it was a great chance for some of us to get back in the water as a group,” Warrant Officer Blair said.

“As well as helping the trainees fulfil their course requirements, it’s also a great opportunity for us surfers to see our technique, which is something we don’t often get the chance to do.”

The six trainee imagery specialists are undertaking a 22-week training program that includes a Certificate IV in Photography and Photo Imaging coupled with specific on-the-job practical training at HMAS Kuttabul to prepare them to work in a military environment.






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Posted by Brian Hartigan

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