Galerina hypnorum, Tara Valley, Victoria
I live in the Northern Rivers area of NSW and I am retired from working as a manager and designer of large computer complexes. I now work on my photography and also restoring my land to something approaching its original native rainforest. My photographic interests cover many things including volcanoes, travel, people, wildlife and rainforests, with a particular focus on the fungi that live as part of the rainforest. The Northern Rivers was once a huge area of uninterrupted subtropical, lowland rainforest and I have a little piece of it to look after and restore to the best of my ability. The native plants, animals and fungi (plus many other things) love it here, and it provides an ideal environment for much of my current photography. As my photography has developed, so has the international interest in it grown, to a point where I can hardly say that I am retired any more. I have been published in numerous European, Asian, North American and Australian magazines and books and have been invited to Moscow for an exhibition of my fungi photography at the White Rabbit Restaurant and to Yunnan in China, by invitation of the Chinese Academy of Science, to photograph their rainforest fungi. In recent years I have gradually started spending more of my time with fungi time-lapse and that has now become a major part of my work. Some of these time-lapses will appear on the BBC series "Planet Earth II" later this year and in several other productions. I have also been invited to return to Yunnan to do some time-lapse there. My photography has been my avenue into the natural world as it slows me down and allows me to look at things more closely. I try to combine the beauty I see with scientific accuracy, so most of my photos could be used to identify things and will show the fine detail. The time-lapse that I take adds another dimension to an already fascination world and sometimes allows a glimpse into the world of interactions between different life forms.

Steve Axford,  2016