Following a lifelong interest in natural history, Dave has established himself as one of Australias leading wildlife photographers. His own picture library of Australian wildlife is surely one of the most extensive of any photographer outside of the major picture libraries..
The young Dave Watts was introduced to the local wild inhabitants at an early age and training as a Forester with special wildlife management duties seemed an obvious profession.
Following 10 years employment with the Forestry Commission, Dave decided to travel and arrived in Tasmania during the Franklin River blockade where he helped ferry stores and provisions to the blockaders in his zodiac. Looking back Dave considers this period living in the wilderness as one of the most memorable and ultimately successful experiences of his life.
A committed conservationist Dave had a variety of jobs in Tasmania ranging from apple picking and deckhand on a fishing boat to Conservation Officer with the Tasmanian Conservation Trust and Ranger with the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
The opportunities offered by the Tasmanian environment caused Dave to take the plunge and set out as a professional wildlife photographer.
He is particularly proud to be the first person to photograph the highly endangered Orange-bellied Parrot (numbering no more than 200 individuals in the wild) at the nest in the wild in the South West Wilderness of Tasmania. For this achievement Dave received a Highly Commended award in the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition.
Dave is the author of eleven books including Australias Spectacular Wildlife and a Field Guide to Tasmanian Birds. His first book Tasmanian Mammals, a Field Guide has now sold over 20,000 copies and is now available as a revised edition.
Daves photos have appeared on a wide range of products including greetings and postcards, calendars, diaries, Tee-shirts and frequently in advertising.
Dave has been honored by Australia Post using several of his wildlife images on postage stamps and First Day Covers. Recently 2 of Dave's rock wallaby images have been used by the Australian Mint as a basis for the design of 2 solid silver 1oz coins.
Journals and magazines featuring Daves work include National Geographic, BBC Wildlife, Geo (Germany), Geo (Australia), Australian Geographic, Airone and Nature Australia.
Daves emotional connection to wild animals and wild areas comes across clearly in his photography. Dave frequently claims to be non-technical and baffled by f. stops and yet is always willing to learn new techniques. It is obvious from looking at some of his stunning images that his aim is always to strive to depict the subject in as appealing and artistic a manner as possible.
Dave frequently uses various forms of hides to obtain intimate pictures of his subjects and once spent three days in a hide 90 feet high in a eucalypt to obtain classic images of a White-bellied Sea-Eagle feeding its chick in an eyrie in northern Tasmania.
When not spending hours (or even days) in a cramped hide Dave is likely to be found picking bilberries on a favourite Welsh hillside, wilderness skiing in the Pyrenèes or watching Southern Right Whales cavorting with their calves in the seas near Nullarbor plain in South Australia.