For Gerard, nature is God’s viewfinder

Waterfall
Gerard photographed Horseshoe Falls in Tasmania. PHOTO: Gerard Delany

Whether at his home in the Blue Mountains or on the road with his job, Gerard Delany develops his love of nature with stunning results.

His role as Catholic Schools NSW’s state coordinator of vocational education and training (VET) takes him around the state a few times a month to support diocesan offices, senior schools and training facilities in providing VET training to students.

It regularly affords him spare time to indulge his passion for digital landscape photography in “absolutely stunning parts of NSW I may not otherwise get to see”.

“The difference is between spending my time in a motel room or going out and exploring the beauty of our state and there’s a lot of beauty particularly in terms of regional and country NSW,” says Gerard who shares his spectacular snaps on Instagram.

Night time at Mt Banks in the Blue Mountains National Park. PHOTO: Gerard Delany

“Sometimes you can just park the car and walk no more than 30 metres and you’re somewhere absolutely stunning.”

The father of five recently ventured into astrophotography, which has opened up the night skies to his talent for capturing remote beauty. He also has a special love of the national parks, especially in the state’s high country with Delany’s Hut at Kosciuszko National Park holding “special meaning”.

Gerard Delany
Gerard Delany fits time for nature photography around a busy work and family life. PHOTO: Supplied

It was built in 1910 by a distant uncle of Gerard’s, James (Jim) Thomas Delany, for grazing his cattle from Buckenderra Station. James Thomas was the son of James Delany of Buckenderry Station (its earlier name).

Also high on Gerard’s list of favourite places to photograph are the fields of golden canola out west particularly towards Wagga, and the coastal landscapes of Coffs Harbour, Terrigal and Port Macquarie.

“There are so many beautiful places on our coast that allow the opportunity to get up early and watch the sunrise over a beautiful seascape,” he says.

The Sillion
The Skillion at Terrigal on the NSW central coast. PHOTO: Gerard Delany

The hunt for a perfect shot has also opened up a space for contemplation.

“I think when you are out in those spots and you quieten yourself down, you open yourself to God’s presence, just in awe of the beauty that’s been created,” Gerard says.

See related article: We must remain open to the beauty around us

“You can’t not be prayerful in those times. Sometimes you get to the point where you forget about the purpose of taking photos and you’re just there contemplating the beauty that God’s created. It’s a very uplifting moment and it’s also uplifting later when you look at the photos you’ve produced from it.”

Gerard is working on producing images for a 2020 calendar for the VET reference group of representatives from each NSW diocese, celebrating an example of natural beauty from each one.

Delaney's Hut
Delany’s Hut at Kosciuszko National Park. PHOTO: Gerard Delany

“It will be a thank you to my diocesan colleagues and for them to see some of the photos I’ve taken in their region,” he says.

See more photos: https://www.instagram.com/geddelany/

Facts on Vocational Education and Training (VET)

  • All Catholic senior schools offer VET training either within the school or through an external provider such as TAFE.
  • Around one in three Sydney Catholic School students in Years 11 and 12 are undertaking a VET course or apprenticeship in areas such as hospitality, carpentry, hairdressing, commercial cookery and plumbing.
  • Many go on to continue their training post-school, or enter university as VET also contributes towards a student’s ATAR.
  • VET courses are highly valued by students, parents and employers.For information see scs-vet.org