GARRY SEARLE has been fascinated by lighthouses for many years – stemming from his youth, growing up in the seaside city of Wollongong, New South Wales, a port that has two lighthouses.
Over the past 15 years Garry has participated in the relighting of a number of decommissioned lighthouses on special occasions such as International Lighthouse weekend and he serves on the committee of Lighthouses of Australia.
Garry is delighted to share his interest of lighthouse photography with his son William, and the two of them can often be found in the cold darkness of pre-dawn waiting for that perfect image. Together with a photograph taken by Garry’s father in the 1970s, three generations of Searle photos appear in the book.
First Order is the result of Garry’s passion for photography, his captivation by the ingenuity and artistry of lighthouse lens design, a respect for the dedication of the keepers and families and his curiosity about the history surrounding this part of Australia’s maritime story. All of these aspects have been moulded together to give an appreciation of a history that needs to be preserved for future generations.
The photography and research for First Order has taken Garry to all of the sites covered in the book, an adventure in itself. Research was conducted not only in each of the states of Australia, but also in England and France.