Newcastle photographer David Diehm highlights the boundless beauty to be found in the Hunter's natural and urban landscapes.
"I am drawn to Newcastle and the Hunter because of the lifestyle and the vast diversity in nature we can experience and enjoy in our own backyard," David said.
"We have incredible coastline vistas, the magnificent lake and untouched national parks."
David gets excited about photographing "any beautiful part of nature".
"But my enthusiasm to capture and document the Hunter is driven by passion for the region," he said.
"After growing up in country NSW, I have called the Hunter home for 15 years now and I can't imagine living anywhere else. Our family has certainly fallen in love with the region and everything it has to offer."
He said the region had "natural raw beauty".
"It's ever changing and evolving with the season and weather. This is what inspires me to capture it," he said.
"On the coast in particular, the tides, wind and swell provide a new canvas of opportunity daily.
"I feel at peace and connect to my true self when immersed in nature."
He takes any opportunity to share this with his children.
"I often spend time in Glenrock and it's incredible how you're only minutes from Newcastle CBD, but can feel like you're in the middle of nowhere," he said.
Photographing nature has become a form of therapy.
"It's my happy place. I feel a deep level of connection with nature while photographing it," he said.
"Often time becomes irrelevant when I'm enjoying the moment or the scene. Nature takes on many forms, from clear sunny perfect beach days to powerful electric storms and I see beauty in each form."
He's also drawn to urban scenes.
"Certain historic buildings or parts of Newcastle lend themselves well to blending with our stunning coastline, like Newcastle Ocean Baths or the Merewether blocks and Nobbys lighthouse," he said.
"Increasingly, I am finding enjoyment from capturing the new and old of Newcastle, as it grows as a city."
Capturing the coastline, he said, offers a "great mix between nature and urbanisation".
"I see value in documenting this as it changes over time."
In the last few years, he has produced a wall calendar that features images largely from Newcastle and Lake Macquarie.
"I first printed a calendar three years ago when I was encouraged by followers on social media and it has become a popular item around Christmas time," he said.
"We have just published a coffee table book that brings together images from across the Hunter. It includes Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Port Stephens and the Hunter Valley."
The hardcover book, Newcastle and Surrounds, celebrates the region with more than 100 images.
"The book started as a pipeline idea, a dream. The idea gathered momentum and passion when my research discovered there was no current publication that I could find that promoted and displayed the beauty of our Hunter region," he said.
"The proud Novocastrian in me certainly provided motivation to just get started and make it happen. Nine years of photography work is compiled in the book."
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