Brisbane River Yachts

Missing That Blue-Sky Brisbane Vibe… and Now I’m Featuring It In A Book!

Her river meanders around the suburbs of Brisbane City a thousand times before the water reaches the open waters of Moreton Bay. Geologists say this is the reason Brisbane may be presiding over the oldest river in the world. I don’t care how old her river is. I love my hometown girl, Brisbane, despite her wrinkly river.

I spent many years teaching photography students how to take the best pictures of Brisbane. From those century-old Banyan Figs in Brisbane’s (that crush the iron fencing) heart to the postcard sunrises along Nudgee Beach, her shape and texture are things made of wonderment and splendour.

Banyan Fig by Brisbane Photographer Michael Forman
Banyan Figs (Trees) Brisbane

In 2005, I stepped away from the camera and the classroom to begin a new and exciting writing project. This was to become a novel. I used what I learned behind the viewfinder to develop an entirely new narrative centred around photography. (No, it’s not another war correspondent story!)

Combining the elements of photography, the summer weather over Brisbane city, its sub-tropical thunderstorms and laid-back outdoor lifestyle, came SEETHINGS. The writing turned out to be a pleasant change and challenge but what arrived on the pages was a super-thriller.

SEETHINGS follows the story of a photographer with a desire to take a perfect picture of night lightning.

It sounds like a simple premise: Take a photographer, give him a camera and a storm, have him take photos of it and then examine the photos afterwards. You’d think the process would be uncomplicated. But photography is not that easy. Like life, our protagonist is frustrated by the results. The images he takes continue to infuriate him. The perfect photo elludes his expectations every time.

Perfection is highly subjective. Just what is perfect when it comes to art? In photography, there’s always a better way to compose a photograph or a better way to capture a storm’s light. Sometimes it comes down to timing and when a shutter button is pressed. The frustration of not achieving perfection turns into doubt and then silent anger.

Of course, it could come down to a flaw in the equipment or a shortfall in our artist’s skills. Compounding the issue is our photographer’s private life. The drama there never seems to end. The photography project is necessary to sustain to escape those problems.

Our angst-fueled shutterbug thinks he hears a low-pitched growl at the peak of each storm. No one else hears the sound and it’s barely to be heard over the rain, wind and thunder anyway. It’s enough to raise an eyebrow but not enough for our photographer to terminate his work. After all, it could’ve been the storm howling through the trees. It’s not until a news broadcast mentions a victim’s name does he begin to suspect something. There’s also a link between this and the location of the body. It’s found in an area he’s recently taken his camera to.

So were the locations of the four other bodies that followed.

SEETHINGS isn’t about revenge.

Revenge is yet to come.

Michael Forman

Creep you later,


Five women’s bodies are discovered after the nights of thunderstorms. Their spouses are suspected of the crimes, but it becomes clear that someone else is responsible. There’s no blood and few clues. A storm photographer specialising in taking lightning pictures may be the only witness.


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