It is difficult to know how I got to the point I am at today. Was it a love of nature or an inbuilt need to record the world in the way I thought I experienced it? Memberships of wildlife charities started young with the then RSPB Young Ornithologists Club at the age of seven, my first proper camera arrived as an eighteenth birthday present to replace the simple compact cameras I had “borrowed” permanently from my parents from an early age. I often joke that I took up photography only because I was unable to play a musical instrument; school friends had formed a band and needed a few photographs of them playing. So for my first commissioned photoshoot, I ended up photographing in black & white, in a churchyard, at night, lighting my subjects with the headlights of my first car. With no knowledge of photography and a poor start to the session – driving off with my Father’s rangefinder on the roof of my car, only to roll off onto the side of the road, it was amazing that all 38 images on the roll came out! Now I had to be able to repeat it and I’m still learning to this very day. Transition through 35mm, medium and large format film eventually lead to the digital world over twenty years ago and all the extra complexities that it brings. And now with the resurgence of film, the demands of running both and choosing what to use when.
Video came fairly recently with the development of the Digital SLR and with the realisation that audio is half of the video production, sound soon followed. I have been lucky to have been taught by some of the leading sound and video exponents in the nature documentary world and now find that my options have grown to fully portray and express my feelings and experiences of the natural world.
A love of travel has allowed me to experience places and cultures all over the world, with photography, video, and sound giving me the option to record those experiences and share them with others. Travel has introduced me to other outdoor adventure experiences – sandboarding in the dunes of the Namibia, hot air balloon flights, watching orca’s in the pacific ocean, southern right whales in the south Atlantic, and traveling through the Okavango Delta in a mokoro canoe, avoiding the stallholders in Morocco and spending eleven hours in a hide watching vultures.
I am often asked why I constantly document the world around me and carry all the equipment I do to photograph, video, and record the sounds of my travels, often visiting the same place more than once. My reply is that this is my way of expressing my creative vision, I don’t need to do it, it is something I have to do? – it is as simple as that.