I consider myself very lucky. As a boy not only did I live in areas that were stuffed with wildlife, my parents, and father especially, took time to point out the natural world and I grew up being very aware of the abundance of life around me. Some of my earliest memories are of foxes in our Cotswold garden and I vividly remember my dad going off to watch the badgers in the magical dark woods behind our house. I spent countless days at the riversides in Oxford, running through woods and rummaging in ditches and hedgerows in Sussex foraging for nature’s bounty.
My first encounters with a camera still raise a laugh between family members. I don’t remember the make and model other than it being a cheapish point and shoot film camera. I would come back from holidays in Cornwall with films full of pictures of the sea, I was a boy obsessed. Who comes home with pictures of “massive lugworm casts” from Mousehole and proudly shows them to their 13 year old friends?
I always wanted to be able to share the beauty of the natural world with those who weren’t lucky enough to see it the way I do and the digital revolution has finally allowed me, like many others, to be able to do just that. Picking up my first Digital SLR (a Nikon D50) in early 2006 led me to the start of a learning curve that I have been steadily travelling since that day. It’s an incredibly fulfilling journey and I often look back at my early attempts to remind myself how far I’ve come in just a few years. Being a bit obsessive, I have to throw myself right in and learn as much as I can and the wealth of help, advice and likeminded nature lovers on the internet has proved invaluable.
Nowadays I live with my wife in Hastings, Sussex. She loves being outdoors and usually we are out together, me with my camera gear, visiting the many jewels in the countryside that surround us. She has grown used to what many may consider my slightly eccentric obsessions. Our suburban garden is planted and improved with wildlife in mind, all native plants and bushes to entice the insects and the birds which feed on them, and a pond added a few years ago which has been incredible to watch as it becomes established and the wealth of wildlife that has arrived and now call it home. I have plenty of bird feeders around the garden, many on rather bizarre looking natural hangers, arranged of course to try and make photographs of the visiting birds more interesting. Finally I have badgers and foxes that visit regularly, enjoying their treat of peanuts before moving on for the night. Seeing the badgers drinking from the pond is my treat in return, a smile guaranteed on my face.
I feel my photography is on a threshold. I have just started submitting to national and international competitions and though I am my harshest critic, feel that my work has reached a quality that I am happy to share with others. I would love to have work published and will be working towards this in the future. What better way to share my passion? A big thank you to those who have offered help, advice, support and praise, on my journey so far.
Talking of passions, I guess if you are still reading this then we have some in common and I invite you to browse the galleries, enjoy my photographs and should you happen upon me in the wild, don’t be shy, say hello and share a moment.
I currently use the following kit –
- Nikon D500
- Nikon D7200
- Nikon 500mm f4 VRII
- Sigma 180mm f3.5 macro
- Nikon 17-55 f2.8
- Nikon TC-14E AF-S Converter
- Sigma 1.4x APO EX DG Teleconverter
- 2x SB600 flash units
- PocketWizard PlusX remote units
- Gitzo 4542LS Tripod
- Benro GH2 Gimbal head
- Large Dome Hide (from Wildlife Watching Supplies)
- Bag hide
- Bean bags
- 100m wireless trigger
- Cable releases
- Cokin filters
- Various waterproof lens covers and neoprene protection all from Wildlife Watching Supplies.