I’ve been fascinated by photography since an early age. My grandfather was a keen photographer who developed his own negatives and hand-coloured the prints, creating incredibly detailed, artistic and unique originals.
I was lucky to grow up surrounded by camera equipment and given the opportunity to experiment myself, but the first time I got to expose all 24-frames of a film, myself, in one just one day was really exciting.
Photography has been the driving force for many aspects of my life, I naturally gravitated towards shooting landscapes and wildlife, but tried my hand at all sorts of things along the way. I have been commissioned by news organisations and wildlife charities - including Chester Zoo (the North of England Zoological Society) and the Andean Bear Foundation - multinational brands and tourism bodies. I also shoot commercial 720-megapixel 360-degree images and create both virtual tours and Google ‘See Inside’ images for a diverse range of clients across retail, real estate and tourism industries.
Being close to nature is where I'm most comfortable; there’s nothing more magical or rewarding than seeing your first otter on the Isle of Skye, watching the aurora borealis from the top of a snow-capped mountain or seeing an endangered Asian elephant calf take its first steps.
The thrill is not about capturing a technically-perfect image, the thrill is about being there, and photography is just an excuse.
Photographers can often get bogged down by “gear”. Yes, your choice of equipment is important in terms of its application (it's hard to photograph wildlife with a 24mm lens) but these days it’s possible to capture an amazing image on a mobile ‘phone simply by pointing it in the right direction. Therefore although what follows is a brief history of my own cameras and I love experimenting with new technology - both hardware and software - it’s important to remember that ultimately the joy is in capturing the image while absorbing and embracing the world around us...
When I was eight years of age, my birthday gift was a Polaroid Land Camera 1000SE. It made my photography both instant and infuriating. Polaroid film was difficult to store and old film exhibited all sorts of terrible colour casts, something there was no way of knowing until you pressed the shutter.
At age twelve, Mrs. Duxbury (a teacher at my school) gave me a fully-manual vintage Leica, and along with a high-quality light meter I used it to learn the principles of photography and composition. At the time I had no idea how lucky I was, but as a result I saved up for an Olympus SLR, then an unreliable Praktica and all manner of both 35mm and 110mm point-and-shoot models.
In 1996, an Olympus Camedia C-400 became my first digital camera. A whopping 0.35 megapixels. It wasn’t much more than a (very) expensive toy, but it set the tone for years to come and a 3.3 megapixel Olympus C-3020 was soon to follow.
Digital was a revelation and required a whole new discipline of image processing, but the cameras I had used lacked the level of control afforded by a good film SLR. Having tried (and disliked) an Olympus Camedia E-10 along came…
...the Canon EOS D30, a ground-breaking, true SLR that produced exceptionally clean images and had full manual control. I haven’t shot on film since (February 2001), and today I still love that camera more than the Canon EOS D60 and just as much as the EOS 5D Mark II that followed.
Today my bodies of choice are the Canon EOS 5DS, a beast in terms of resolution and yet another challenge for photographic technique and accompanying hardware, and the fabulous, cutting-edge Sony α7R III, a mirrorless camera which is much lighter, has an incredible dynamic range, super-fast auto-focus and boasts a 42.3MP sensor. I also shoot wildlife images on a Sony α7 III and more casually, a Sony RX100M3.
Canon EOS 5DS
Sony α7R III
Sony α7 III
Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM
Irix 11mm f/4.0 Blackstone
Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm F4 ZA OSS
Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS
Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS
Sony FE 85mm F1.8
B+W 82mm XS-Pro Käsemann HTC Circular Polarising Filter
Formatt Hitech Firecrest 105mm Circular Polariser Filter
Formatt Hitech Firecrest Neutral Density 1.2 100mm Filter
Formatt Hitech Firecrest Neutral Density 13 100mm Filter
Canon TC-80N3 Cable Remote Control
Sony RM-VPR1 Remote Commander
Manfrotto 756CX3 Mdeve Carbon Fibre Tripod
Manfrotto MKBFRC4-BH Befree Carbon Fibre Tripod
Manfrotto MHXPRO-BHQ2 Ball Head
Nodal Ninja 6 Panoramic Head
Adobe Lightroom Classic CC
DxO Nik Collection
Manfrotto 3N1-35 PL Pro Light Backpack
Manfrotto 30L Offroad Hiking Backpack
Manfrotto MB MP-H-50BB Professional Plus 50 DSLR Camera Holster Bag