Originally photography was a hobby for me combined with my passion for mountaineering. It was used as a way of documenting my mountaineering experiences in the UK and abroad. Then a climbing accident in 2010 became a catalyst that transferred the passion to photography especially wildlife and macro.
Over the next four years, I continued to self develop my photography skills to the point I decided it was time for a career change and left my corporate project manager role and focussed full time on photography. In that time I got images published in BBC Wildlife and Grand Designs magazine.
For the initial 6 months there was a period of finding out how to be commercially successful with photography and I developed that side of the business doing product photography but also running wildlife and macro workshops in the UK. In November 2014 I was made aware of a job opportunity in Northern Sweden guiding for a company specialising in Aurora photography Lights Over Lapland with guests from all over the world.
I joined and integrated quickly with that team and quickly realised the photographic opportunities of the area were much more than just the aurora with a wealth of fantastic wildlife, pristine arctic landscapes and the macro views of the amazing ice formations. I have worked six Autumn and Winter seasons in this area now. When not working I will head out into the mountains and wilderness areas with my camera and camping/skiing equipment, often getting unique personal and photographic experiences.
Working more than two hundred km north of the Arctic circle during winter does come with its own challenges and I have endured much time in conditions with temperatures down to -38C doing technical photography, pushing myself and my equipment to the limits. Stories of my experiences and photographs of this time have made a number of international articles (New York Times, The Independent, The Times, The Observer and others). During this time I was also commissioned to photograph Carl XVI Gustaf (the King of Sweden) when he visited to celebrate and re-open a mountain cabin on the Kings Trail.
I was inspired by macro photography and purchased the Canon MP-E 65mm macro lens. I spent time developing my own techniques and fieldcraft to try and deliver quality results and do this where the subjects are alive and to photograph them naturally with the least amount of disturbance environmentally possible. This then developed into a further realisation that if this could be done without flash all the natural reflections would be preserved.
Some of the wildlife subjects I photograph are very small and very active, a particular favorite being jumping spiders. This makes use of tripods very difficult even though the photography may need to be taken at five times magnification. Because of the tiny amount of the image that is in focus, stacking (taking multiple images whilst moving the camera by a tiny amount) is often used. Because the subjects move I had to develop my own techniques for handheld stacking at big magnification with natural light. Therefore creating some signature images, for example, jumping spider portraits at five times magnification where you can see trees and clouds reflected in the eyes.
After developing these skills locally over many years I have now transferred them to use in more tricky environments from both in extreme cold to also hot jungle areas of Costa Rica and in 2019 Ecuador.
My wildlife photography has had ten ‘highly commended’ images in the British Wildlife Photography Awards from 2013 to 2018.
In 2019 I was asked to join BBC Countryfile to judge for the calendar competition and was included on the show in August.
Photography Kit List
Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM
Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM
Canon EF 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS II USM
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM
Benro Mach 3 Tripod
Other Key Equipment
Rab Mythic 600 Sleeping Bag
Hilleberg Akto 1 Man Tent
Meindl Bhutan Hiking Boots
Garmin inReach Mini (Satellite emergency device)