I have been an enthusiastic wildlife photographer for 40 years. Chance encounters with wild deer first inspired me to take up the challenge of photographing them. I became beguiled by close contact with my subjects in wild environments. Persistence and an aspiration to take expressive photographs lead eventually to my becoming Chairman of the Photographic Committee of the British Deer Society for 8 years and winning the British Wildlife Category award in Wildlife Photographer of the Year (WPOTY) in 1999. The award strengthened my motivation to capture photographs which are authentic representations of the natural world. The prize money funded the purchase of my first camera with autofocus, which enabled me to photograph birds in flight (BIF) and to diversify into a wide variety of wildlife. A panel of BIF images gained my ARPS distinction in 2009.
For me the more difficult the subject the greater my sense of satisfaction. I work exclusively with wild animals, spurning deer parks, bird of prey centres and small zoos which display animals in naturalistic settings for photography. I do not use 'pay and display' facilities provided mainly by professional photographers, which enable clients to take shots which would be very difficult by other means. But I do not disapprove of photographers who use these locations and facilities. Each to his (or her) own. I limit processing of my images to minor adjustments in contrast and saturation so that they show what I saw and experienced and conform to the rules of WPOTY and the British Wildlife Photography Awards.
I have benefited from the advent of digital photography and the rapid improvements in camera and lens technology. However, there is a downside:- the huge increase in the number of nature and wildlife photographers which has led to stress and disturbance to wildlife at popular sites. Even when there is no disturbance to wildlife the presence of crowds of photographers undermines my sense of personal contact with the wild.
I visited the USA 4 times between 2008 and 2012. I enjoyed the wildlife photography and the company of my companions, members of Oxford Photographic Society. However, my main photography venues are UK countryside locations where I have assessed their photographic potential by quiet observation. These include some small nature reserves, coastal and countryside pathways and small woodlands. Knowledge of the subject and fieldcraft are important in these locations. If a site yields photographs I enjoy making multiple visits to build up my knowledge of the behaviour of local species throughout the year. I make some use of hides and I have also had some success in gradually habituating animals and birds to my prescence. Photographs obtained by this method provide a particular satisfaction.
My website shows a broad cross-section of my images in the digital era. I hope that they inform and entertain and make some contribution to conservation.