I took up photography in the mid 1990s and I set up a darkroom in the cellar. I was no doubt pleased with some of my images at the time, but looking back now, I realise they were not very good. However, I did get help and encouragement from my local club, Ipswich & District. I worked exclusively in black & white at that time and my main subject matter was landscapes, though I also did a fair few environmental portraits. I worked in 35mm and medium format, and my photography gradually improved.
I bought my first digital camera in 2005 and immediately adopted a scatter-gun approach - shooting anything and everything. At about the same time, a new local photographic club - The Beyond Group - was born, and I was one of the founder members. Photographically, this was one of the best things that's happened to me and I greatly prefer the small group dynamics. I have thrived on the encouragement that I have been given by other members.
Early in 2008 I decided to concentrate on nature photography. I am now absolutely 'hooked', especially on birds, and cannot spend enough time out in the field. A keen naturalist, I have been a member of the RSPB since the early 1970s and after taking early retirement in 2003, I now work part-time for them. I also still do some volunteering in the conservation sector, though I have had to cut back on this recently; in particular I am very involved with dormouse conservation in Suffolk and Essex.
I prefer my photography to be mainly local and try not to travel large distances just to get photographs from a different place, unless I am after species that are rare or non-existant in my local patch. Thus I mainly photograph in Suffolk, Norfolk and north Essex. Like many nature photographers, I prefer to be out on my own so I try to find quiet places and avoid busy times. I enjoy the field craft that makes nature photography a unique experience as well as the unpredictability of chance encounters. More than anything, I love observing real nature encounters. I like to develop a relationship with a site and get to know it well, rather than just be a 'voyeur'. Some of the sites I frequent are nature reserves that are open to the public, but I am also lucky to have access to several private sites in pursuit of my passion. I am greatly endebted to other experienced nature photographers for their help and encouragement.