Since the dawn of time, the Earth’s beauty has inspired us to try and capture it as art. All photography is a blend of art and craft. The technology has changed and evolved over the decades but the ethos of photographers, everywhere, remains the same: to make compelling images.
Photographers confident in using their equipment, and having mastery of one or more image processing software programs, continually search for new sources of knowledge, and places of artistic inspiration and wandering adventure.
I continually explore the work of some of the best wildlife/nature/landscape photographers I know (e.g. Arthur Morris, Andy Rouse, Andy Biggs, Art Wolfe, Frans Lanting, Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Andris Apse, Jim Brandenburg to name a few), and I experiment best and push boundaries further, when I photograph alone, when I photograph with a purpose.
Every photographer that leaves a legacy, does so because of an underpinning purpose to her/his photography.
For me, this purpose is conservation, and my special interest is in conservation photography.
Such photography, with its singular focus on conservation is different to ‘nature‘, ‘travel’ and ‘tourist’ photography. It endeavours to showcase the hidden beauty of the natural world and the sacredness of its vanishing spirit. It protrays a ‘pictorial voice’ to engender a greater understanding of nature. Its intrinsic empathy with nature directs the creation of images that seek to move people to care more for, and better understand, the delicate relationships that exist between conservation and development.
This focused photography is born out of a desire to sustain the diversity and intrinsic values of the natural world, whilst it is possible to be a welcome guest in this world, without destroying those special and sometimes very fragile values.
When images are born out of concern for the protection, or tragic loss, of the natural world, they convey an intrinsic emotional and even spiritual weight that is frequently projected into those who view them. Such photography maximizes the chances of putting such image ‘to work’. It is the result of photographic endeavour combined with environmental thoughtfulness and greater understanding.
Raw scientific data and technical text in isolation, no longer command sufficient attention. Whenever communities support sensible environmental stewardship, the gap between scientific knowledge and behaviour, has been bridged and strengthened by compelling images.
Photographs that engage hearts as well as minds provide great hope for removing discordance between concerned citizens, corporations, e-NGO’s and governments.
Locking natural wonders away is not sufficient to ensure their longevity nor for engendering commitment to their ongoing preservation and enjoyment by future generations.
When paired with the collaboration of creative thinkers, committed individuals, corporations, scientists and policy makers, conservation photography is a prevailing force for awakening our conscientiousness of nature.
I share what I know, with other photographers, and others in my world, in a private, leisurely and focused way.
I enjoy travelling and photographing with good company, good cheer, good food and wines; all in the joyful pursuit of making evocative images that hopefully bear a message.
The development of a distinctive photographic signature, like all artistic endeavour, is a private and inner journey.
It is about being exploratory, uplifting of spirit, balming of soul, being in a greater connectedness to nature, but with a purpose.