“Light is the key to producing an image that can relay a sense, a feeling.”
I was born in Watford, England in 1964. My interest in the outdoors began when I joined the boy scouts with my older brother. Combined with great leaders and close friendships, scouting was a positive and rewarding introduction to the wilds of the United Kingdom. Scouting, camping and hiking eventually led to an interest in rock climbing. Living virtually in the middle of the UK with no vertical relief was not particularly inspiring for a teenage rock-climbing wannabe. Still, every Monday I would ride my skateboard several miles to the Milton Keynes Climbing Club and spend my time practising my skills on a very poorly designed climbing wall. Still, the best part for me was listening intently to the stories of my climbing peers. I was hooked and was super eager to seek out my climbing adventures.
In 1979 I immigrated to Canada with my two brothers and parents. At the time I was excited about the move but didn't realise that my dreams of climbing in the Canadian Rockies would have to wait until I was much older when I discovered that we were moving to southern Ontario, three thousand kilometres away from the nearest mountain. Unbeknownst to me, Ontario had the Niagara Escarpment, and although not as dramatic as the Canadian Rockies, the Escarpment fulfilled my obsession to climb until I was old enough to travel under my own steam.
Up until my late twenties, I climbed extensively throughout North America. In the 80's I discovered the up and coming sport of paragliding. Flying proved to be a great companion to mountaineering as I could now glide down from a peak in a fraction of the time that it took to hike down. Paragliding is an exciting sport but like all extreme sports poor decisions can lead to severe injury or death. I made a few bad choices but luckily came away relatively unscathed from experience. Consequently, I gave up flying. As I discovered new creative outlets climbing took a back seat but my love for nature and the outdoors continued.
I would love to tell you that photography was my calling but the reality is that I took up photography serendipitously after a casual glance through one of John Shaw's nature photography books. Like most people with a camera, I was a snapshooter, and I quickly discovered that purchasing a shiny new SLR didn't make me an instant pro. I was an amateur with a nice camera. I was compelled to find out why my pictures didn't have the clarity, sharpness and sense of design like those of the "pros". Rather than fumble my way through trial and error I took a more serious approach and attended a two-year photography program at Langara Community College in Vancouver.
After college, I chanced upon a small company called Cornwall Publishing. At that time Cornwall produced one magazine called Gardens West. Several years later Cornwall started to publish four gardening magazines that stemmed across Canada. I have to say that without the support of Dorothy Horton and the crew at Cornwall Publishing I would most likely not be a professional photographer today. In 2012 Dorothy retired, and the magazine was taken over by her son David Mulroney. Unfortunately, through poor management, the magazine collapsed in 2014. Up until 2014 I had thousands of images grace the covers and interior pages of the four magazines, I will miss the crew at Cornwall and the many gardeners that I got to visit in the twenty-odd years that I worked for the magazine.
I enjoy photography, and I especially cherish the opportunity to experience the subjects that I photograph. The act of hiking to a location and merely setting up a camera and taking a few images is what I enjoy about photography. To watch the beautiful light on a snowbound peak or camp in an alpine meadow surrounded by wildflowers are the things that draw me to photography, not the other way around. For me, photography is an extension of the outdoor experience, nothing more, nothing less.
I hope that you enjoy my photographs as much as I have enjoyed taking them and wish you well in your outdoor adventures.