I was born in Kenya to Irish parents but moved to Hong Kong when I was four years old. Apart from three years living in India in the mid-1990s, Hong Kong has been my home ever since although most of my suspect education was undertaken in Dublin, Ireland.
I worked full time as an equity research analyst for 23 years and still work on a part time basis in this area.
My photographic journey began as a teenager photographing sports events at school and spending long hours in a dark room processing images. But for most of my twenties I barely picked up a camera. That changed shortly after I began scuba diving in the early 1990s and my first forays into nature photography were underwater. In 1997 I made my first safari to East Africa and was instantly hooked – on the wide open spaces, the wildlife and the photography.
Since then I have made over thirty trips to Africa and travelled all over the world. Although I love visiting new destinations, I tend to revisit a handful of destinations repeatedly. Most of my trips are typically of a duration of 7-10 days and given the time factor, I believe that it is only through repeated visits that a portfolio of strong, differentiated images can be built up.
Aside from East Africa, I have made several trips to Japan in winter, Midway Atoll in the north west Pacific and French Polynesia. Other destinations that that I continue to be drawn to include South Georgia Island, the Falklands, Antarctica and Borneo. Over the last decade I have become quite proficient at photographing from a Cessna 206 with the doors removed on one side and probably have the world’s largest collection of aerial images of East Africa’s soda lakes and their charismatic avian residents.
My wildlife photography continues to evolve. Initially I just wanted to create a record of the wildlife I was seeing. Then I became interested in capturing animal behavior and to some extent, I still am. But today I am largely drawn to the aesthetics of the image. In simple terms my goal is to try to create beautiful images that viewers react to positively. Animals in their environment is a strong theme and I tend to favour the use of wider-angled lenses wherever possible. The advent of digital photography means that we live in an era where millions of well exposed, sharp wildlife images are being produced each year. The challenge therefore is always to try and produce different images. This is far from easy and either the situation makes it impossible or I fail in my attempts. But if this can be one’s guiding principal, then very occasionally you will succeed.
I am completely self taught and have learnt through trial and a great deal of error.
I work with a number of stock agencies and have been published widely. I also co-lead photographic tours in Africa, Japan, French Polynesia and the Falkland Islands, largely with Denise Ippolito (www.deniseippolito.com). I am a six time Nature’s Best and a two times Wildlife Photographer of the year honoree. I am married with two daughters.
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