My interest in photography grew spontaneously as a means of recording the natural sights I encountered. It evolved into a passion for conveying not just these sights but also the emotions triggered by such places as mountains, rivers and forests. This encouraged me to actively seek out experiences and places where the human connection to nature can be felt most keenly.
Writing has become an equally important partner to my photography. I combine these mediums in an attempt to convey something which I find beautiful but almost inexpressible – the individual’s experience of being in the living world. I find it intriguing how a few choice images or words are able to awaken connections between people and places.
I now live in the Cairngorms National Park, where I am surrounded by some of Scotland’s most beautiful natural habitats. In a few short minutes I can be in the heart of the forest, on the side of a mountain, or beside the shore of a still loch. These landscapes have inspired generations of artists, writers and photographers. Among these was my greatest inspiration – author of The Living Mountain – Nan Shepherd.
My work has enjoyed some successes including appearing in several national magazines and newspapers, photography competitions and charitable publications. Several larger pieces have been displayed at exhibitions and in local businesses.
Besides artistic pursuits I am also a qualified wilderness guide and outdoor instructor in several sports. I have led people on trips throughout Scotland, sharing our beautiful landscapes with people from all walks of life.
If you are interested in featuring or using any of my work please get in touch through the contact page at the bottom of this page.
My photographic style has consciously evolved toward compositions that best resemble the experience of looking at the world with your own eyes. I favour landscape orientated compositions, often placing key points of interest near the centre of the image. I seek out places with extraordinary natural compositions and aim to present images of these places during the most intimate and fleeting moments they have to offer.
My speciality is forest photography, with a particular emphasis on the rare Caledonian Pinewoods of my home area. Although some people may struggle with woodland photography, I find these habitats rich in potential and enchanting displays of light. I am fascinated by the way that photography reveals the natural structure and order present in a place which at first glance appears chaotic.
The most crucial factor to my work is a deep familiarity with the locations I use, earned through many days in the field to gain an understanding of that places relationships between weather, season and habitat. It is this intimate relationship with the landscape that lets me see past the ordinary.
Equipment and Technique
I primarily use a Nikon D7000 (yes even in 2020!) as my main camera which is supplemented by a Nikon D3000 and GoPro Hero when weight and mobility are an issue. I use a selection of lenses but usually stick to my trusty Nikkor 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6. My images are processed through Lightroom and Photoshop, but I generally avoid doing anything other than universal adjustments to an image such as contrast and colour enhancement. I also enjoy the added care and attention required by film photography, for which I use a classic Minolta X-700.
For video I primarily use my iphone with a gimbal stabiliser along with my regular cameras. I also use a DJI Mavic Pro for aerial shots and record sound with a Zoom H1 hand held recorder.
I avoid using a tripod as much as possible, except when filming, preferring to remain mobile and move frequently to enjoy different vantages and compositions quickly.
Ethos and Practice
I am thoroughly committed to the simple principle of doing no harm to the landscape in pursuit of my photography. I am an advocate of ‘rewilding’ and hold a corporate grove with Trees for Life to support their efforts to restore the Caledonian Forest in the Scottish Highlands, and I hold a membership with the John Muir Trust, advocating for and managing wild land in Scotland for conservation.
I am also a qualified Leave No Trace trainer and practice the 7 principles of Leave No Trace at all times when outdoors and do my best to educate others in these principles.