Not all those who wander are lost....
I like to walk on the left, champion the bicycle as the ultimate mode of transport, am blind without glasses and openly admit the only chocolates I like are Maltesers. I’m also an accredited and award-winning professional photographer and a passionate artist. I’m not your typical social-media photographer and I’m not a celebrity, although I do have a few scial media pages for special occasions. I’ve worked and lived around the world, spending most of my adult life on the run from conformity and routine – it’s a lifestyle that lends itself well to exploring this vast Earth we call home. I spent my 20s in London, paying back The Man for an education in the Arts that didn’t quite deliver, and my thirties shooting through academic, government and press-outfits in the UK, China and Austria. I’m now finding a new challenge in Ethiopia, volunteering as a humanitarian photographer, helping NGOs and institutions visualise projects all over the country. I’ve recently returned from a UKAID / DFID sponsored programme in Ethiopia’s Borana zone, a water-stressed region bordering Kenya.
As a photographer, my aim has never necessarily been to work for the cream of the crop, the blue-chip giants, the alphas. Our time on this desolate iron rock is short and I’ve met some incredibly life-affirming people working on fascinating and exciting projects through my travels, experiences that I’d have never had the fortune of owning had I climbed up the typical career ladder in my earlier years. Would I recommend this lifestyle to you – a young aspiring photographer? Perhaps yes, perhaps no. You can see for yourself the adventures and locations I’ve been through, with many more to come (hopefully). But it comes at a cost with caveats a ‘plenty. My advice? Make your own choice and stick to it.
I shoot with Nikon gear mostly. I’ve always been comfortable using Nikon bodies and lenses and generally don’t stray too far. I started with a pair of Pentax and Practika film bodies with a 50mm lens each and slowly moved my way up through the digital catalog as and when I had the work and cash – D50, D90, D300, D700, D2X, D3, D4 and now a D850 and Z6 mirrorless. I typically pack a 14 – 24, 50 and 70 – 200 if I’m venturing in to the unknown and keep a 35 and 300 as back up. I’ve recently started testing out a Sigma 18-35 Art and 70-200 Sport as potential replacements for some of my aging Nikkor lenses. I love my Nikkor lenses, they just perform when and where needed, but after 10 years of being beaten around the globe they don’t perform as well as they used to, and the competition between manufacturers has gotten serious this last decade.
I use a Zoom H6 coupled to a chest harness with a couple of off-the-shelf Rode mics if I need to capture audio footage for NGO work as I shoot. I use a Nest CX triopd with a Manfrotto fluid-drag head for shooting video or when I need to sit still or a few hours. I’ve not got a drone yet as have not needed one, but it’s on the cards, and I keep all my gear stashed in an old Osprey rucksack to avoid unwanted attention, although this will soon be replaced with Shimoda’s new X50 camera bag and roller.
I work as I travel, and processing RAW images from a D850 or 4K footage from a Z6 is not trivial. I opted for a Dell XPS 15″ 9570 core i9 with 32 gigs RAM and a super fast NVME. I’ve written before at length about this laptop and the TLDR is that it’s perfect – when it works. The fans just keep dying on me in really precarious situations, so I’m now in two minds as to recommending this any further. Dell have been informed…
This virtual place is home to my Wanderlust archives and acts as a portal for business and freelance clients. My online galleries are designed to replicate the walls of a physical galleries – simple, white no-frills backdrops with text boxes and large images. The rest of this site evolves on a daily basis as and when I find inspiration. Enjoy.
(Heading quote courtesy of the legendary J.R.R. Tolkien.)