Landscape & Wildlife Photographer
I’ve always had a interest in the outdoors from being in the scouts. I have had many opportunities to go on trips with them including to Canada and Switzerland. I have also been lucky to travel to many other places in the USA including Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Tetons and Zion. A lot of these places I visited before I got into photography so I hope I get another chance to visit these incredible places again.
I’ve spent the last few years now exploring Ireland and in particular the west coast! I just love the rugged coastlines and the many small islands we have!
What was your path to becoming a Wildlife / Nature Photographer & What was your first camera?
My path to photography is probably a bit different to most. I’ve only, in last few years, got into photography.
I’ve always enjoyed the outdoors but it wasn’t until my late 20’s that I got more free time to get out and about more. Around 2017, I remember seeing someone post a image of otters in Belfast Lough and had no idea you could find them there.
I had recently purchased a pair of bincoulars to do more wildlife watching and so the next day I went down to the lough to try my luck. I ended up meeting the wildlife photographer Ronald Surgeron and I sat with him while waiting to see the otters. He had a 400mm 2.8 a huge lens with him and asked him a few questions about camera etc while we waited. We had no luck but his camera had got my attention.
The powershot was a great way to learn the basics and also a great camera to spot wildlife. Though, it has a slow auto focus and frames per second which are important for wildlife photography.
It didn’t take me long before I upgraded to a Canon 7D markii and a sigma 150-600mm. This was the only lens I had for ages. This was a big step up on the powershot and I still remember when I hit the shutter button for the first time and couldn’t believe the frames per second!
The next big influence if not the most was a 2 part documentary that I watched on tv called Wild Ireland: Edge of the World by Colin Stafford-Johnson. If you have not watched this I could not recommend it enough! This was the reason I wanted to explore the west Coast of Ireland. I had no idea how much wildlife and amazing places we had on this island.
I ended up buying a Fuji film XT-3 and a 10-24mm for landscapes. A lot of of great landscape locations have amazing wildlife. If you ever see me out and about taking landscapes my long lens and binos will always be with me and I’ve become a bit of birder.
What was your favourite Wildlife / Nature Adventure Story since becoming a Photographer?
What was your worst in-the-field experience as a Wildlife / Nature Photographer?
One of the worst experiences was doing a boat trip of West Ireland looking for birds. The weather changed and sea fog came in. We could hardly see a thing and the seas became rough. People were being sick on the boat but it’s all part of the adventure.
What is your favourite Animal / Bird / Insect / Plant to Photograph & Why?
When do you find is the best time to photograph wildlife?
What is your favourite photograph, that you’ve taken to date, & Why?
What equipment / Setup are you currently using?
Top Tip for anyone starting out?
Don’t always think that you have to be super close to get a good wildlife image. I find myself liking more and more wildlife images that show the wildlife in their natural environment rather than just portrait images. A perfect example of this is Ryan Simpsons recent image of the fox in the Mournes. Showing the fox with the mountains and cloud inversion in the background make that image truly amazing.