Biography 

 

When I grew up in the 50’s in the West Country it was quite normal for a young boy to spend all his free time exploring the fields and hedgerows and learning first-hand about nature. The BBC Natural history unit was established in the early 60's when my family was lucky enough to own a television. I was immediately captivated by the early Look programmes and watched in awe the famous woodpecker film made by Heinz Sielmann. The series producer at the time was the late Sir Peter Scott who I was fortunate enough to meet some years later at his home in Slimbridge.

In my early teens I lived in Bristol and through the very active Bristol Naturalists Society met many celebrated naturalists and pioneer film makers from whom I learnt a great deal about wildlife and also about photography.

On leaving school I had a years break before going up to University and spent it working as a field technician at Hill End field study centre beside the famous Wytham Woods just outside Oxford. This 350 hectare woodland is private and has been dubbed the “most studied wood in Britain”. It has been owned by the University since 1943 and has been used by countless students ever since as a natural ecological laboratory. Where better for a young wildlife photographer to develop his trade. My time in Oxford and my work there also gave me a unique opportunity me to meet with many other successful pioneer photographers and film makers from organisations such as of the then newly established Oxford Scientific Films.
 
From Oxford I went to Southampton to study maths and computer science. This was excellently located on the very edge of the New Forest where I spent much of my non-study time observing deer. Here I had further great opportunitys to meet many fellow naturalists, photographers and film makers and at this time I acquired a real interest in macro photography. It was here that I had my first commission to illustrate a booklet on Lichens.
 
Fallow Deer hind under Oak trees in the early morning light.
After Southampton I became a teacher and taught science in a secondary school in Banbury. This was a time when schools were starting to introduce computers and technology for the first time and I was one of the early pioneers in establishing computers in schools. Many years later when I abandoned film and moved to digital photography I was very grateful for this opportunity and the skills and lessons I learnt along the way. I soon realised that I could combine my interest in photography with a new found interest in technology to give me a head start in this new and at the time bewildering world.
Young Cheetah in the evening light - Ndutu Plains Tanzania
 
Over the years whilst maintaining my three fold interests in technology, wildlife and photography the need to earn a living and support a growing family meant much of my time was spent working. However a redundancy in 2007 has allowed me to explore other options. As part of this new found freedom I have started to offer talks to camera clubs, workshops in wildlife photography and am organising photographic day trips and holidays initially to East Africa.
 
I lived in Kenya for 3 years whilst a child and have been fortunate enough to revisit many times. I have now formed a partnership with a long established UK safari company please read more under the trips section of this website.
 
Over the years I have changed my primary reason for taking photos. It began as a simple means of producing images, transparencies, to illustrate talks I gave on Natural History and has progressed to an all absorbing pastime; a pastime  where developing and perfecting the art and techniques have become as important to me as the subject matter itself. I have been chairman of the Towcester Camera Club for a number of years and this has encouraged and enabled me to experiment and explore other photographic genres supported and often challenged by fellow club members.
 
If you would like to find out more about the talks I provide to camera clubs, the trips I organise to various locations in the UK or the Safaris I run to East Africa please do get in contact either through this website or by directly e-mailing me at bob@naturesphotos.co.uk