Although I was born on the south coast, I moved north at a very young age. The pull of the sea is powerful though and in 1999 my family and I moved to Swanage. It was a big decision for us, but we quickly fell in love with this place and all it has to offer. After many years of wildlife photography as a hobby and after a great deal of soul searching, I left my job in the construction industry and now run Purbeck Footprints with my gallery, in the centre of town, acting as a showcase for my work. As well as my photographs I lead walks across the Isle of Purbeck and give talks about this place, the landscape and its wildlife. My talks are always unscripted and use a slideshow of my photographs to show what the Isle of Purbeck has to offer.
This part of England has a long and varied history that takes us back through the ages to before the time of the dinosaurs. It is easy to find evidence of ancient sharks, crocodiles and turtles on the beaches or walk on stone that has been imprinted with the footprints of long dead giants. The hills, too, contain marine fossils that have found themselves hundreds of feet above the sea floor and all have secrets that they have yet to give up.
Not long after man found this place, he realised the importance of the geology and the land beneath his feet. Stone has provided an important industry here for thousands of years and the landscape is scared with quarries, some of which are still active.
Other treasures, including deserted villages, fortresses of earth and stone, ancient tramways that appear and disappear just as quickly, and the incredible diversity of its wildlife and habitats make this place more than a little special.
My photographs are very important to me and so is the way I take them. It is easy these days to spend hours processing shots on a computer, removing twigs or imperfections, changing colours to make the shot more pleasing or even adding something that may be missing, but I do not do that. Nature, by its very design, is perfectly imperfect and that is how I want my photographs to be. Sometimes the light is not quite right, sometimes the animal will not pose in the way I want or decides to stay hidden, that is the beauty of wildlife photography and I find it frustratingly magical.
If you visit the Isle of Purbeck you may see me staring out to sea or spending far too much time trying to photograph a spider. It may be that you recognise my dogs rather than me, Benny is a Collie and Sika is a Lurcher, both are rescue dogs and both have their own unique personalities. Either way, if you fancy a chat feel free to come and say hello, another of my favourite pastimes is talking.
Purbeck Footprints now has a base on Commercial Road in Swanage, Dorset where I exhibit and sell my photographs. We have joined forces with Peverils, Chilli By The Sea and artist Roz Walters to transform The Stables into a very exciting new business. We are very proud of what we have achieved and invite you to pay us a visit, you won’t be disappointed.
If you would like to meet me for a chat at the gallery to discuss my photographs, walks or talks please don’t hesitate to get in touch .