In 1979 I immigrated to Canada (for the third time as my mum and dad could never make up their minds). I was really excited about the move, but my dreams of climbing mountains in the Canadian Rockies were quickly squashed when I discovered that we were moving to southern Ontario, three thousand kilometers away. Unbeknownst to me at the time southern Ontario had the Niagara Escarpment and although not as dramatic as the Canadian Rockies, the escarpment fulfilled my obsession to climb until I was old enough to travel under my own steam.
Up until my late twenties I climbed extensively throughout North America. In the 80’s I discovered the up and coming sport of paragliding. Flying proved to be a great companion to mountaineering as I could now glide down from a peak in a fraction of the time that it took to slog down. Paragliding is an exciting sport but like all extreme sports poor decisions can lead to serious injury or death. I made a few bad choices but luckily came away relatively unscathed from the experience, consequently I gave up flying. As I discovered new creative outlets climbing eventually took a back seat but my love for nature and the outdoors continued.
I would love to tell you that photography was my calling well before I was conceived. The reality is that I took up photography serendipitously after a casual glance through one of John Shaw’s nature photography books. Like most people with a camera, I was a snap shooter and I quickly discovered that purchasing a shiny new SLR didn’t make me an instant pro. I was a an amateur with a nice camera. I was compelled to find out why my pictures didn’t have the clarity, sharpness and sense of design like those of the “pros”. Rather than fumble my way through trial and error I took a more serious approach and attended a two-year photography program at Langara Community College in Vancouver.
After college, I chanced upon a small company called Cornwall Publishing. At that time Cornwall produced one magazine called Gardens West. Several years later Cornwall started to publish four gardening magazines that stemmed across Canada. I have to say that without the support of Dorothy Horton and the crew at Cornwall Publishing I would most likely not be a professional photographer today. In 2012 Dorothy retired and the magazine was taken over by her son David Mulroney. Unfortunately through poor management the magazine collapsed in 2014. Up until 2014 I had thousands of images grace the covers and interior pages of the four magazines, I will miss the crew at Cornwall and the many gardeners that I got to visit in the twenty odd years that I worked for the magazine..
I enjoy photography, and I especially cherish the opportunity to experience the subjects that I photograph. The act of hiking to a location and simply setting up a camera and taking a few images is what I enjoy about photography. To watch beautiful light on a snowbound peak or camp in an alpine meadow surrounded by wildflowers are the things that draw me to photography, not the other way around. For me, photography is an extension of the outdoor experience, nothing more, nothing less.
I hope that you enjoy my photographs as much as I have enjoyed taking them and wish you well in your own outdoor adventures.