In 1979 I immigrated to Canada for the third time; my mum and dad could never make up their minds. I was very excited about the move, but my dreams of climbing the Canadian Rockies in my own backyard were quickly squashed when I discovered that we were moving to Ontario, three thousand kilometers away. Ontario has Niagara Falls and unbeknownst to me, the Niagara Escarpment continued all the way to Tobermory. Although not as dramatic, the Niagara 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 summit in a fraction of the time that it took to climb or slog down. Paragliding is a very exciting sport but like all extreme sports poor decisions can lead to serious injury or death. I made a few bad decisions 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 snap shooter 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 provincial magazine called Gardens West Magazine. Today Cornwall publishes four gardening magazines that stem right 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. Each summer I am sent across Canada from west to east to photograph private gardens and to date have had hundreds of images grace the covers and many more photos used within the pages. Because my work with Cornwall is seasonal I have lots of opportunities throughout the rest of the year to travel and pursue my love of nature photography.
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.