My life as a photographer is recent. For 25 years I wrote children's and YA books and performed in schools here and abroad. A great and interesting life until I became very ill with severe clinical depression five years ago. I stopped writing, stopped laughing, stopped everything and after a prolonged hospital visit, knew I could not go back to my old career. Recovery was a blessing where, alongside incredible professional help, I rediscovered nature not through the pages of a book or a fantasy novel {my novel Ravenwood explores a world of mile-high trees and ravens with 30 foot wingspan} but through the real outdoors. At first, I came back to my first love, wild swimming, which I had done all my life, but now with a new passion that led onto my book Dip. After that came the camera. A new hobby that quickly transformed into something else entirely. If you had told me from a standing start 4 years ago, I would now be immersing myself in local woods and farms, nature reserves, collaborations with conservation groups, and that I would photograph curlews and hobbies in flight and catch the milky way reflected in Wildmoor Pool on the Longmynd; and if you had told me that my photos would be published in books and the national papers - I would have said 'no way'. This is unexpected and humbling. I have found a new relationship with the landscape, with dusk, dawn and the night beyond; with the way light falls before sunrise and how it blooms sometimes after sunset into an intensity that appears miraculous. I have held a road-injured hawfinch in my hands, stalked the utterly rare leucistic red kite in Shropshire {above} and found, with help, where tawny owls perch by day. Of course, I love the moments of success, when the world agrees here is something special, but I also have a concern that people might be moved by these pictures and for a second realise we have a lot to lose if we forget to care for nature. All my photos are taken in the wild {whatever that means these days} and not in deer parks, paid for hides or set up locations. For me, there is real joy in developing relationships with farmers, conservation groups and landowners and working incredibly hard to find, observe and photograph wildlife without disturbance. The only exceptions are my garden bird feeding shots and nature reserves with bird hides.

A note about kit: Because I work in both landscape and wildlife, I shoot with a variety of bodies and lenses. I am always simply looking for the right tools for the job and as a result my kit is very bashed and scratched but I don’t mind as long as it works. The main bodies are Canon 5d4, 6d and 7d2 which I now hardly use and my 1dx, also used less and less and less these days Canon 1dx due to weight and shutter noise. Lenses include the 500mm F4 and extenders, 100-400L mark2,24-70mm f2.8, 16-35mm f4 and for astro the incredible new Sigma 14mm 1.8. I have recently picked up my very underused 70-200mm f2.8 and found it superb for landscapes in low-light.