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I would never dream, for example, of going to The States to photograph your wildlife.
– Nigel Dennis
I also like flyfishing – maybe I would have figured a way to make a living out of that?
Photography started as a means of getting reference material for my paintings of nature subjects.
I hope to goodness I would not still be working in the corporate world – the money is OK but it is no life at all.
Big game photography in Africa is mainly done from a vehicle, so then I feel I might as well take the lot.
I carry a notebook full of sketches of pictures I want to take – they are really scruffy sketches, but at least I am going out there with a clear objective.
Currently I am working on another three books, doing a lot of magazine work, am shooting for fifteen stock agencies, plus my own photo library – all this keeps me quite busy!
The Kalahari is brilliant – and easy to visit.
I also had a tremendous passion for art and read a lot.
In The States I would have no edge, no advantage at all.
I concentrate on the southern African subcontinent.
Even for an area I know well, I prepare a shooting list of subjects I need.
I think few wives would have encouraged this kind of drastic and reckless career shift!
So about twenty years ago I gave up on painting – and got into terrible debt after buying a load of camera gear!
For sure, all over Poland, kids had my picture of a lemur on their bedroom wall – but the chances are they may never get to see a real lemur in Madagascar. I thought this was great and it really meant a lot to me.
All I really wanted to do was wildlife photography.
A large wildlife book, start to finish, could take one to two years, but then I would expect to get several good (nature) magazine features off the back of this, plus of course a lot of stock.
For the first few years we lived in a tiny rented cottage at the bottom of a friend’s garden. We often joked that there was plenty of film in the fridge, but not too much food!
My first serious project was photographing badgers – very, very difficult as they are shy and nocturnal.