Twenty questions: Quick-fire quiz

It’s been almost two decades since I walked out on my career in IT sales to follow my passions of wildlife, photography and storytelling. In that time, so much has changed – in photography and media, in the state of the environment, and in my own life and circumstances. So, from cameras, to climate; wide-angle to wine; film to Facebook. In twenty questions, here’s my quick-fire take on life and the job I love.

DSLR or Mirrorless?
Mirrorless, for all sorts of reasons, not just size and weight.
Prime lens or zoom?

Zoom. You need speed and flexibility in wildlife photography and that’s what zooms give you. Plus the quality of modern optics means there’s no real downside to zooms, as there used to be way back when.

Wide-angle or telephoto?

It really depends on what I’m shooting but, given the choice, I’d say wide-angle. Actually, my favourite lens for wildlife photography is the 50mm “standard” lens. The lens I use the most is the 70-200mm. I wouldn’t travel without it.

Tripod or hand-held?

I know I should say tripod but … for wildlife I like the flexibility handholding the camera gives me.

Exposure: manual or auto?

Semi-manual (or semi-auto, depending on which way you look at it). I’d say 98% of my images are taken with the camera in aperture-priority exposure mode. It gives me just as much control as full manual but takes half the time to get to the same place. And in wildlife photography, timing is everything.

Colour or B&W?
Both. It depends entirely on the story I’m trying to convey. But my all time favourite image of mine is B&W.
Digital or film?

You know, I love the aesthetic quality of film but, for practical reasons, it’s got to be digital.

RAW. Cameras just aren’t sophisticated enough to get the processing right.
Phone cameras: good or bad?

Good. In the right circumstances. The best camera you have is the one you have with you. I often use my iPhone to photograph in situations I don’t have my main camera, such as when I’m walking around cities or on holiday.

UK or overseas?

With climate change, I’d love to say UK but the reality is, I specialise in big, carnivourous mammals and we don’t have many of those in the UK. So, overseas.

Birds or mammals?
Mammals. The bigger and hairier the better.
Hot climate or cold?
Cold. I love snow and ice and the polar regions.
Arctic or Antarctic?

Arctic. There are more terrestrial mammals in the north. Plus I love polar bears.

Jungle or savannah?
Definitely savannah. Working in a tropical jungle is like working in a sauna full of biting bugs.
Facebook or Instagram?

I had an Instagram account for 3-years without knowing it. I’d even accumulated over a hundred followers despite posting nothing. I only found out about it when my son, who was then 12, told me about it. I’m not really very social media savvy but I use both.

Private holiday: city or beach?

For a short break, I’d go to a European city. For something a bit longer, I’d want a beach and some sun.

Book or TV?

I love books and I love to read but, as a filmmaker, I’m an avid consumer of documentaries and films. It’s an educational thing!

Steak or salad?

Steak. What can I say, I’m a carnivore at heart. Although I’ve recently been seen eating a Caesar salad, so perhaps I’m changing a little.

Wine or beer?
Wine. Generally white. Except on a really hot day, you can’t beat a cold beer.
Work or play?
I’m a wildlife photographer, work is play.