How do you think photography can help people gain an appreciation of nature?
I think in the instant ‘everything’ age with all of its digital distractions it’s easy to quickly skim over images we see online and move on to the next without really stopping to take it all in. I’m guilty of that too and social media can be both good and bad in that respect. I think it takes a real discipline as an observer to stop and fully absorb an image before you.
For myself personally, I think the right image can show people another perspective and open them up to hidden worlds or new ways of thinking to elicit change and hopefully inspire others to care and start protecting rather than exploiting nature. I would love people to see the wonder, beauty and fragility that I see in the natural world and if an image I’ve taken can give someone a greater sense of understanding, appreciation or motivation to make personal changes then I would be very happy to know that.
Nature gives us so much and connection to it is essential for a balanced, healthy life I believe. Just imagine if we all worked in partnership with our planet rather than trying to control, dominate and exploit it all for individual wealth. What kind of world would we have then?
This year, you managed to get two photos into the New Zealand Geographic Photographer of the Year competition. How did you capture the pancake-ice shot?
I was down in Antarctica on the Ross sea and it was just before midnight when I noticed this incredible glow coming in through my porthole. When I looked out, I saw a huge raft of pancake sea ice lit up by the setting sun. So , I quickly grabbed my camera and raced up to the deck to take in the almost midnight Antarctic sunset. The dark clouds brooding overhead really added to the drama and the feeling of just being all the way down there floating on a completely flat sea while that still, frozen air enveloped you, was totally surreal.