I got my first ever camera, a Kodak 110, when I was about seven years old by collecting vouchers on the back of breakfast cereal packets. When I was thirteen, I was given my first SLR for my birthday - a Ricoh KR10 Super. My father patiently took the time and trouble to explain to attention-disordered little me about the three fundamentals of the technology of photography: shutter speed, aperture and film speed. Later, at 'big' school, I was one of only a few kids that made use of the darkroom.
My love of diving came much later in my life. After graduating, I visited Australia where I did a PADI Open Water course in Cairns. I went back a few years later to do my Advanced course with the same instructor, but over the next decade I dived only occasionally when travelling.
In my mid-30s, I agreed to go on an impromptu dive holiday with my mother and one of my brothers, and as soon as I dropped into the water, I had what can only be described as an epiphany - why had I not realised before just how amazing this was? From that point on I was hooked: now I get underwater as much a possible, and take my camera down with me. I'm fascinated by science and as a kid I loved science fiction. Life is postulated on other planets, but what most people don't realise is that there are vivid 'other-worldly' environments all around us, full of strange and beautiful creatures both big and small: we can visit these worlds by strapping on a gas supply, a mask and some fins. I want to celebrate these places.
Underwater photography brings together many of my interests - my love of diving and adventure, my passion for the natural world, my artistic side, and my geeky enthusiasm for technology. When I'm underwater I feel focused and curious, my lungs have become like a swim bladder, and I move in a way that feels graceful and weightless - as opposed to the slightly scatty big fellow that I can often be on land. I love that my photographs sometimes amuse or amaze people.