Instagram remains by a massive margin my most preferred Social Media outlet and since joining on May 1st 2016 I am now privileged to have over 64,000 followers. When I did my #2017bestnine Instagram images it was humbling to see that my 291 posts that year had received a bewildering total of over 1.1 million likes. My most popular image of the year showed a red deer stag during a blizzard and it was of course heartening to see that all but one of my top nine images were of UK wildlife. I am and will always remain a passionate advocate for our astonishing natural history and I am, as ever, completely committed to their protection and conservation for future generations. If one of my images can persuade one person as to the value and importance of these environmentally essential creatures then I count myself extremely fortunate indeed.
So far it’s been another successful year in terms of having my work recognised in prestigious international photography competitions. Such competitions are always a good way to get one’s name out to a wider audience and it is always an honour and a privilege to have my work stand alongside some of the greats in the industry. Though it is the first time that I’ve entered I’m delighted to report that I’ve had three images awarded in this years’ Nature Photographer of the Year. One of these is one of my favourite recent images, that of a new-born mute swan cygnet resting on its mothers back. The other images were also recently awarded in the British Wildlife Photography Awards and that is the image of the mountain hare stretching its foot and the two mute swan cygnets feeding upside down.
I’m delighted that my ongoing success in the British Wildlife Photography Awards has continued as my badger image was chosen as the Winner in the Animal Behaviour category, a category that I last won in 2011 with my image of a grey heron walking on water. I had continued success in this years’ Animal Behaviour category with another two awarded images, both Highly Commended, one of some mute swan cygnets upended and one showing a mountain hare stretching its’ comically oversized foot. The final one of these years 4 awarded images was of another badger but this time featuring in the Habitat category. To date that means that in this prestigious competition I have now achieved 35 awarded images and three category wins making me the most successful photographer in the history of the competition.
It’s rare as a professional that we get to see even a small percentage of our published work as most sales being made through our agencies and we only get to see images uses when payment reports are issued. However I was pleased to learn that my puffin image was chosen to feature on the front cover of John Muir Trust’s Wild Nature calendar, as well as featuring inside and that another image of mine, a mute swan was also used.