My life as a photographer is recent. For 25 years I wrote children's and YA books and performed in schools here and abroad. A great and interesting life until I became very ill with severe clinical depression five years ago. I stopped writing, stopped laughing, stopped everything and after a prolonged hospital visit, knew I could not go back to my old career. Recovery was a blessing where, alongside incredible professional help, I rediscovered nature not through the pages of a book or a fantasy novel {my novel Ravenwood explores a world of mile-high trees and ravens with 30 foot wingspan} but through the real outdoors. At first, I came back to my first love, wild swimming, which I had done all my life, but now with a new passion that led onto my book Dip. After that came the camera. A new hobby that quickly transformed into something else entirely. If you had told me from a standing start 4 years ago, I would now be immersing myself in local woods and farms, nature reserves, collaborations with conservation groups, and that I would photograph curlews and hobbies in flight and catch the milky way reflected in Wildmoor Pool on the Longmynd; and if you had told me that my photos would be published in books and the national papers - I would have said 'no way'. This is unexpected and humbling. I have found a new relationship with the landscape, with dusk, dawn and the night beyond; with the way light falls before sunrise and how it blooms sometimes after sunset into an intensity that appears miraculous. I have held a road-injured hawfinch in my hands, stalked the utterly rare leucistic red kite in Shropshire {above} and found, with help, where tawny owls perch by day. Of course, I love the moments of success, when the world agrees here is something special, but I also have a concern that people might be moved by these pictures and for a second realise we have a lot to lose if we forget to care for nature.

A note about kit: Because I work in both landscape and wildlife, I shoot with a variety of bodies and lenses. I am always simply looking for the right tools for the job and as a result my kit is very bashed and scratched but I don’t mind as long as it works. The main bodies are Canon 7d2, 6d, 5d4 {which has now replaced my 6d and increasingly my 7d2} and less and less these days Canon 1dx due to weight and shutter noise. Lenses include the 500mm F4 and extenders, 100-400L mark2,24-70mm f2.8, 16-35mm f4 and for astro the excellent Samyang 14mm 2.8. I have recently picked up my very underused 70-200mm f2.8 and found it superb for landscapes in low-light.