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Digital Subscriptions > Lonely Planet Traveller (UK) > September 2015 > THE PHOTOGRAPHER’S STORY


20 years of travel photography

When I was 13, I contracted tuberculosis and found myself stuck in a hospital bed for a few weeks. I missed out on a climbing trip to the Hebrides so, to cheer me up, my father bought me a Nikon EM camera as a consolation prize. Once I’d recovered, I remember trying it out and thinking, ‘wow, this is fun!’ Taking pictures felt completely natural to me. It was my equivalent of other teenagers picking up their frst electric guitar. It took time to work out exactly what kind of photographer I wanted to be. I began studying for a degree in graphic design at Norwich School of Art and Design, but much of the real learning happened outside the lecture theatre. In between studies I would take off on day-trips with my camera to shoot anti-Gulf War protests and Poll Tax riots in London. I even set out to shoot the fall of the Berlin Wall, but I turned up a week too late. I decided to combine photography with my love of travelling. I’ve since become addicted to chasing pictures – it’s a bit like hunting (without killing anything). These pictures are some of my favourites from 20 years of travelling. I won the latest Travel Photographer of the Year prize – that felt even more special on the 20th anniversary of starting my career.

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