Gerard in Western Himalaya with Hathi Parbat beyond

Brought up in Northumberland in the north east of England, snow and mountains came into my life very early on through skiing, my other passion. Indeed, upon leaving school, I very soon took my first year out and spent a winter season skiing in France. That turned into 25 years skiing and working in both northern and southern hemispheres.

In the mid 1980’s while living in Utah, USA, I bought my first camera, an Olympus OM10. Travelling through South East Asia in the early 1990’s, my eyes were truly opened to new sights and cultures, and it was these that I wanted to see and capture on film. So, when the snow melted in what ever hemisphere I happened to be working/skiing, I packed a bag, bought a load of film, and went travelling.

I am a self taught photographer, though I have often thought of going to school to better my understanding of camera and photography. During the wet film years, I developed my film as I travelled, and during the long winter nights of the ski season I would set up a dark room in the bath room, and spend a fortune on paper and chemicals learning printing techniques. In 2003 I bought my first digital camera and laptop and slowly taught myself to use Photoshop, applying techniques I had learnt in the dark room, ie; dodging, burning and feathering.

To travel and capture life in very remote places, and to then lie in a tent that night and process pictures on a laptop is fantastic, though a very long way from the long wait to see what one had captured on wet film. I find myself now romanticising the magical emergence of an image out of chemicals though I shudder at the amount of wasted chemicals I poured down the toilet!

My travels have introduced me to many cultures and beliefs. The main lesson I have learnt is that simplicity in life brings happiness, which in turn, infuses a strong sense of well-being.