Food, and subsequently food writing and food photography, has been the focus of my working life for well over 20 years now, but in the background has always been a love of the outdoors and a fascination with nature. Not necessarily interests that work well with a career as a chef, but since selling our restaurant the opportunity to indulge these passions on a regular basis has grown.
There are interesting links between cooking and nature. At the end of the day, in some form or other, nature provides most of a cook’s ingredients. If you care about the cooking then you probably should care about nature. The reliance chefs have on farmers, growers, fishermen, beekeepers and so on is undeniable as is the reliance we all have on our natural environment.
I have lived in rural areas for most of my life and my parents had a farm for a number of years when I was growing up so I have always been aware of these close relationships. It was, however, writing Well Seasoned with Jon, my co-author, that made me take another look at things.
I shot all the images for the book and that necessitated getting out and about in the countryside to photograph everything from pheasants to wild mushrooms and wild swimming spots to robins. That combined with a year utterly focused on seasonality really re-awakened my passion for the outdoors, the utter beauty of the British countryside and a fascination with the creatures that inhabit that environment.
We have explored the county of Dorset more fully, holidayed in beautiful spots such as the Isles of Scilly and planned trips to visit particular habitats, whether it is the River Fowey looking for dippers or the salt marshes around Poole harbour watching sika deer. As a result, my collection of images has grown and, after a bit of encouragement, I have launched a new website to showcase my nature, wildlife and landscape photography. You can visit Beguiling Nature here
There are various image galleries to explore, an occasional blog about my adventures and the opportunity to buy prints and wall art. There is also a new Instagram account of the same name @beguilingnature
Do check out the news page on the website or the Instagram account to see how you can win one of five 15” x 10” prints to celebrate the launch of the new site. I hope you enjoy looking around the site but equally I hope it will inspire you to get out and about more, too.
You can also see more of my photography here.