About Wessex Wildlife Photography

Sika stag I have been photographing the natural world for about 30 years. I grew up on the chalk hills and amongst the ancient woodlands of the Hampshire-Wiltshire border. I trained as a gamekeeper; fulfilling a childhood ambition to be as close to nature as possible. I worked for a few years in West Cork in the beautiful far southwest of Eire where I established a private nature reserve. I was a Forestry Commission Wildlife Ranger for six years in Cornwall before returning to home territory in Wessex to work at the Cranborne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

I created Wessex Wildlife Photography because I saw too many images of captive animals passed off as ‘wild’ and heard the frustrations of enthusiastic, talented photographers who found it difficult to get to grips with natural subjects outside zoos, wildlife collections and gardens. I provide opportunities to those wishing to find out how to best photograph wildlife, learn outdoor photography skills and enjoy their time in the countryside photographing natural subjects.

Writer and Photographer

David Blake Field Walk

My writing and photography has been recognized by several awards:

  • I hold the Licentiateship of the Royal Photographic Society: you can see my ‘L Panel’ here.
  • My short story “Genghis Khan” won the BBC Wildlife Magazine Award for Nature Writing in 1992 and “Listen” was Specially Commended in 1995.
  • My words and pictures have been widely published in a variety of magazines, such as BBC Wildlife Magazine, journals, such as The Ecologist and Ecos, and on-line publications. I have exhibited images in a number of venues including Salisbury Art Trail and private views.

The Nature Photographers’ Code of Practice

Camera ready to go

“The welfare of the subject is more important than the photograph”: is the spirit of the Royal Photographic Society’s Nature Photographers’ Code of Practice. The full Code and can be found on the RPS web site. When taking photographs, or guiding another photographer, this has some practical impacts on how I will operate. For instance:

  • I will not take photographs if there is a likelihood that by doing so the subject will be caused physical damage, anxiety leading to an extreme flight response, or a greater likelihood of predation or reduced likelihood of breeding success. This applies to plants just as much as to animals, to common species as much as to rare species. This limits the use of hides and baiting of animals.
  • Much of my activity takes place in protected areas such as Sites of Special Scientific Interest, County Wildlife Sites, National Parks around the world and areas of vulnerable habitat. These areas will not be degraded by my activity in any way.
  • Wildlife photography if of wild subjects that can move away from me or may elude me. I will never use captive, homebred or cultivated subjects to create a false impression of wildness.
  • Habitats and species listed in Section 41 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006, The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) and the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 will receive due care and respect in accordance with the letter and spirit of the law.

With all my photography, I will seek to convey the essential truth of what I saw and experienced at the time the images were taken.


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