It seems unimaginable that over 600 million people across the world don’t have access to clean, safe drinking water. 1 in 10 people on the planet, twice the population of America, struggle to find clean water to drink every day—something you and I take for granted. Access to water is not only the difference between life and death it is also the catalyst for sustainable change. Each day, thousands of people in Africa make the long, and often dangerous trek to fetch water. It is the younger women who often carry out this arduous task. Not only is their personal safety in jeopardy, but so is their education. They either miss school or are unable to attend at all. Women are at significant risk of being attacked when they leave the safety of their villages to trek many kilometres to collect water.
Just one well in one village can be life changing. Infant mortality rates are vastly reduced, the risk of violent attacks outside of the village is removed and school attendance increases significantly. The result is a new generation of healthy, happy and educated people.
I love the change Water for Africa are bringing to hundreds of thousands of lives each year. Phil and Julie Hepworth have a passion to see Africa transformed through the provision of clean water. I visited Tanzania and saw what villages were like before the provision of a well, and after. Water transforms lives.
It is clear that Water for Africa have a plan, a strategic approach, and a tender heart for the people of Africa.
If you want to be involved in bringing about long-term sustainable change then I would strongly recommend you partner with Water for Africa. Together we can bring clean water to the forgotten 10% of our planet, and in the process, help restore hope for a better future.
I spend my life traveling to the most remote and unique locations on the planet. I have been fortunate enough to travel to every continent including Antarctica. No matter where I go I am always impacted by the fragile nature of nature itself. The delicate balance of the environment we live in, which is so easily impacted by changes in the weather, climate change or by the impact we have as we continue to consume, build at an alarming rate.
There are areas I visited only 20 years ago that are now very different today, coastal erosion, natural disasters, man made development or progress. A combination of these factors have left an irreversible mark on some of the most unique and beautiful parts of our world. As photographers we have a responsibility to highlight the amazing beauty that we find in nature, to share it and leave it untouched for the next generation. If I can encourage you to be a champion for the planet, to photograph responsibly leaving no trace, only adding a great image that will highlight your work and our amazing environment.
Fragile is also how I see the challenge of capturing a special image, the challenge of capturing the right location at the right time with the right light and in the right season. It requires so many elements to come together to create a truly special moment and image, that I can only describe these few moneys in a year as both fragile and precious. Great planning helps, it put me in the right place in the right season, but it has little impact on great light, this key ingredient has little to do with my ability or planning, I can only add my patience and some good luck.
I love what I do and the special moments that make up another year, I hope and pray that 2015 is a special year for you. That you get to experience more of our planets fragile beauty and just maybe capture a few very special moments for the rest of us to enjoy.
It has been a real privilege working with the team at Australian Geographic to produce their flagship calendar for 2014.
They have been such fun to work with and are an extremely professional team. It was great to arriving home from a 6 week shot to see the finished product on my desk. The calendar is a collection of landscape images from every state in Australia and also includes an image from Macquarie Island in the Australian Sub Antarctic. A couple of my personal favourite images made the cut and are part of the calendar.
The full description is available online at Australian Geographic's web site http://shop.australiangeographic.com.au/AG-Panoramas-Calendar-2014-P3636.aspx
If I have learnt one thing it is to do what you are good at and do it with passion. My life as a professional photographer is my passion. I spend my days looking for light and chasing colours. I see landscapes transformed into spectacular scenes by the changing light of a sunset or an approaching storm.
This doesn't mean that I get to spend every day out in the wilderness photographing, but I get to look forward to those days when I can be immersed in nature. My energy is recharged and the cares of the world seem to get left behind. I know this is a privilege that not every one has. It was an easy decision to follow my passion. I love what I do and every day is exciting.I get to share the amazing beauty of creation and, hopefully along the way, inspire others to follow their passion. Life is not a dress rehearsal.
I get to travel all over the world but, it is not about the location as much as it is about following my passion. Even if you start out one weekend a month doing what you love, you never know where it might lead you. It may just take you on a wonderful journey you never felt was possible or deserved. I never imagined I would end up working on major book projects, traveling to places like Antarctica or having my images sell all over the world. Something that started out as just a dream can become a reality. I wonder what would happen if you allow yourself to dream just a little.
I spend my life chasing colours and I love it.