What does volunteering at The Jane Goodall Institute South Africa involve?
"I see lots of children who are mesmerised by animals but don't fully understand the severity of species decline. They learn that littering is bad, but they don't understand that a piece of plastic will probably end up in the stomach of a fish. When I was teaching at Roots & Shoots [a Jane Goodall education programme], I wanted to give the children a skill, so taught them photography using point and shoot cameras. Learning becomes more fun that way. Change starts with one child saying, 'I remember you and what you taught me'."
Do you look up to any photographers or is there anyone who inspires you?
"All of the International League of Conservation Photographers – Peter Chadwick, Brent Stirton, Chris Fallows, Sylvia Earle to name a few – that whole group inspires me. They're making a difference. My other inspirations include Sir David Attenborough and Dame Jane Goodall, especially Jane – meeting her was one of the highlights in my life."
There's a little elephant statue among your cameras and lenses (pictured below). Is it of any significance?
"I collect a lot of weird stuff, but I bought this at the airport where I met a nun in her eighties on the way back from Zimbabwe. We had a two- to three-hour wait and started talking. She was so inspiring and the elephant reminds me of her. I like collecting things that remind me of certain people or places."
Is there an animal you really want to photograph but haven't had the chance to yet?
"Snow monkeys in Japan, definitely. Snow leopards as well. I would also love to have the luxury to take a month off to photograph whales, and also go back to Antarctica for the glaciers. Last time I was there, I came back with hundreds of thousands of photos of penguins. The silence is amazing – you can actually see the silence. And – my goodness – the shades of blue are mesmerising. I would love to go back."
What's next on your photographic journey?
"I was contemplating getting into underwater photography but unfortunately I have nasal issues. Can you imagine capturing a sardine run underwater, though? It's a whole other universe down there. I would also love to do a series on what happens at recycling sites. Birds are attracted to these dumps, which is a hazard because they're picking up plastic all the time. So, I would love to do a story on that process. I have so many ideas: too many stories, not enough time."