It was a classroom encounter with a Nuthatch at the age of 8 that sparked David’s interest in birds and wildlife generally. By fourteen he had picked up a camera for the first time and soon had the photography bug. But this vied for attention with a passion for fishing then latterly bird ringing that he later gave up to concentrate on photography. His earliest published picture was in the mid 1980′s in the Kent Bird Report followed soon after by publication in British Birds Magazine, both in black and white. Today David is one of the most widely published wildlife photographers in the world. His pictures have been used on hundreds of book and magazine covers, regularly on TV and in just about every other conceivable way from wine labels to being projected in New York’s Time Square.
David has enjoyed a long and close association with book publishing having been the author or commissioned photographer for more than 40 titles, working with Harper Collins, New Holland Publishers, Random House, Duncan Baird, Penguin, Dorling Kindersley and Mitchell Beazley to name a few. He has collaborated with some of the UK’s leading nature writers including Jonathan Elphick and Mark Cocker. It is with Mark that Birds & People the world’s largest survey of cultural attitudes to birds worldwide was published in the summer of 2013. This six year project has met with critical acclaim being voted the critic Craig Brown’s book of the Year in the Mail on Sunday. While John Burnside in the New Statesman described Birds & People as the book of the decade with “equisite photography”
TV appearances have included the BBC’s Springwatch, and The One Show with further recent appearances on Anglia TV featuring photographic subjects within Norfolk. Along with co presenter Chris Gomersall he once again appeared in front of the camera for the Wildlife Photography Masterclass DVD. More recently David filmed the avian sequences for the widely acclaimed documentary Emptying the Skies a film following activists in the Mediterranean attempting to stop the illegal trapping of song birds. Since then he has made Living Coast a Heritage Lottery funded film for the Norfolk Wildlife Trust on a year at Cley & Salthouse Marshes in North Norfolk.
Shortly after an epic expedition camping on sea ice next to an Emperor Penguin colony in Antarctica, Marie Claire Magazine named David one of the ten most adventurous outdoor photographers in the world. This same work on Emperor Penguins resulted in the European Nature Photographer of the Year Documentary Award. Other awards have included multiple successes in the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year and Nature’s Best where in 2009 David was awarded the Indigenous Cultures Award for his work on Mongolian Eagle Hunters.
David is a regular judge for photography competitions, notably British Birds Bird Photographer of the Year and the Bird Photographer of the Year launched in 2016.. He is photographic consultant for British Birds Magazine and writes regularly for Amateur Photographer.
When not traveling, taking pictures or writing books David relaxes by managing his 4 acre wood close to Holt in North Norfolk, cooking curries, watching sport and spending time with his family.