If it wasn't for travelling, I highly doubt whether I'd be a photographer today. It was whilst journeying through New Zealand ten years ago when the photography bug well and truly hit, at a time when I thought I would spend my days becoming a travel writer. I even remember the moment it hit me - with a 5MP Olympus point and shoot, I took a picture of Lake Wanaka's rocky mountain range at sunset - in the foreground of the picture was a tree sticking out from the Lake, giving the image this slightly ethereal look. I contrasted it with an image I took a few hours earlier of the same mountain range, but somehow the dramatic sunset and the inclusion of the tree made the image so much stronger than before. For someone with a passing interest in photography it was a real 'moment' for me, as I realised the power of light combined with composition.
It was a few years later before I set off again, this time to South America and equipped with a powered up DSLR (the Nikon D300) with a nifty 50mm and super-wide angle Sigma 10-20mm. That 3-month journey was certainly the turning point - I returned from there with two award-winning pictures (one of which is shown below of a girl in a suitcase) and a renewed sense of confidence in my photography. There was also absolutely no question in my mind of what I wanted to do with my life, and that was to travel the world whilst taking pictures of the people I met along the way. It then occurred to me that having a camera in my hand gave me a purpose and the tool to explore that - it's given me amazing access to places I never would have imagined going to and allowed me to capture people I almost certainly would never have had the chance of meeting before.