Born in Sarawak, Borneo in 1933, then under the rule of the “White Rajas” where both his grandfather and father were serving in the Sarawak Rangers, Hugh spent most of his early life in the far east. He came to England after India’s partition and spent his school days at boarding school in Canterbury; his father by then being in the Royal Navy.
His school days in Canterbury were idyllic and there the foundations of a love for the British countryside were laid. One of his first ventures in photography in 1947 showed only limited promise - six Tree Creeper eggs in a table spoon using a Brownie Box camera. The eggs were safely returned to the nest but the least said about the photograph the better. Rescue came in the form of Eric Hosking who lectured at school and from his influence there followed a visit to Brunnings of Holborn where a Sanderson ¼ plate was acquired complete with Luc shutter and Zeiss lens. Then followed magical forays of discovery into the Kent countryside but subjects had to be carefully considered as three double dark slides allowed for only six exposures.
Then it was possible to find Red-backed Shrikes nests in the hedgerows and at Reculver there were substantial colonies of Little Tern - the changes to both habitat and species in the span of sixty years is alarming. His Army days in Italy, Egypt, Germany and Northern Ireland were an interesting contrast to Kent and provided spasmodic opportunities for the proud ownership of an Exakta Varex 11B and 135mm Tele-Xenar. Later it was Stephen Dalton whose masterful photography and command of lighting gave him a fresh sense of direction.
Hugh’s photography is almost exclusively devoted to British wildlife although he does make visits to the far and middle east and the Caribbean to photograph under water. His earlier involvement was with the Army in Italy and Egypt using close-circuit oxygen equipment which pre-dated Scuba, but regrettably his off-duty recreation then was not photography but spear fishing. He returned to diving in 1993 using housed Nikon film cameras; later progressing to digital.
His equipment is Nikon; their support and quality is greatly appreciated and vital to his day to day confrontation with camera technology. Not entirely an absolute convert to digital photography, he misses the simplicity that film used to provide and is frequently bewildered by the present number of careless wildlife photographers and their ways. He has, much to his amazement and good fortune, acquired a RPS Fellowship and a Silver Medal in the Society’s 1989 International Exhibition.