John Tinning (Honorary Secretary, joined 2006). Member 240
Contact Details: John Tinning
My father was a photo-lithographer by profession and an occasional Solway wildfowler by inclination, so I suspect my lifelong obsession with wildlife was inevitable. For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by birds and the natural world in general. Although my family moved south to Leicestershire in the early 1960’s and I have lived here for all of my adult life, I am very proud to consider myself a Cumbrian still. My interest in natural history photography deepened after I met Martin Withers on the football pitch and later accompanied him on many photographic jaunts into the East Midlands countryside in the late 1970’s. We collaborated on many projects both at home and abroad during the course of a friendship that lasted over forty years and was ended only by his sad and premature death in June, 2013. Our friendship inevitably brought me close to the ZPC and I secretly harboured an ambition to join as a member in my own right. I realised this ambition in 2006, when I surprised Martin by handing him an application and a selection of my work, just before he went in to a Council meeting at Brooksby. By the end of that morning, I had been accepted! My approach to natural history photography is quintessentially amateur: photography has to be fun, the welfare of the subject is paramount and commercial considerations are very much secondary. My greatest pleasure is to try and produce high quality prints for the folios, share my pictures with friends and to see my work published from time to time in books and journals.
Although a busy professional life as Headteacher of a large comprehensive school formerly restricted our opportunities to travel, since our retirement in 2004, Shelagh and I have travelled widely in Europe, Africa, North America, South America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. In 2013, we were introduced to the natural wonders of Spain by our close friends John and Anthea Hawkins and we have been fortunate to have spent many weeks in Extremadura with them, sharing their knowledge and expertise. I have become increasingly interested in entomology and macrophotography over the last few years and this is now a major facet of my work and a particular focus for me during summer holidays spent in southern France with our friends Raita and Jim Hayes. Butterflies, moths and dragonflies are favourite subjects, but I enjoy picture-making whatever the opportunity. My garden at home here in Queniborough also continues to provide me with many subject for my images. When ZPC Council asked me to become Secretary of the ZPC in August, 2011, I was greatly honoured. It has been my privilege to serve the club that has given me so much pleasure and motivation over the years.