Welcome to the Wildlife Photographer Website
Mick is a professional wildlife photographer living near Dumfries in South West Scotland. He has been taking pictures for over thirty years, at least ten of those on a professional basis. Being based in Scotland gives him access to some of Britain’s wildest landscapes – ideal for superb close encounters with our native wildlife.
Early daysHe trained as an English and Outdoor Education teacher in the late seventies and began taking photographs as part of his work in the outdoors. His first SLR camera was an Olympus OM1 chosen for two reasons – it was small and light which made it easy to carry in to the mountains and one of Britain’s best know bird photographers, Eric Hoskins used them. He progressed to an OM2 and stayed with Olympus until the early 1990’s. It was then that he made the change to autofocus and like many professional photographers chose to use Nikon cameras. He now shoots digitally and at the moment uses a Nikon D2x.
His wildlife photography really started as an extension to bird watching, quickly developing in to a passion and a profession. He still enjoys watching birds but more often than not this is done through a camera lens rather than binoculars.
In 1988 he and his wife spent 2 weeks on Mull walking and bird watching. During their time there they saw a couple of wild otters, and he even managed to get some not very good photos. The following year they planned to go to Shetland and just before they went the BBC screened Hugh Miles’ film ‘Track of the Wild Otter’. Mick sat spellbound watching it. He had filmed the otters on Shetland and when they went they spent some time at the location Hugh used. However it was near their B & B that they had the most wonderful experience of otters close up. Two otters in front of them for over an hour and again the next day. Mick was hooked. Otters have now become something of an obsession of his. Many hundreds of hours have been spent wandering along suitable coastlines, watching otters and often getting close enough to take photos. They have a very special place in Mick’s heart and are given their own gallery on this web site.
Photographing otters on Shetland
Digital photography has brought many benefits to Mick as a professional. He can experiment with subjects and techniques and see the results immediately. Any problems can be quickly corrected, techniques refined and improvements made and this has certainly meant that more and more of his images reach the high standards expected these days. Photographic techniques that inevitably give rise to high levels of failure are no longer costly in terms of wasted film - flight photography being a prime example – and with constantly improving autofocus systems this also means a better success rate.
The digital era
The digital revolution has brought with it the ability to produce exhibition quality prints at home. Mick use a MacPro computer and an Epson 2100 A3 printer for all his printing. He restricts digital manipulation to an absolute minimum – retouching of blemishes caused by dust in the camera, balancing colour and contrast to achieve natural looking images and the occasional removal of unsightly background elements. Mick never adds anything to his images that was not there when he took the photo.
A growing business
The change to digital photography impacted on Mick’s business in a major way. Mick originally sold most of his work through a small picture agency but the owner chose the switch over to digital imaging as the time to retire. It was time for Mick to reassess how his photography should move forward. In 2005 he bought his first digital camera and set up his own web site. This original site, ‘Kinharvie Photographics’ was very much a home grown affair showcasing his work to family and friends and existing customers.
At the same time he began to exhibit his work locally receiving acclaim for the quality and variety of his images. Sales and enquiries followed and Mick’s reputation grew. FLPA, one of Britain’s leading picture agencies now represent him commercially and they hold a growing portfolio of his work.
In the summer of 2008 he decided it was time to update his web site to allow prospective customers easy access to his work. From concept to reality, a new web site has been born. Mick is very excited about the direction that his work is taking. He is passionate about wildlife and hopes his photography goes some way to encourage others to feel the same.
He hopes you enjoy looking at his pictures as much as he has enjoyed taking them.