“Sharing with others – by photographs and writing and teaching – some of the beauty, wonder and excitement of the natural world is what I like doing best.
On a good day, surrounded by whales or dolphins or sea lions or seabirds - or just the sea and sky - it’s the best job in the world! Then the wind and swell come up... and up – and it’s not quite so good.
Still, even then I keep photographing - the cover photo on the first edition of the book “The Perfect Storm” was mine”.
Kim has won five First Prizes in the world’s largest wildlife photography competition, the BBC/Natural History Museum “Wildlife Photographer of the Year” competition. This prestigious competition is [the “Olympics” or “Oscars” of nature photography The 2013 competition attracted 43,000 images from 96 countries.
Kim is the photographer and co-author of “The Seas Around New Zealand”, a comprehensive account of New Zealand’s seas and sea life; and the writer/photographer of 17 other books, mostly for children. One of these, “Albatross Adventure”, won the 1993 “Young People’s Non-fiction Award” from the New Zealand Library and Information Association. Another, “Emperors of the Ice”, was a finalist in the 1998 New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards.
Photographic assignments have included work for the BBC, TVNZ, New Zealand Herald, New Zealand Geographic magazine, and the Department of Conservation. A major assignment was taking 25,000 photos in Antarctica for the $7 million Visitor Centre at Christchurch’s International Antarctic Centre.
He has been “cuddled” by a humpback whale, got caught in a diving sperm whale’s downdraft, dived under the Antarctic ice and photographed at minus 50 degrees Celsius in Antarctica. He loved all of it [or so he says, with a smile]!
He makes it sound as if he spends most of his time in faraway places but, like many professional outdoor photographers, he spends far more time at home than in the field. Home since 1985 has been Tauranga, on the shores of the Bay of Plenty in New Zealand, where he lives with his wife Vivienne, son Gareth, and daughter Anne.
For the last 13 years he has been sharing his techniques, insights and secrets with a steady stream of keen photographers and photo artists through the various Photo Workshops and Photo Field Trips he runs. A part of him always wanted to be a teacher, so he finds these times rewarding – and fun.