As a photographer, writer and conservationist, I have an enduring preoccupation with people at large and genuinely believe that photography enables us to tell stories, share experiences and document our lives in sensitive and meaningful ways which can do so much to improve our understanding of each other.
Whether it be on assignment or just out of my own sense of curiosity, one of the things I enjoy most about travelling to some of our more remote and isolated places is the chance to capture the essence of ordinary people, at home or in their places of work, where they can be completely at ease in front of the camera.
This is something I have often had the privilege to experience in recent years, particularly when working in parts of Africa and Asia, where the living and working conditions still being endured by some of the poorer local communities can provide the setting for so many graphic and memorable pictures.
When photographing animals and birds in the wild, my objectives are probably
no different to any other photographer and that is simply to get close enough, for long enough, to observe and record something interesting or insightful about their appearance or behaviour, but without becoming their latest meal.
I have tried to live my life with purpose and seek adventure wherever I can find it, whether that be in the quiet solitude of nature or amongst the bustling chaos of a sprawling urban conurbation, but my aim is always to create dispassionate and uncluttered images of my subjects with as much clarity as the situation will allow and some of these are now available in my first book, Faces of the World.
Patrick Michael Ashley
FREELANCE PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER