A great love of the landscape

I live on the banks of the Okuru River on the rugged West Coast of the South Island, New Zealand, where I own and operate Collyer House, a bed and breakfast establishment.

I am a fourth generation descendant of Andrew and Mary Nolan who arrived in Jackson Bay with the first settlers in 1874. I was brought up at Okuru, just south of Haast in South Westland, spending every spare minute on horseback either helping my father with cattle mustering or exploring the wonderful remote place we called home.

I grew up with a great love of the landscape and, recognizing this, my father bought me my first camera when I was ten years old. It didn't take me long to realise I couldn't photograph the mountains with an Instamatic camera and I became content to take snapshots of my horses, Flicka and Soroya, my dog Spinny and Timmy the cat. I left for boarding school at thirteen years old and set off for my first overseas travel when I was twenty. It would be another twenty eight years before I returned to live in South Westland.

Forty years after I first looked through a camera, an SLR with a wide angle lens was put in my hands and I don't think the excitement has left me. To be able to photograph the beauty around me was like finding something I had been looking for all my life.

I have had no formal training and I have learnt my skill through taking lots of photographs, asking for advice and learning from my mistakes.   I will be forever grateful to friends and colleagues for sharing their knowledge and giving me encouragement.

My photographs reflect the way I see the world.