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John Ford   self.jpg

John Ford

As a biologist using a camera to record the natural world has become second nature to him. This activity requires the use of a broad range of camera equipment and optics (telephoto to photomicrographic) resulting, he suggests, in becoming a photographic ‘jack of all trades and master of none’.


As part of his output he always likes to have a significant project ‘on the go’. Currently this involves the Leadburn Community Woodland (twelve miles south of Edinburgh). Purchased with a community ‘by out’ from the Forestry Commission in 2007 it comprises 53 hectares and has been replanted with native tree and shrub species. Also, a start has been made to restore a raised bog, ponds have been created and some open areas have been retained.


He inherited an interest in photography from his father. When appointed to a lectureship in Biological Sciences at (what is now) Edinburgh Napier University he was delegated a project involving identifying and counting birds on the Firth of Forth. Photography came to the rescue, with the aid of a telephoto lens, and he became completely ‘hooked’ on bird photography. Later Glen Fender Meadows, an unimproved northern hay meadow situated at the southern end of the Cairngorms National Park in Perthshire, was discovered. This led him to broaden his outlook to encompass plants and all animals, not just birds - the metamorphosis to a natural history photographer was complete! The meadow became his first major project stretching over many years, culminating in the publication of a book about the flora and fauna of the area.

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