One piece of photography advice that I always carry with me comes from a man whose work is a regular feature in LIFE magazine, National Geographic and countless other publications, the legendary Joe McNally. When someone once asked him 'How do I take more interesting photos', his reply was simply 'Stand in front of more interesting things'. Fair point.
All too often we believe that an expensive new lens, some magical filter or a tweak in photoshop will make everything better, when, actually, just taking our cameras somewhere they've never been before is all that was needed. To this end, I have been taking my cameras up trees.
I've always been obsessed by trees and how to get as high up them as possible. After I had mastered balancing on solid ground, I was straight up into the trees where I would often spend whole days investigating the mosses and lichens, and the countless beetles that lived within. My parents quickly learned that if they couldn't find me at eye-level, a quick scan of the canopy would usually reveal a grinning little boy covered in scratches, rabbiting on about how a robin came really close and why did he have to come down, couldn't lunch be brought to him.
I'm not sure why it took me so long to discover how much fun could be had with rope and carabiners, but for the last couple of years I have been building my skills and collection of toys to get my camera into some amazing places. So far I've been lucky enough to climb above the forest canopy in an enormous fig tree, photograph monkeys at their level and even sleep under a thin veil of leaves, wrapped in a hammock with nothing but clear air for almost 60 metres below me. I have a few plans for my arboreal shoots - watch this space for more soon...