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Justin's Birds of Barnes

Part 4: Not your typical wildlife photographer

Are all these pictures taken in Barnes, at the London Wetland Centre?

Only Barnes. The weirdness of it appeals to me actually - everything’s there, and so that’s why it fascinates me.

Do you meet any other photographers while you’re working?

There are a lot of photographers at Barnes - all of them serious. I’ve got to confess I don’t know what they’re talking about half the time because they are very knowledgeable about the birds, which I’m certainly not, and they’re very knowledgeable about ‘f-stops’ and ‘depth of field’. But saying all that, and with a few exceptions, I don’t always think much of their photographs. I mean they can talk technically, but at the end of the day the camera is just something that sits between the bird and me.

How do you think more conventional wildlife photographers will receive your work? Have any of them seen it yet?

I don’t know. I have a feeling there’ll be animosity, but then I’m used to that. When I started doing fashion photography, there was animosity with the London photographers; in fact at one stage Twiggs and myself were banned - we were boycotted and it was the front page of the Daily Mirror, "Justin and Twiggy Banned" (whatever that meant). I always loved a ‘ban’ and thought it was fabulous because if you can get anything banned you are on to a winner! So I’m rather hoping the wildlife photographers might ban me.

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