Stephen has been an enthusiastic naturalist ever since he can remember, but his interest in photography did not develop until his early twenties. Then, after studying the art and science of photography for three years in London he merged his two passions to embark on a career of nature photography.
In 1970, having spent some years exploring conventional nature photography, Stephen set out to do something totally new - to photograph insects on the wing. Until then there was no technique capable to stopping an insect with absolute clarity in free flight, and it was the solution of this problem that became his overriding obsession. Two years of experimentation resulted in perfecting techniques and specialized equipment for achieving his ambition, allowing him to photograph animal movements that are too rapid to be seen by the human eye and never or rarely seen before. Since that breakthrough Stephen has worked not only with insects but also with other wildlife including birds, bats, frogs and even snakes.
Over the years Stephen has been awarded numerous distinctions including the the Royal Photographic Society’s Silver Progress Medal.
As well as writing and illustrating fifteen of his own books (see books) he has also held nine one-man exhibitions at venues in the UK including The Barbican, Photographer's Gallery and the Royal Photographic Society. In 2007 a small number of his pictures was selected for Tate Britain in London
As part of records conveying something of the science and culture of mankind to possible extra-terrestrial beings, one of Stephen's photographs of a flying insect is on board NASA's Voyagers 1 and 2 spacecraft. The image is expected to last one billion years or more, long after life on earth has expired!