About David Plummer: Wildlife
Photographer & Film-Maker
David is a wildlife photographer: that means he only takes pictures of wild animals in their natural habitat. His extensive knowledge of the animals and birds and their environment is the first essential ingredient behind his breath-taking images. The second vital element is research: David studies relentlessly to get under the skin of a new subject before heading into the field. The third is endless patience: David regularly waits for hours in a floating hide covered in leeches to get the perfect shot.
“Taking the perfect image is a great quest. The buzz that I get when I achieve it is the culmination of a lot of hard work and problem solving to get inside the fear circle of that animal: there is nothing serendipitous about the perfect wildlife photo. And everything in the image is important to me: the animal, the perch, the background, the lighting. But it’s never over: we can always get different shots, different behaviours.”
David is passionate about the wildlife on our doorstep. Since early 2015 David has been a resident photographer on the Knepp re-Wilding project in West Sussex. Here, on the largest lowland re-Wilding project in Europe David runs photographic and wildlife safaris and manages hides where photographers can take stunning close up images of owls, kingfishers and birds of prey.
David also owns 11 acres of ancient woodland at Scrag Copse in Sussex, which he manages to create the best possible opportunities for great shots on his wildlife photography courses. He also runs badger watching events for small groups and 1-2-1 badger photography courses.
David’s images can be viewed on all major professional stock agencies and are featured in leading wildlife publications.
From listening to the birds I know what they are doing and what is heading our way. People think it’s almost magic when I say ‘there’s a sparrowhawk coming’ and a few seconds later one appears – but you just have to know what to listen for.
Wildlife film guide
David’s wildlife knowledge and skills are so highly respected they are regularly sought by the world’s leading wildlife film and documentary makers.
David loves to share his skill with others. Covering everything from beginners to advanced techniques, from framing to post-production, David helps his students create images that connect with the viewer.
When I teach photography, I am not teaching people to be amateurs and get documentary shots. I want them to take photographs in such a way that they make the viewer see or experience something. I want them to make a connection with the viewer, to transport them.
International wildlife photography guide
A seasoned traveller, David is an expert international wildlife photography guide, teaching small groups of three to eight people in both English and Portuguese. He conducts bespoke tours in specific locations or to film target species, with particular expertise in: the Pantanal region of Brazil, the Maasai Mara, and Hungary.
“My tours are completely bespoke, inclusive packages. We don’t stay in 5-star accommodation, but we spare no expense in terms of getting the best wildlife experience. We work with only the very best guides and we don’t operate a ‘shoot and move on’ policy: we spend time with the animals to really get under their skin and get the best shots possible.”
David is a rare beast; an old-school naturalist with a way with animals, and people. If it lives and breathes anywhere near his local patch, he probably knows where it is and the best way to get you in front of it.Chris Howard
To photograph a great spotted woodpecker from a few metres was an incredible experience and one I’d happily recommend to anyone.Will Cheung
Editor, Photography Monthly
David's sessions have really helped me with my photography skills. There is something truly magical about sitting with your camera, and David, photographing kingfishers in their natural habitat, and getting a shot of wildlife that you wouldn't normally get. I would highly recommend and look forward to more sessions.Lizzie Sparkes
David is an inspiration and has an obvious passion for his work. he really does seem to revel in sharing his love of badgers with others and provided us with a fascinating introduction to watching them in the wild. I have recommended this experience to friends and colleaguesColin Ansell
A passionate believer in protecting functioning eco systems, David advises internationally on eco-tourism and how it can be used to protect habitats and species. He is also actively involved in conservation in the UK and is currently pioneering a new wildlife corridor project in West Sussex.
Here in the UK we have decimated our wildlife populations, and habitats are being squeezed around the globe from climate change, population pressure, and intensive agriculture. It is vital that all ‘progress’ and ‘business’ should be within functioning eco-systems.
The second largest industry in the UK is leisure and tourism. As such, wildlife has, as well as an emotional and scientific value, an economic value which should be realised. If we start to consider wildlife as an ‘asset’, it will be better valued and protected.”
After several years of experiencing unexplained tremors in his left arm David was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2009, aged 40 years old. Parkinson’s has no cure and every day David experiences insomnia, fatigue, joint stiffness and involuntary movements. For a highly active man who spends his life outdoors and relies upon his physical strength and fitness, the diagnosis was potentially devastating.
However David is not a man who believes in wasting time on negativity. He has chosen to continue living life to the full and uses his diagnosis to raise awareness of Parkinson’s disease and to mentor and inspire others living with Parkinson’s and other challenging health conditions. David acts as an ambassador for several Parkinson’s charities and works proactively with organisations seeking a cure.
International public speaker
He is also an experienced and powerful public speaker, delivering expert speeches on wildlife and photography, as well as inspirational key-note speeches on resilience, problem solving and positivity for large private corporations, universities and charities.
David’s unflinching honesty, dry self-deprecating humour and unstoppable positivity drive audiences to laughter and tears in equal measure. Audiences leave full of inspiration and new wisdom with which to tackle their own personal and professional challenges.
David has been a regular contributor to leading publications for many years.
In September 2017 David’s book ‘7 Years of Camera Shake’ was published by Penguin / Random House. It is a beautiful hardback book full of stunning wildlife photographs taken by David in the 7 years following his diagnosis with Parkinson’s disease.
David’s motivation for ‘7 years of Camera Shake’ was a desire to not only showcase his wildlife images but to motivate other people with Parkinson’s to realise that Parkinson’s doesn’t have to be the end, that life can still be lived to the full and incredible things achieved.
‘7 years of Camera Shake’ entered the Amazon new release charts at No1. 50% of David’s profits from the book are donated to Parkinsons UK charity.
David is currently working on his second book.