Paul Harcourt Davies

Paul Harcourt Davies is an outdoor photographer, author and passionate naturalist who has long been dubbed the ‘macromaestro’ both for the painstaking and the artistic qualities of his close-up and macro work and for the way he always seeks to demystify techniques and make them accessible to all.

Originally hailing from the mining valleys of South Wales, Paul gained an MA in natural sciences (physics) at Oxford University, then an MSc in Biomathematics in London, undertook PhD research and realised he was on the wrong path.

The call of Nature was too strong to ignore and so he cast caution to the winds and became a full-time freelance writer and photographer in 1986. He lived and taught in Cyprus from 1978-81 and has been based in Italy since 2003 where he (and partner Lois Ferguson) have renovated an old farm - its wild garden is his ‘laboratory’ and the house is the base from which they run tours, workshops and life in general.

To date, Paul has authored nineteen books (that have appeared worldwide in 49 different editions) including Digital Photography Q&A, The Complete Guide to Close-up & Macro photography, Nature Photography Close-up, and Photographing Plants & Flowers. His first book was Wild Orchids of Britain & Europe (1983) and the latest is Digital Close-up Photography Q&A (November 2011). The first of a series of eBooks with Clay Bolt appeared in 2012 - Wideangle Macro | The Essential Guide. Paul also presented several TV programmes for the BBC2 series "Tracks".

Among numerous awards is the International Garden Photographer of the Year (IGPOTY) 2013, Portfolio and RPS Gold medal. Paul has spoken on three occasions at WildPhotos (2008, 2012 and 2014), supplied the entry for plant photography in the latest Focal Encyclopaedia of Photography…his images have appeared on a set of wild orchid postage stamps for the island of Cyprus (1981) and in hundreds of published articles and numerous books by other authors.

Paul was one of the panel of jurors for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year (2015) awards, for the Asferico 2016 competition and LIPU awards 2015

Before moving to Italy, Paul was Chairman of Butterfly Conservation, S Wales and is a life vice-president of the Hardy Orchid Society. A recognised authority on Mediterranean flora (orchids and bulbous plants in particular) and fauna, he is passionately committed to conservation, to education and to honesty in nature photography - on all of which he maintains a resolute and outspoken stance!

When not behind the camera, Paul is deeply involved with local conservation projects dealing with everything that grows, flies, or crawls. He is also, by both inclination and love, a carpenter (making bespoke furniture professionally), impassioned cook (vegetarian)and a musician (who builds his own guitars)… though not all simultaneously.


© Paul Harcourt Davies 2014