Photographer Nick Lukey is not shy of taking a few risks in life, so it is probably no surprise that he has an enviable collection of award-winning images.
Once I tell you that he was a paratrooper and that he’s “a typical Aries”, which a Google search describes as spontaneous, daring, active, courageous and energetic, you will probably get the idea.
“I am impulsive that’s how I go about life. I don’t think about things too much before I do them. It is only afterwards that I consider what I have done,” he said.
He started taking photographs at the age of 19 and took his camera with him around the world while in the Parachute Regiment.
Even then he had a good eye for a picture and photographs he took on the Falkland Islands as he battled there during the war were published back home.
His army career with 2 Para was sadly cut short following an accident which meant he had to be medically discharged.
He was only 25 years old and when he recovered from his injury he says he was keen to become a war photographer but instead found himself working as a photo journalist in London for a short spell.
He then spent 15 years or so working in credit management for a mobile phone company before returning to his first passion and starting his own wedding and portrait photography business in Doncaster.
“At the end of the day it comes down to life. It grounds you. It is not until later when you become steady in your life that you turn your attention to something which really interests you instead of just trying to pay bills,” he explained.
It was meeting his partner Trudy that brought him to Derbyshire in 2013 and to The Big Picture Gallery in Ashbourne, where he now exhibits his beautiful landscape photographs.
“She really encouraged me to start the gallery and I don’t think I would have done it without her. She motivated me to make me take that step,” he said.
“When I first started working here it was a bit hit and miss as I didn’t have an empathy with the Peak District. I didn’t know all its secrets. But now it is revealing them to me and I have begun to understand more about its history.
“There is far more to taking these pictures than you may think and they take a lot of planning and a huge amount of work. And then you have to hope the weather is going to right.
“I was really pleased with the picture I took of the eclipse on Curbar Edge.
“On the drive over I was constantly checking the cloud cover and I was worried that I wouldn’t even get a glimpse.
“But just at the right moment the clouds parted and I got the image that encompasses everything I love about the Derbyshire landscape.
“It is a moment that I will never see again. How can I not love my job when I can experience moments like that?”
To see more of Nick’s unique work you can go to the gallery in Dig Street Ashbourne or check out http://www.thebigpicturegallery.com