Paul Hobson – wildlife photographer

Paul%20Hobson%20sm%20_0005Great photographers always have a good eye for design and they certainly know what looks good in print.

Wildlife photographer Paul Hobson is no exception and to prove it he has tested his skills to the limit by designing and publishing his own book.

Wild Derbyshire celebrates the beauty and diversity of the wildlife in the county and is packed with gorgeous pictures like those on these pages and with plenty of prose about the guardians of our countryside.

“I had always wanted to do a book which was ultimately showcasing my work and which would reach a new audience,” explained Paul.

“I spent a lot of time researching designs but I knew I wanted something simple and elegant. It needed to be subtle and not garish and I think I have achieved that.

“I made the decision to put quite a bit of text in it because I wanted readers to learn something about the county when they picked it up.

“The countryside custodians I have interviewed are all quite different but they all love their wildlife.”

Paul has interviewed among others a forester, a gamekeeper, an upland hill-farmer and an artist.

“The feedback I am getting is that people picking up the book love the interviews with these people because they add a  personal perspective that compliments the images really well. It is definitely a book you can keep coming back to – you don’t have to wade through it all in one go,” he said.

The 54-year-old photographer hasn’t always been able to spend all his time devoted to his art. For 25 years or more he was lecturing environmental science.

His last job was at the Sheffield College but four years ago he decided to pack it all in and give up the security of a pension and make his passion for photography pay its way.

“I had been thinking about it for years and I wasn’t really happy in my work. I would be wistfully looking out of the window and the students would say I bet you would rather be out there with your wildlife that sitting in here. They were right of course – they could tell I wanted to be somewhere else.

“I was nervous I had made a mistake as the recession was about to start and my friends were all telling me I was mad. But if I had left it another five years I wouldn’t have done it and I can say now that it was the best decision I have ever made in my life. I have never looked back.”

Paul and his partner Judy are big travellers and they have been all over the world giving him plenty of scope to capture a huge variety of species with his lens.

But despite all the exotic wildlife he has seen, it is the Peak District countryside that remains his favourite.

“It is on my doorstep and it never fails to provide me with great subjects. I am probably not out in the field as much as I thought I might be as processing and marketing take up a lot of time but when I do get out there I just love it. There is no other job which can compare to it.”

You can buy copies of his book at and see his full gallery of wonderful pictures at http://www.paulhobson.co.uk