Inspired by watching Steve Irwin and crocodiles as a child, followed by Spring Watch on BBC TV, Benn McIntyre goes out and buys a camera.
Then he learns about what to do and how to do it by photography forums. Then he publishes the results on Facebook.
This is a modern day love story: a love of photography and nature.
Photography enthusiasts are invited to Horsham District Council’s Horsham Museum and Art Gallery, which features 16 of Benn’s photographs.
The exhibition is called British Wildlife and opens on Monday, November 2.
It features photographs taken by Southwater resident Benn over the past 18 months. Remarkably, most have been taken locally in the Horsham area, revealing just how rich the wildlife is in the district.
Not only do the photographs showcase the British wildlife on the doorsteps but they also capture the character and inquisitiveness of the animals, raising the question of who is looking at whom.
One photograph of a badger reveals a strong and powerful creature whose black and white fur is contrasted by the soft green tints of grass. Another picture shows a heron whose reflection in the still waters masks the drama that is about to happen as it hunts for fish.
This exhibition is the first public display of Benn’s images, seen only previously on the internet.
Benn said: “At the age of 23 I am holding my first exhibition.
“I am over the moon to be able to show people my photos in print form as many people still don’t have access to the internet. I think its great that everybody has an opportunity to be inspired by the wonderful wildlife on the British Isle.
“I would like to photograph every species of mammal and bird in the UK.”
In that aim he is reflecting the desire of a former resident of Horsham, John G Millais, who not only drew but hunted the animals and birds, gaining worldwide fame 100 years ago.
Benn’s love affair doesn’t kill the animals, but celebrates them in photography.
Visit British Wildlife at Horsham Museum and celebrate the passion with him and read a modern day story of how that enthusiasm was inspired and developed.
The show runs until December 24. Admission is free.
Horsham Museum is open from Monday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm.
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