Ian Silvester is a keen amateur photographer, particularly of steam trains and wildlife. He took up photography as a serious hobby in 1973 when he bought his first Nikon SLR camera. Since then, he has used Nikon equipment almost exclusively, buying a digital camera in 2005. His colour photography is mainly digital and occasionally for black and white images he uses a second-hand Rolleiflex camera.
Capturing the last workings of live steam trains has taken Ian all around the world, to countries and regions little visited by mainstream tourists. Now that steam has virtually ended as regular main line motive power, enthusiasts recreate the experience by organising steam-hauled private charter trains.
South Africa has been Ian’s favourite destination for photographing wildlife, but he has also been on safari in Zimbabwe, Namibia, Brazil and Tanzania, photographed tigers in Indian game parks, and visited the Australian rainforest. Other trips include Alaska and British Columbia, to photograph bears feasting on salmon,and Spitzbergen to see the polar bears. In 2012 he went to Ladakh in India in a successful search for Snow Leopard, followed by an unsuccessful visit to China in search of Giant Panda.
Ian’s camera goes with him to record the scene on many other travels, whether following the England cricket team home and away, cross-country skiing in Siberia at -20C, absorbing the atmosphere of Paris during a business trip, tramping through the heather on the Yorkshire moors, or relaxing with a glass of wine as the sun sets on the picturesque island of Mykonos.
To develop his skills, Ian has been a member of three local camera clubs; Northfield's (near Ealing), Maidenhead, and Amersham. He is an Associate of the Royal Photographic Society, and his slides have been included in RPS International Slide Exhibitions; he won first prize in the 2003 exhibition. In October 2009 he gained his DPAGB with 15 prints. He began submitting pictures to UK exhibitions in September 2008 and in 2012 gained his BPE 4 award for 200 acceptances. In April 2009 he began submitting pictures to International exhibitions where he has gained over 900 acceptances and a number of Honourable Mentions and Medals resulting in his award of Excellence of the Photographic Society of America in June 2013.