I cover the Oceania region, encompassing Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. After 20 years based in Washington DC and Asia I am looking forward to rediscovering this very unique visual playground. I am responsible for breaking news, feature stories and sports.
I learnt to take pictures by watching my grandfather Ken Lee, who was a very accomplished photographer. Patience, composition, timing…
My first assignment for Reuters, as a 19 year old, was covering a rugby game in Sydney with the touring French national team. I remember the noise of the stadium full of fans, and how fast the game flashed before my eyes. I was very glad in hindsight to have been thrown in the deep end, with only the prospect of sinking or swimming. I learnt to swim pretty quickly.
On a personal level, the jobs that left the biggest mark on me were the conflict and disaster assignments during my years based in Bangkok. From the personal dangers of being shelled by the Taliban north of Kabul in August 1997, to the scale of the tragedy of the Gujarat earthquake in January 2001, those assignments show the extremes of what we can endure.
The prospect of a great picture happening just around the corner gets my adrenaline rushing. Keep the mind open and anticipate the next moment, which will come and go in just seconds. To find beauty in the ordinary is a noble challenge.
These days we must cater to our growing base of web clients, in addition to traditional newspapers and magazines, so that allows us to shoot in a wide variety of styles and create more in-depth work, which is very rewarding. Chance favours the prepared.
I respect the photographers who helped blaze a trail for all of us working as photojournalists today, from my colleagues within Reuters, to those who worked with plate film 100 years ago, who had to anticipate a moment with just one piece of sheet film. They carried hundreds of kilos of darkroom equipment and were one-man bands, with the skills of a darkroom technician and the persuasion of a foreign diplomat. They were true photojournalists.
News photographers need to keep up with the changing times and I believe Reuters is at the forefront of our industry, pushing the limits and showing the world just how amazing photography is. Pictures are a universal language and I love being a part of that.