Henry Gilbey
Cape Cod - 1010.jpg


Henry Gilbey blog

It's the photography that drives me.........

Please don't misunderstand me here, because I am proud of a lot of the TV work I have been lucky enough to be involved with. OK, so it's always been small scale, low budget stuff that has gone out on the more specialist, satellite based channels, but I do love the actual making of the programmes. The pressure, the team work, the putting it together, that's the stuff that does it for me. But the thing is, I have not presented any TV programmes for a few years now - yet this constant repeating of them by Discovery I think can give some people a false idea of what I do with my life. I suppose an angler who sees one of my programmes for the first time thinks Henry is this bloke who does nothing but make fishing TV (but then I don't actually think there are any new viewers left with the amount that fishing shows are repeated). But how far removed from the truth this actually is...........

People have always been very kind when they come up to me to talk about fishing and the programmes, but anybody who really knows me knows how embarrassed I can get at this kind of stuff. I never went into any of this (very minor) TV work to get recognised, indeed I fell into it all by mistake, but most of the time when anglers come up to talk to me they then ask when I might be making more shows - and then often express surprise when I say that actually my main work in fishing is as a photographer and writer, or photojournalist for short. And that I have no idea if I will ever work in the television side of things again. It's out of my control, but it has always been the photography that really drives me in my working life.


And I get a serious kick out of getting a front cover with a magazine that I respect as much as Chasing Silver - it's an English language publication that comes out of Finland, and this magazine is I believe now one of the best there is. Honestly, it's outstanding, and the fact that they take some of my work makes me proud big time. Getting a photo of mine on the cover just about makes my month, and there is a big feature of mine in there on fly fishing for tigerfish out in Tanzania. I took this cover photo out in Mongolia when I was on a photo trip after the legendary taimen, and it is one of the most special locations I have ever been to in my life. As a fishing photographer I think I was shaking with excitement nearly the whole time we were rafting down the Delger-Muron river. It's my job, but nothing gives me such a kick in my working life as nailing photos that I am proud to have published.


It's been a good few weeks for me and front covers - I got Sea Angler the other day (see here), and the other day I received this Swiss fly fishing magazine in the post with my shot on the cover. Please believe me that one is hardly about to retire on the proceeds from fishing magazine front covers, so the thrill is nothing to do with money. I have never had any training at talking in front of a camera on those TV shows, and I have never had a second's training in photography. So what's the point to this ? Well I guess it's the fact that I kind of feel like I get to beat the system in a funny kind of way, and that if I can do this stuff then it proves there is plenty of room in fishing for other people to come into it, find their own niche, and perhaps shake it up a bit at the same time. I have always got plenty of time for those people who seek to do something different. Stuff me in front of a camera, ask me to talk about fishing and I really like doing what I can to put my love for fishing across, but personally I believe I am at my best when I'm behind the (stills) camera shooting photographs. I do not know what the future will bring, but working in fishing is never remotely what it seems............