I had the exciting task of collecting a set of over 10,000 colour transparency slides a few weeks ago from the widow of the late photographer Steve Day. It was fortunate that we had identified Steve’s work as being a fine example and well worthy of a place in the Creative Wiltshire project as his widow Sue wished to find a new home for his ‘Wiltshire’ collection. The Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre was just the place and we are more than happy to receive this wonderful collection of images which we aim to catalogue and digitise.
Steve was a great ambassador for the county’s wildlife and his work is inspiring, capturing the very essence of Wiltshire’s wild places. Moving to Wiltshire in 1989 helped Steve rediscover a childhood passion for nature and wildlife. He and his wife became volunteer wardens at the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s Blackmoor Copse nature reserve, beginning a relationship with the Trust that led them to explore and reveal some of the loveliest corners of Wiltshire.
“Steve’s photos of Trust nature reserves are an asset beyond price. The Trust can use these stunning images of Wiltshire to convince people that the natural world can enrich and enhance their lives, as it so potently did for Steve.” Dr Sue Walker
A number of photographic books of the county were published by Steve and he was commissioned to work on many travel guides, by the Automobile Association, the Ordnance Survey and National Geographic alongside his freelance work for the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, Salisbury Cathedral, English Nature, the Environment Agency and the National Trust. He wrote monthly articles for Wiltshire Life magazine, and he and Sue also devised and did monthly walks which were hugely popular with Wiltshire Life readers, all illustrated with Steve’s wonderful images from all around the county. He also wrote regular articles for Outdoor Photography magazine and was Highly Commended in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2000 awards.
Sue, Steve’s wife, has noted that he was a truly talented professional travel, landscape and nature photographer, who always strived for perfection. His photographic signature is undoubtedly “light” and fabulous skies, and his photos are often instantly attributable to him for their breathtaking portrayal of light at dawn and dusk. Sadly his career as a freelance photographer had lasted just over ten years when he died in 2003, aged 54. He has left a large and wonderful legacy of memorable images of Wiltshire.