Those privileged to know Andy Luck will be very sorry to learn that this most excellent and kindly gentleman writer, photographer and film-maker has passed from this life. He was well-loved and is sorely missed. I consider myself very fortunate to have been his friend and website designer and this eulogy is written unbidden, and from my point of view so please forgive me for it’s limited scope. Here we focus on the photographer.
Andy’s passing was as peaceful as it was sudden and unexpected and we take comfort in that knowledge and in the certainty that he was where he wanted to be, with his beloved partner and dogs at his cottage in Cornwall at the time. We understand that he had just returned from a walk with his dogs when he felt poorly and took to his bed and there simply passed from this life. Everyone is stunned. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all his friends and loved ones, not least his daughter and son Amy and Dom, may God ease all their grief and leave only fond memories of a life very well lived and devoted to depicting the glories of God’s creation.
That is what Andy did amongst many other accomplishments, i.e. being a husband and father, and he did it so well. His nature and travel photographs are exemplary for technique and style and sympathetic to their subjects. Andy was a Conservation photographer and his images have been exhibited along with such greats as Franz Lanting’s in UNDP publications and in glossy magazines from the UK to the Americas and the Far East and have been enjoyed by millions on the ground and in the seats of airliners, they are even now working for the better world that he wanted, and will continue to do so because of their contextual relevance. He expressed his love of nature through his work and that shows in the work itself. He was enormously versatile and produced excellent hide photography, black and white and other art photography, macro work, birds in flight, underwater photography and even colour infra-red images.
As an environmental educator, Andy excelled at getting to the nub of important issues and boiling down complex messages for short, punchy public service anouncements, such as the UNDP PSA for forests that he scripted in the UK and filmed in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo with friend and colleague Jerry Short. It cleverly focuses on the sound of rainforest not falling, emphasizing the natural wealth value of a healthy environment in contrast with a clear-cut area. This was a totally new, imaginative and positive way of communicating on the subject, and it aired across Asia Pacific on TV and globally online. His messages were all about what we can do to conserve natural treasures, never depressive. He never over-cooked his images in post-production, he captured reality.
He produced his Wild Open Eye website with the same care and attention to detail as he did his other work for publication. We use Slideshow Pro Director to stream his excellent images to the front page and other galleries.
It is a rare delight to work with a man so well-versed in his craft yet so gentile, humble and pleasant. Always eager to share his knowledge and always on the look out for a great image, he would seem to take as much delight over capturing an image of a snail on a leaf in a London park as he would a desert elephant in the sandy wastes of Damaraland. He was a great people photographer too (See his photographs of Himba people), but it was his nature photography with which I was most familiar.
He loved to be busy and was quintessentially British, passionately fond of London, Scotland, Wales and Cumbria, fine landscapes and cityscapes, his dogs, and good food and drink. He enjoyed the good things in life and inspired their enjoyment in others.
I will always treasure fond memories of his visits to Cumbria on the way to and from Scotland, and our photographic excursions. He was always full of questions and so appreciative of the lovely landscape, wildlife and natural features that he inspired enthusiasm in others as naturally as it came to himself. Rich photo opportunities abounded when I was with him. Life with him was intense, we had much to do in the short time available to us and a lot of it was quite complex. ‘Boyish’ excitement and perseverance saw us through.
As a technical writer he has written and photographed a great many articles reviewing cameras, lenses and post-processing software. See his reviews and articles in Outdoor Photography and Black and White Photographer magazines, some are show-cased here.
As a mentor and friend I have loved him, and been greatly helped by him. Parts of the Lake District and Fells and Dales will be forever linked with him in my thoughts. His kind voice will remain with me as I continue to photograph. There will be other eulogies for this great man and his work will live on and continue to inspire large numbers of people across the world. God bless him and keep him.