Andrew Peacock is a doctor, adventure photographer and explorer, whose breathtaking imagery gives a glimpse into the far off places he’s travelled. Having graduated in 1991 as a doctor, Andrew worked in the early 90’s as a surgical resident in California. Once photography entered Andrew’s life, he was unable to let go of the possibilities and creativity it introduced. “I began photographing using transparency film. It was a really transforming moment when I reviewed my first slides from a trip to Hawaii on a light table. They were very average pictures, but the unforgiving nature of transparency film and the almost magical 3-D quality of the image when viewed through a loupe really grabbed my attention.”
Please tell us about your expertise in being a doctor. How did the opportunity to be a doctor on such expeditions come about? How has being a photographer enriched the expeditions you’ve been on?
It not only seems long ago now that I graduated as a doctor, it really is - 1991... I decided to volunteer and work as a doctor for the Tibetan Government in exile in Dharamsala, India. I contacted Fuji, and they kindly gave me fifty rolls of Velvia to take with me. I think any hope of a traditional medical ‘career’ was doomed from then on, as the life of a nomad climber and traveler appealed more, and I’ve never gone on to complete training in a speciality area.
Instead, I have built up an extensive amount of experience in general and emergency medicine, combining traditional hospital contract work with remote area and expedition work in Australia and overseas, aiming where I could to find ways of combining my climbing, paddling and photography skills with medical work, both paid and voluntary. As is often the case, networks built up over time generate the most opportunities in the area of expedition medicine. For instance,
I was asked to be the doctor for the recent Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE) by a climbing friend, Greg Mortimer, one of Australia’s most lauded mountaineers. We climbed Manaslu (8163m) together in 2002.