Andrew was born in Adelaide, South Australia and (mis)spent his youth surfing and kayaking in the ocean, as is the case for many Aussies! After graduating from medical school, he spent a year working as a surgical resident in Santa Barbara, California where he also began rock climbing. Taking up this new activity with a passion, Andrew began to explore the mountainous regions of the world and volunteered his medical skills in Nepal and India where he has since led numerous treks. Documenting his experiences with a camera led Andrew into the world of professional photography and he began contributing photos to what was then the Lonely Planet image library. So began a ‘sideline career’ using the creative side of his brain.
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In the years since Andrew has carved out a unique niche for himself as an expedition and wilderness physician, expedition leader, and nature photographer with multiple journeys across all of the continents. His images are published widely for commercial use and Andrew enjoys nothing more than combining his outdoor adventure and leadership skills with medical and/or photography work in far-flung locations of the globe. In 2017 he spent a month as a volunteer medical ranger with the National Park Service in Alaska high on the slopes of Denali, North America’s highest mountain.
Dr. Peacock’s Prescription for Success:
Number 1: Don’t follow the crowd.
Number 2: Focus on the things you can control.
Number 3: The only way to appreciate what we have on this planet is to travel.
Connect with Dr. Peacock
Notable quotes from Dr. Peacock’s interview:
I think documentary photography will always have it’s place.
There’s never a best fighter, there’s never a best photo – those things just don’t exist.
It just became very much a passion, very much about learning and getting better
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Access the Show Transcript Here
[0:00] I started to look for ways to use medicine to spend time in mountainous areas.
[0:11] Paging Dr. Cook. Paging Dr. Cook. Dr. Cook, you’re wanted in the OR. Dr. Cook, you’re wanted in the OR.
[0:43] Welcome to the Prescription for Success podcast with your host, Dr. Randy Cook.
[0:43] Hello everyone and welcome to Prescription for Success. I’m Dr. Randy Cook, your host for the podcast, which is a production of MD Coaches, providing leadership and executive coaching for physicians by physicians.
To overcome burnout, transition your career, develop as a leader, or whatever your goal might be, visit MDCoaches on the web at mymdcoaches.com because you’re not in this alone.
My guest today is an experienced rock climber, an outstanding nature and wildlife photographer, and oh yes, he’s also a physician.
So let’s hear the story of how Dr. Andrew Peacock does all those things and does them very well.
[1:33] I’m really excited to be talking to Dr. Andrew Peacock today, who although he is a native of Adelaide, South Australia, talking to us from Southern California today.
Is that right, Andrew? That’s right, I’m in sunny California in Santa Barbara. Well, I bet you’re enjoying your stay.
This is a very nice part of the world you have some previous experience, we’ll probably talk about that as well.
Let’s get right down to business. We’re here to talk about your journey to and through medicine and some things that came along after.
Let’s actually start at the beginning. When I read your bio, it sounded to me as if early in your life, you didn’t really feel like you had any particular direction.
It was sort of a life of leisure, but at some point you decided to go to medical school. How did that come about?
I did, uh, you know, have a very fortunate upbringing in Adelaide, in South Australia. And the focus for me, let’s say, um, you know, during high school years was very much around sporting activities and sporting achievements, primarily in the pool or in the ocean.
And you know i was a pretty good student high school i was interested in biology i was interested in the human body and how it performed because i guess that’s. What i was doing was you know trying to perform my father was a thoracic surgeon not a cardiac surgeon just the right.
[3:01] My mom was a nurse but she gave it up by the time she had three boys so you actually did have some medical influencers around you. Oh, very much so. I see. I remember taking the phone call for dad. You know, he’d be,
he’d be on call through his work at the hospital, which was literally just down the hill from where where we were living. You know, maybe for whatever reason he couldn’t get to the
phone or maybe I was looking for a call from my girlfriend. So I’d hit the phone before he would. And and you know, I’d pick up the call from the nurse at the ward and she wanted
to speak to him and half the time she thought it was him. And so I’d be hearing about the latest, uh, you know, uh, atrial fibrillation issue, post surgery kind of thing before, before he heard about it.
[3:49] Temptation of course was to lead her on. And it was usually a woman, not always, but usually the temptation was to lead, lead her on a bit longer. But, uh, yeah, I would usually go and find him to deal with whatever, whatever was actually happening with one of his patients.
Yeah. And how about your siblings? Uh, did they have any interest in medicine at all? Yeah.
So two younger brothers, my middle brother, Tim is a general practitioner, a family physician in Australia, um, uh, concentrating primarily on skin work.
Uh, and my youngest brother was much smarter than the two of us. He, he went on to become a physical education teacher at, um, high school and college level in that is smart.
[4:34] So when, when did you, uh, when did you make that decision that, uh, that it going to be a medical career for you.
Look, I don’t really think I ever had a great sense of the concept of a career. It was more just that these were the things I was interested in.
Getting high marks to get into university wasn’t an issue for me. I was exposed to medicine and I kind of joke a little bit that if there had been a career counselor at my high school, which there wasn’t, but if there had been and if they’d come to me and said, well, look, what about architecture?
I would have said, what’s that?
[5:12] I was pretty naive to the world of other career options, I think. So it was pretty straightforward to, you know, log into medical school and ride.
My bike down the hill and turn up to lectures and, um, and, you know, and be interested in what I was learning, which I was, it was, it was good.
It’s very convenient. It was. So, and so you, you mentioned that you found, uh, that course of study very interesting and, uh, and felt pretty sure that that was what your future was going to look like. Is that the way it was at that point?
[5:50] Well, again, no, I mean, to put this into some context, I was 16 years old when I started medical school. Wow, that’s different.
That is different. I was a year ahead of high school just because we had traveled overseas when I was younger and that altered the continuity of my high school education. Anyway, I was a year ahead and in those days in Australia at the university I went to, there was no three-year college course or anything prior to medical school.
So yeah, I did my first year of medical school. I was 16 when I turned up to my first lecture.
And again, the concept of a career doesn’t, well, it didn’t come to me as a 16 year old. It was like, well, I’ve been studying high school, now I’m gonna study university, whatever. It’s all fine. I then took a year off.
[6:41] After my first year, I took a year off to go to Europe and compete for Australia in the junior kayaking world championships, which I had been training for.
And I was lucky enough to make the Australian team. So I took a year off and after the championships, I shouldered an army surplus duffel bag and made my way around Europe at the age of 17, backpacking
and kind of hanging out in new hostels and came back to Australia, did a bit of other work and then recommenced medical studies. But I was probably more interested in, well, I was equally is interested in playing Australian rules football at that time. And unfortunately,
suffered a pretty major knee injury while playing a preseason game. And perhaps only then, you know, once a bit of travel, a bit of paddling had been put aside, my football career,
was suddenly ended. Did medicine take on a bit more of a focus, you know, along the lines of, okay, well, you know, I need to get this done and sorted and then work out what post medical school looks like. Let me ask you if you think suppose your situation had been different.
[7:53] And suppose you didn’t have to, well, suppose you were not in a position to make a decision about medical school until you were in your early 20s, as opposed to when you were 16. Do you think things would have changed at all? I’m just curious.
Yeah, I think the answer to that has to be yes, but I can’t give you an answer in which direction. I would have, you know, at the age of 16, you don’t get exposed to many other things other than those in your immediate sphere of living. And that was medicine.
There’s no other way to put that really. There weren’t any other areas of study that had grabbed me.
I mean, you know, people, one of my good buddies went to study or went to do engineering. And I mean, that was like, I had no idea what engineering was about.
I wouldn’t, yeah, I still sort of have any idea what studying engineering would be all about. But anyway, you know, the point was that I didn’t really have any other interests.
It was easy enough to go to medical school and that’s what I did. And I don’t speak about that with the idea that I wish I hadn’t done it at all.
[9:04] And did you find medical school, uh, to be, um,
particularly challenging or was there a complete lack of pressure? What was the experience like for you at that time? I mean it’s a good question. I had a really
good cohort of other students to work with and learn from and I enjoyed, I went to a medical school where we were on the wards early so I think the biggest challenge perhaps wasn’t so much in the hours of learning as it was,
understanding how to be a good doctor and communicate with patients and start learning how to listen to patients because really they’re the main things I
think and you know I don’t think I mastered that to any degree as a medical student of course but you know I think the challenges were perhaps being on the ward and understanding how to you know be part of that team and contribute and and learn how to get those skills.
So I think they were the challenges for me, much more so than learning anatomy or physiology or whatever.
And as you approached the end of your more formal education, your more formal education and it was time to think about postgraduate training.
[10:34] What was in your head at that time? I know you made a decision to come to this country, but I’m really interested in how that came about and what was in your head. Yeah, sure. So in our last year of studies, we had the opportunity to spend some time wherever we wanted doing an elective.
I think perhaps the term here might be externship.
At least that’s what I recall. But in other words, I guess, a kind of a more unstructured period of that last year of medical school, but we had to set some sort of learning agenda.
[11:06] I was interested in exercise physiology and I was interested in surgery and sports medicine. They were the kind of things, I guess, that informed what I chose to do.
A couple of things happened. I had not long before run into an American, Lester Machado is his name, he lives in San Diego now. At the time he had already.
Graduated as a dentist. He was interested in mexilofacial surgery and he was spending time in Adelaide because we had a very well-known mexilofacial surgery.
Practice. He was into training in the gym as I was and we ran into each other in the gym and became friends. And he subsequently came back to the States to complete medical
school and ended up at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital doing some work to kind of finalize his medical training before becoming a maxillofacial surgeon, I guess. I may be missing some of
the exact details of that now or these years later. To cut a long story short, because of that connection, I ended up coming to Santa Barbara to do a three-week elective in general surgery.
[12:21] And the head of, and obviously, you know, was introduced to California in that way and really enjoyed the three weeks and was fortunate that the head surgeon, the chief of surgery
at the end of those three weeks said to me that if I wanted to come back and do a residency program here that he would hold a position outside of the match for me.
[12:44] That’s quite an offer. Yeah, exactly. And one that I wasn’t going to refuse without knowing at all that I wanted to become a surgeon. Really. I mean, it’s an offer that, yeah, there’s no question that felt very generous,
would enable me to return to somewhere that I had enjoyed being.
The other significant thing that happened in that last year of medical school was that I also spent a few weeks with the orthopedic surgeons with a group of orthopedic surgeons in San Francisco because of my interest in sports
medicine. They were doing some of the, I guess, relatively early work in terms of knee arthroscopies,
but they also happened to look after the San Francisco Ballet. And as a result of that,
it was arranged for me to spend an afternoon watching rehearsals for the ballet, and that’s.
[13:40] Where I met my future wife who was a principal ballerina at San Francisco Ballet at the time.
And we met at the rehearsal and had a chat and it’s a long story but that was just the beginning of the long story, let’s put it that way.
Yeah. So that was my connection to California. And so perhaps we can say there were two reasons for coming back to Santa Barbara. One was to spend some time with her, but also I took up,
the offer to come and do a year of general surgery. So I completed medical school. I did my internship in Sydney and at the end of that year I think I did one another half
a year of work as a resident at one of the hospitals in Sydney and then came to Santa Barbara to do a year of general surgery training at College Hospital and
it was it was a pretty small group of surgical residents but a really fun group and I had a really amazing year, really interesting, good fun, lots of time in the OR.
[14:53] So at that point, I mean, it sounds like you were having a really good experience there, but at some point the decision came and I don’t know if we’re even close to that point in the
story, but at some point there was a decision that you weren’t really interested in completing a the surgery residency and becoming board certified and all that kind of stuff, something else happened.
Am I right about that or am I reading the bio wrong? No, it’s a little bit hard to think back to exactly towards the end of that year meant that I wasn’t convinced that I wanted to sign up for another four or five years of surgical training.
I think some of it was that I didn’t.
I think I had a sense that I was learning to become a good doctor, whatever that really means, but I don’t think I had a sense that I was able to be or was going to be a good surgeon.
[15:51] There are differences there in terms of the dexterity and skills required to complete surgery.
I think that’s the kind of thoughts that I had, but there maybe have been some other influences. Maybe also I just wasn’t really interested in spending all of my
time within the four walls of the hospital as interesting as that year had been. And so I didn’t sign up to continue on but then I guess sort of the
death knell for a traditional career in medicine came when I signed up right at the end of that year for a rock climbing course at UCSB.
[16:31] And I still sort of flippantly tell the story that that was the end of my medical career because I suddenly developed a passion for rock climbing.
[16:45] And now had a purpose to sort of wander the Sierra Mountains of California and elsewhere. Yeah.
Yeah, spend my time outdoors climbing, learning new skills, becoming confident in the outdoors.
[17:02] And that’s what I did for the next six months. I didn’t work. I just roamed around the Western US rock climbing.
What was it that drew you back to the mountains? I think, I mean, this was just a whole new world for me. I didn’t grow up in the mountains. I grew up in fairly flat South Australia. My physical endeavors were always related to water.
Um, I didn’t even own a backpack at the time. And suddenly he was this activity that was requiring all of my mental output,
in, you know, in terms of being safe and working out how you go about, you know, doing long rock climbs in the Sierras and relying on another person on the other end of Europe.
And at the same time, it was an incredibly rewarding physical endeavor that wasn’t about competing with other people, which is what all of my sport had been about up until that time.
So luckily, there were a couple of other guys that I met who I went off on road trips with and And I don’t know, just became an all-encompassing thing that gave me the reason to travel to
areas that I could get to high points and learn about the world around me in a different way.
I think that’s probably the best way to put it.
[18:20] Have you ever had a moment in your life that altered your future? To see that we have this bottleneck with residency, that so many people don’t get that chance to get that so needed training.
Have you ever wondered why you chose the direction you went? When I had left my prior position, I didn’t plan on going back to practicing medicine. Coming this month, it’s Life Changing Moments, hosted by Dr. Dale Waxman.
The parts of your job that are professionally fulfilling, can you say a little bit more about that?
In this companion show to Prescription for Success, we will explore those decision points with our former guests and provide you with the wisdom and insight to make those choices for yourself.
What can I do for the country other than the psychosocial assistance? Getting the new show is easy.
If you are already subscribed to Rx4Success, you’ll get it automatically.
But if you are not subscribed, now is a great time to do so. You can find the Rx4Success podcast on Apple, Spotify, Amazon, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
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[20:42] For a free consultation.
And now let’s get back to our interview.
[20:49] How did you make that segue from what had been entirely focused on a highly specific, highly skillful area of discipline into something that was entirely different and yet.
[21:11] You found ways to make good use of your medical training as well if I’m reading it right, but please tell the story. I had another six or seven months in the US and I can’t remember if my visa
had expired or I probably just needed some money so I didn’t really have an avenue with which to work in the US any further and I went back to Australia and found a whole new community of people with whom we had a lot in common because all we wanted to do was go rock climbing in the the Blue Mountains outside of Sydney on the weekends.
[21:41] It was easy for me to pick up, um, locum family practice or emergency department work in various, various parts of New South Wales in Australia.
You know, I’d be driving out from Sydney on a Friday morning, um, picking up a shift at noon, working till midnight, getting up at 6 AM working seven to midnight the next day, you know, I’d be.
And in terms of making a bit of money, that was a good way to do things. It was also an incredibly good way to learn a lot and to learn where your boundaries laid in terms of what I could cope with
and what I couldn’t as long as I had other seniors around me. And so it was just a good grounding for becoming a very generalist doctor dealing with family practice type issues, but also emergency
department issues and then that gave me the money to travel and take up a week or two weeks off and go rock climbing and that kind of thing. And then you mentioned photography because it’s it’s certainly significant to my life at the moment.
[22:44] Been interested in photography at high school, you know, doing dark room at high school, that kind of thing. Medical school pretty much shut me down from a creative avenue perspective,
but then once I started climbing and spending more time in the outdoors, you know, I started to sort of document that photographically and started getting particularly excited once I started
shooting side film or transparency film and, you know, getting back images that I could look at on a light table that’s sort of, you know, colourful and jumped out at me and told.
[23:20] Me a bit of a story perhaps of what I was out there for in terms of enjoying the outdoors and moving on just a little bit with that as an idea. I started to look
for ways to use medicine to spend time in mountainous areas. I mean we can talk about rock climbing, rock climbing doesn’t have to be in the mountains, but it’s not
an unusual progression to move from the local crags of a town to the big mountains of the Himalayas, for instance, for those of… So I was able to work to secure a voluntary position,
first of all in India, in northern India, in Himachal Pradesh, I spent, I think it was four months, it may have been five months, working for the Tibetan government in exile
in Dharamsala, where there was a Western style hospital, where we had wards full of patients with tuberculosis, we had people with tropical illnesses, you know, we had an ONG department.
I mean, when I said, when I said to pal, I mean, that’s overstating things enormously.
I understand, but that’s really quite a…
[24:48] That’s quite a medical education. Yeah, absolutely. It was we had voluntary doctors from I met I worked with doctors from Scotland, Germany Spain and then,
Also that we had a couple of Tibetan doctors who were training or medical students I guess perhaps that were training or junior doctors So the idea was to eventually bring this hospital up to a situation where it was Tibetans running it Tibetans working in it And that is how it is today, but but then it was.
A place where having Western volunteers made the whole thing work. So that was incredible.
And then from there I went to Nepal where I volunteered with the Himalayan Rescue Association, which still has volunteers traveling there twice a year today and staffs a couple of.
[25:40] Clinics in the mountains, one in the Annapurna region, one in the Everest region, primarily tasked with educating and helping trekkers who run into issues with
altitude illness. So one of my roles was to give a daily talk on altitude illness prevention to the large numbers of hikers coming through the town that I
was in. I was based in Benin in the Annapurna region and obviously treatment of altitude illnesses but also significantly particularly in Benin. We.
Were the only source of medical help for the local villages. So yeah, again, pregnant, we had pregnant women, we had, I had to take teeth out for, I spent, I think, two hours with the.
[26:27] The dentist at the American Embassy in Kathmandu, who taught me how to do a dental block and remove teeth. And then it was kind of like, all right, you’re on your own, off you go.
So it sounds like everywhere you went, you seem to have discovered a need for any medical care.
Learned a bit along the way and made yourself very useful that had to be very rewarding for you Yeah, it definitely was I’ve always said that one of the great things about medicine for me has always been that whenever wherever Wherever it is that I’m turning up to work.
[27:05] There’s no role for me other than just to help people out during the day. I’m not trying to sell anything.
[27:10] I’m not really working for anyone else really I’m working. I’m just I mean I’m working but it’s not like I’m not having to particularly represent anyone other than myself. I’m not, I’m getting paid. Yeah, that’s great.
Usually, you know, if it’s a voluntary thing, um, but at the end of the day, you really just had to solve problems and help that person or people who are in front of you and that’s always just felt really rewarding.
[27:33] Are you aware of how incredibly idyllic that sounds, uh, particularly to, I would imagine virtually all physicians in the Western world that you’re at, that you’re
able to deliver whatever care is needed, but you’re beyond the reach of any department head, any bureaucrat, any government regulation, any constraints to what you do other than you’re there to deliver care.
Does that realization come your way at all? I find it very compelling, frankly.
Yeah, look, that’s an interesting one, Randy, because at the time, no, you know, at the time it was just what I did.
But interestingly, it has exactly the statement you made has informed the way I’ve tried to practice medicine ever since. I don’t sign contracts, I don’t like or I don’t have people telling me what to do. And by that, I do not mean that I consider myself some sort of, you know,
lone ranger who knows everything in medicine. That’s not at all, it’s not at all what I’m saying.
I very much appreciate having people around me who know more than I do and who to whom I can turn to help for if I’ve got problems with something, you know, if I’ve got an issue that I can’t quite sort out myself. But no, I’ve always flown so far under the radar in Australia, for instance.
[29:01] By not becoming a specialist, not deliberately necessarily, but I guess by bit it just became obvious to me that I graduated at a time where I was given certain medical billing privileges.
It’s a bit hard, it’s not worth going through the explanation for that, but my point is that I graduated long enough ago that by not specializing, I’ve been able to continue
to work in most environments getting a reasonable wage, you know, not as much as if I was a specialist and being able to contribute and help and then walk away and not really have
any oversight. Oversight by, well, I’ll tell you where the oversight comes from when you turn up to work. It’s from the nurses. If the nurses think you don’t know what you’re doing you’ll be out of there quick smart. Absolutely. There’s oversight clinically.
I’m talking about, I guess I’m talking about bureaucratic oversight.
[29:52] Which I can’t stand. Yeah, and I certainly didn’t in any way intend to make you sound like some out of control guy who’s not paying attention to results or anything of that nature. And you put your, you illuminated a very important point.
And nobody, for the most part, practices medicine alone. It is a team effort and if you pay attention to the reactions and the advice from people
around you, I think it certainly makes you a better practitioner and it sounds like that was your experience as well.
[30:35] Yeah, very much so. I think all along I’ve just tried to pay attention to the idea, at least for me, is that so much of the medical practice I’ve been involved with is very much about learning how to listen.
To patients and then in turn communicate with them with the idea that a lot of it for the work that I’ve done anyway has just been about, you know, of course some treatment dilemmas
perhaps but a lot of it’s about problem solving and getting someone perhaps to the right person who’s beyond my skill level to get them sorted out properly, which in my experience often doesn’t happen very well sometimes.
Well, again, that really kind of sounds like a medical dream come true for me. And kudos to you for taking advantage of it.
[31:25] I do want to make sure we have plenty of time. I want to, uh, sort of segue.
Into the subject of your photographic work, which is quite spectacular, I might add. We’re going to put information in the show notes about where people can find your work.
But it really is remarkably artistic. It is significantly different, I think, from what most people think of of when they think of nature photography and wildlife photography in that it is so artistic.
[32:09] And I would like for you to talk to us a little bit about how that evolved, how it became a really big part of your life in addition to your medical life. So if we just step back to the time that I
spent in India and Nepal, when I went on those voluntary jobs, I took with me 50 rolls of slide film. I’m pretty sure it was Kodak actually, although I preferred to shoot with Fuji
Velvia at the time. Was this actually prior to the availability of digital photography?
Oh yeah, this was 1996. And what a great medium that was, the transparency film. Go ahead, I’m not going to take over this conversation. No, that’s okay. I was just going to say I got got my first digital camera in 2005. So this was nine years, nine years prior to that.
[33:01] I came back with, you know, what I thought was going to be 50 rolls of, you know, really amazing photography. Of course it wasn’t at all. But telling the story of my, you know, my involuntary work in the subcontinent. But I had just enough reasonable photos that Lonely Planet Images took,
me on as a stock contributor at the time. So that was, you know, that was kind of significant in that it gave it, I guess it.
[33:27] That’s a great deal. You know, I can photograph, you know, and it gave me a purpose for future photography in the sense that I, the idea of photographing and just leaving slides sitting in a sleeve
in a folder at home made no sense to me. It was like, I mean, I enjoyed the process for sure, but I liked seeing images out there in the world. So the Lonely Planet Stock Library
gave me an opportunity to do that and I guess encouraged me and then I started photographing climbing and got some stuff published in climbing magazines and it just became very much a passion,
very much about learning and getting better, reading about other photographers being inspired by photographers like Galen Rowell who is an amazing rock climbing outdoors and nature photographer who wrote a lot, really giving you an insight into his thoughts and into,
the world of light and the way that he looked at light and photographed it.
So with all that sort of inspiration and I guess creative output.
[34:32] Um driving me it just became more and more um of an area that I wanted to pursue and when digital photography came around as it has done for many many people I’m not alone in this at all but it
certainly just freed me up to be more creative you know when I was shooting transparency film it was like I used to think well I’m only going to press the shutter button if it’s the photo which it,
It never was, it never was, but all it did was tie me up in knots thinking that,
um, or, you know, not enabling me to be creative and obviously digital changes that paradigm completely.
Um, I became a better photographer, but then again, so did lots and lots of other people, and suddenly you’ve got a massive pool of photographers.
And I’ve, I’ve often thought, God, you know, of all the things I could have picked creatively, it turned out to be, to be the one that, um, you know, that is now just ubiquitous.
And I mean, it’s, it’s kind of crazy really the idea that we have to document it every single little thing. You know, the capability, the equipment is unquestionably, uh, ubiquitous.
Uh, but the, the artistic capability is certainly not. And I think that’s where you, you truly distance yourself from the rest of the pack.
When did you become aware that you were doing something that people would…
[35:53] Search out and pay money for. Yeah. I mean, well, first of all, I’m, it’s definitely pleasing to hear you talk about the art side of things, because I think for me that is in the end, I think, I,
think particularly these days, I think documentary photography will always have.
Its place in it and I, I wish it was something I could do so much better.
Um, but regardless, then I think for me, um, the, uh, the more artistic side photography is what interests me. So when I’m in places like Antarctica, yeah of
course you can document the place, that’s true, but I guess I’m looking for ways to make some sort of more creative or artistic interpretation of what I’m
seeing. It’s not always possible to do that in certain situations but hopefully I get there bit by bit. And I’m not too sure that I’ve ever become particularly aware that people are searching out my stuff over other work because you know There is still a lot of really good creative artistic work out there.
But the thing about photography for me is that there’s never an endpoint. There’s never a best photo. There’s never a best photographer.
[37:01] Those things just don’t exist. It’s not an objective art form. It’s still subjective other than documentary to some degree.
[37:08] And so there’s just always that search, you know, for that next amazing light or a moment.
[37:16] Yeah. So it keeps you going. That’s for sure.
Keeps you interested. And I’ve been lucky to now be involved in a travel industry based on ships for a company called Lindblad Expeditions. I work as a photo instructor and that enables
me to again be part of a team, work in amazing environments like Antarctica or the Arctic.
And also now I’m doing some work for them as an expedition leader. So, you know, just again, sort of a progression of interesting things along the way that keep me excited about all kinds of work.
You think of?
[37:57] A moment or a period of time when you became aware that you were. More artistic than documentary yeah I’m not sure that I know the answer to that if I reflected on it reflected on it a bit longer I might.
I think. I mean, perhaps I’m not sure it’s the correct analogy, but in the same way that I bore myself to tears if I try and write a journal, I think it’s possible I would bore myself if I just was wanting to document everything, or not everything, but you know, it just doesn’t,
lend itself to me somehow.
And I think the photography, the black and white photography that I used to always be interested in or inspired by when I was younger was very much of an artistic type, I guess, of artistic genre.
And so I think it’s just always, that’s just drawn me to shoot in that way or to look at scenes in that way and to be a bit more, um, less literal, more abstract, perhaps.
Well, I want to make the statement for our audience that, um, I think you undersell yourself a bit.
Um, I mean, obviously there are images far too numerous to count. Uh, because as you say, uh, the medium is available to just about anybody.
[39:26] Uh, but, but truly, uh, the images that you create, Andrew are, uh, uh, in a class, uh, that a lot of photographers, most photographers I think are simply never going to be able to achieve.
And I think you’re to be congratulated for that.
A little bit later, I’m going to ask you to let our audience know where they can find your work online because there’s a lot of it out there and it truly is intriguing.
But at this point, what I’d really like to do is what we came here for, and that is here you give us a little wisdom of your own and I’ll stay out of the way.
So I’m going to close my mic and listeners, Dr. Andrew Peacock is going to give us his personal prescriptions for success.
Well, I think in giving my view of points towards success, I think I want to be careful to say that I don’t feel that every aspect of my life is based around the idea that I’ve been completely successful.
So I couch my response with that in mind.
The first thing I would say is not to follow the crowd.
[40:43] It helps, it helped me to be, to form individual ideas about what might be more interesting for me to pursue and I think that that’s part and parcel of the idea of not following along with what everyone thinks is the norm. For instance,
as you finish medical school, my idea was that I’d be open to try anything that sounded interesting and if I reflect back on what my path in medicine has been then that’s really has opened up doors for pursuing new things that have been really rewarding.
[41:20] I also think secondly to focus on the things you can control.
[41:28] If you try to exert energy or put energy into things that are out of your ability to control, then you can waste a lot of energy and time on that.
So, I tend to let go, things that I can’t control, and focus on managing those that I can.
[41:48] And thirdly, travel. It’s the only way to really appreciate what we have on this Planet.
[41:57] And from that experience you can learn a lot about oneself and about…
[42:04] A way of living and approaching things.
[42:09] So, there are three things I think I would.
[42:14] Mention in regards to this question. Well, you’ve given us a lot of wisdom. Very hard to beat, I think.
Don’t follow the crowd.
Focus on things you can control and see as much of the world as you can.
[42:29] It’s a great recipe, Andrew, and I really appreciate you Being here to share that with us as well as filling us in on how you got to where you are. It’s been a great conversation.
Before we go, I want to give you an opportunity to let our audience know where they can find you, find more about you, and get a look at some of these spectacular images that you create.
You want to share that with us? Sure. Yeah, my website address is FootloosePhotography.com, and that’s photography with an F. So Footloosephotography.com. Yes, I am on Instagram, but I stopped posting on Instagram
quite some time ago. It’s really a dead end creative endeavor there. But you can still find my work there, again, just at the handle Footloosephotography. I still post stories on
Instagram because it’s fun, but I don’t tend to post images. And that’s about it really in terms in terms of my online presence at the moment for photography. My website has links to a print store.
[43:34] And any of the images there I’m very happy to arrange for them to be in the print store so people can order from anywhere around the world. Dr. Andrew Peacock, it has been a real pleasure speaking with you. Thank you so much for being here. Oh, it’s been my pleasure Randy, thank you.
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