David Hallett's awareness of nature began as a teenager tramping and climbing in Taranaki, during which time he bought his first camera to capture the memories and share his experiences. His resulting love of photography led him to a 40-year career as a photojournalist. He spent five years at the Auckland Star until the newspaper closed in 1991, then became self employed, specialising in fly fishing and yachting photography. During this time David produced two books: Moods of New Zealand Fly Fishing, and Classic Fly Fishing in New Zealand Rivers with John Kent, which won a Montana Book Award. When the opportunity to live in the South Island arose, he joined the Illustrations Department at The Press in Christchurch, and rediscovered the challenge of bird photography. He won the best single picture at the 2010 Qantas Media Awards, and in 2012 won the NZ Geographic magazine wildlife photographer of the year. David left The Press in 2013 to concentrate on photographing New Zealand's wild places and its wildlife.