I joined this site in 2005. It seemed just a convenient way of swapping some photos of a recent trip to France I'd done with some students and colleagues. My interest in photography was really limited to taking "snaps" of friends and family and of various things I'd seen while travelling.


Since then, little by little, I've made contacts with other people on Flickr and I've become more and more interested in the photographs I've seen them taking.


Henri Cartier-Bresson apparently said that you should expect your first 10,000 photos to be terrible. In this digital age, I'm upping that total to at least 30,000. Until then I'm a rank amateur. But at least I now regard photography as something worth doing for its own sake, and I find it a real relief from the otherwise wordy life I lead as an academic.


I teach religious history and a lot of the photos on this site I take because I think they might be useful in my work or the work of others teaching in similar areas. That explains the preference for quantity over quality!


I chose the the flickr name "Nick in exsilio" because from 1996 to 2009 I was living and working in the UK, far from home in New Zealand. But in 2009 I developed a kind of mid-life homing instinct, took up a job in Auckland. I still go back to Europe as often as I can.


My photos are all available under a Creative Commons licence (see more specific details under the photos). This means I'm happy for non-commercial users like teachers, lecturers and non-profit groups to use them for no charge. If you're a largely non-commercial public institution, like a museum or art gallery, it's likely that I'll also be happy for you to use them for free.


On the other hand, I don't want to deprive any commercial photographer of a livelihood. So if you're a commercial publisher, advertiser or start-up that normally pays for professional or stock photography, then it's likely that I'll ask for the going rate. Please get in touch.

Read more


  • JoinedJune 2005
  • OccupationLecturer in Religious Studies (History of Christianity)
  • HometownDunedin, New Zealand
  • Current cityAuckland
  • CountryNew Zealand
View all

Photos of Nick Thompson


Have something nice to say about Nick Thompson? Write a testimonial