British photographer Simon Roberts has worked throughout the world, including Israel, Palestine, Rwanda, Zimbabwe and Ukraine.
But his latest project, recently completed, is his most ambitious yet: a year-long journey, travelling the length and breadth of Russia where he has been documenting the changing face of the world's largest country.
Simon has explored Russia's farthest corners, travelling to the forgotten extremities of this enormous territory and discovering a world far removed from the sophistication of Moscow and St Petersburg.
He journeyed to the Far East, to Sakhalin Island, Magadan and Chukotka, through the desolate Siberian provinces, to Russia's Western-most point, Kaliningrad, down to the volatile Caucasus, along the Volga and across to the Altai Republic.
"When many people think of Russia, they think of Moscow and St Petersburg, and not much else," says Roberts. "My photographs go some way in showing that there is much more to the country than that.
"I've been trying to cover a cross section of stories that reveal different aspects of Russian life in the hope that the photographs represent Russia fairly," says Simon. "I am not making a specific comment about one aspect of Russian life, I was simply recording what I see. I tried to be an impassive eye, an inquisitive onlooker but that professionalism, if you like, has to be tempered with genuine interest and compassion for the subject."
Simon enjoys the freedom and inspiration that comes from unplanned encounters with his subjects.
Staying on Olkhon Island, in the middle of Lake Baikal in Eastern Siberia, Simon went to look up the local museum curator. She was away, but her neighbour, Raisa, was keen to talk.
An elderly pensioner, Raisa survives on a meagre state pension and by growing her own vegetables. She cried as she told him that all she wanted "was not to live anymore, but to die quickly".
As a result of his photograph and her accompanying words, which were published on the BBC website in January, Raisa now receives a monthly stipend from a donor in America who was touched by her predicament.
Some of the images that Simon has captured are particularly poignant.
He is familiar with the risk of exploiting his subjects for the sake of a provocative photograph but insists that photographs are powerful tools in exploring sensitive issues. "Sometimes you need an emotional picture. I do find it difficult to remain detached. On the whole, though, people realise that it is important that certain images are made public, that they're part of an educative process."
When photographing a Chechen refugee in Ingushetia, Roberts was uncomfortable about taking her picture while she was weeping, but knew that he had to keep photographing. As he explains, "The woman was passionate that people knew about her plight and the problems facing the Chechen people. She wanted me to tell her story to the West."
The year has been both fascinating and challenging.
Being detained by the authorities, being politely but forcibly removed from one closed Siberian city and coping with extreme temperatures and a lot of vodka has only contributed to Roberts' attachment to Russia and the Russian people.
He hopes that his work might encourage onlookers to regard Russia anew and see the human face of a country that Winston Churchill famously described as 'a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma'.