Rich Andrews photography
Rich Andrews photography
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click for my Bristol gallery
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Me and my stuff

I've always liked photography, and for years used a number of Canon and Minolta film cameras. I sold the lot in 2003 and bought a Nikon Coolpix 4500, but soon decided that a digital SLR was what I really needed.

Since 2004 I've been through various Canon cameras and lenses including two EOS 20Ds, an EOS 30D, an EOS 40D, an EF 400mm f/5.6L, and an EF 300mm f/2.8L IS before finding myself with the following which I use at the moment:


EF 500mm f/4L IS
EF 1.4x II extender
Kenko 1.4x DG extender
Sigma 150mm f/2.8 APO DG
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8
Super-Takumar 50mm f/1.4

Speedlite 550EX
Macrolite MR-14EX sundry other gubbins.

I tart everything up using Canon DPP, Adobe Cs2 and Helicon Focus (for the stacks).

A-Z index

Click here for a list of links to all my photos by species/subject.

Old photos and trip reports

There's still a load of old digiscoping stuff and foreign photos at cvlbirding which I haven't uploaded to Flickr:

The Gambia
South Africa

Local photographers

Gareth's Birding Page
Gary Thoburn's Photos
Mendip Wildlife Photography
Smart Images
Somerset Birder

Some other photo links

Birds as Art
Camera Price Buster
Canon Rumors
Digital Photography Review
DSLR Controller [BETA]
Helicon Focus (focus stacking software)
Imaging Resource Comparometer
No Cropping Zone
Photomatix (HDR)
Photozone (lens tests)
UK Airshow Review
UK Nature Photographers

Copyright, sales & contact

Website design, all photographs and content on this site are copyright Rich Andrews. Please don't copy, steal, pilfer or hotlink anything on this website. It's the height of rudeness.

Having said that, if you have any enquiries about licensing or if you would like to buy a print, please .

Thanks for visiting my photography website. All my picture galleries and links in one handy place. And a blog, updated... occasionally.

TUESDAY 29th MAY 2012


Skomer is a long trip from Bristol, but I arrived at Martin's Haven at 10am, just in time to book one of the last places on the last sailing at 12 o'clock. If the weather forecsat was right, today I'd have a few hours of overcast skies clearing to sunshine later in the afternoon, giving me chance to photograph Puffins at The Wick under a bit of cloud before moving back to North Haven for some photos of birds on the water in direct sunshine.

At The Wick, the Puffins are so used to people that you can use a macro lens to photograph them; the fifth image below shows how easy it is to get close. The trouble is that the light direction there isn't ideal when it's sunny, and with a black and white bird you're always fretting over exposure or fill-flash. So after my previous trip in blazing sunshine, I thought I'd be better off if it was a bit cloudier. Which it was. Even so, I still needed to blend a couple of raw conversions on nearly all the photos to keep the white bits.

Back at North Haven mid-afternoon, the sun had broken through and the Puffins were bobbng about in the bay. You don't get the chance at too many sites to photograph auks on the water at close range, but the landing steps at Skomer are perfect. I even had a Grey Seal surface next to me.

Most of the 'swimming' shots are also blended raw conversions to keep the detail in the blacks and prevent the whites from being blown-out; in the sun there was about a two-stop difference between the correct exposures for both. The light this afternoon was perfect for a few attempts at flight shots as well; it never ceases to amaze me that whilst Canon can now produce a camera with AF which will follow a fast-flying bird at close range with a pretty good rate of accuracy, when the same bird starts swimming about on the water in a nice bit of sunshine then it's a lottery!

I'll put the rest on Flickr when I've got round to sorting through them. By the way - I post on Twitter when I update the site, so if you'd like to be advised when I upload new photos, click on the Twitter logo at the top of the left-hand column.

MONDAY 21st MAY 2012


I can never be arsed to travel too far for a rare bird, but a Cream-coloured Courser in Herefordshire was enough to tempt me on a 200-mile after-work round trip this evening. A properly rare bird which should have been in the deserts of North Africa; I saw some previously in Israel but that was years ago. I'm glad I made the effort though - we had brilliant views of it in the equally brilliant evening sun. Top bird.

More on Flickr.



An after-work trip to have another go at the Blagdon Squacco Heron met with no success (I failed to even locate the bird), so I popped back to Chew, where at Stratford hide there were several of the lake's most unphotogenic bird close in front of the hide. Usually I never even bother to photograph a Coot as unless the light's exactly right, they always seem to be rendered as monotone blobs.

But this evening the light was perfect for such an endeavour, and I was able to take some of my best shots of the species. I hope I managed to do these magnificent creatures justice...

More on Flickr.

SATURDAY 12th MAY 2012

Never thought I'd see one like this at Chew...

It's difficult enough to even see a Pomarine Skua at Chew (there have been only four previous records), and even then you would expect to make do with a speckly young bird or tattered adult in the autumn. So it was something of a surprise to be told that there was a summer-plumage adult Pom sat in the middle of the lake this afternoon.

The chance to see an immaculate spring bird in this plumage at Chew is pretty unlikely, so I was pleased even to have seen it at long range through a telescope. As luck would have it, and with some much-appreciated effort from a couple of Bristol Water staff, myself and the finder of the bird were taken out in a boat at last light for a closer look.

A much closer look, as it turned out. Birds which breed in the high Arctic are often pretty tame, but this one was so unconcerned at our approach that on one occasion it let our boat drift to within two metres before it took off. Unlike the last Pomarine Skua at Chew, which remanined for nine days and spent it's entire stay murdering Common Gulls, this one was happy to feed on a dead Pike floating on the surface of the lake. A load of photos went in the bin (I'm hopeless at keeping the camera steady on a moving bird from a moving boat) but more by luck than judgement there were a few good ones left on the card.

More at 900px on my Flickr gallery.

SATURDAY 12th MAY 2012


Inspired by all those famous bluebell shots at Micheldever Wood, but not fancying the pre-dawn drive and jostle, I tried to see if I could do something similar at the Avon Wildlife Trust's reserve at Prior's Wood. In the end we decided that there were too many trees and not enough bluebells. Excuses. But what a fine sight though. All these are tonemapped in Photomatix.

More on Flickr; they look a bit better at 900px.

MONDAY 7th MAY 2012

Squacco Heron

Sometimes when I'm lugging 11kg of camera gear around in addition to a tripod, scope and bins I ask myself why I bother. If I ever needed a reminder then one came along this weekend when the hitherto elusive Squacco Heron reappeared at Blagdon.

After days of remaining hidden at Chew, yesterday it spent the afternoon flouncing about in full view of everyone in one of the lakeside meadows amongst a photogenic background of cuckoo-flowers. There were very few people there this afternoon (even fewer following yet another downpour) and I was able to sit in the grass and snap away is it wandered about in front of me, coming closer than 20 metres at one point. What a pleasure not only to see such a rare bird so close to home, but to see it at such close range and come away with dozens of decent pictures of it.

Ironically, after grizzling about the awful light for the last few weeks, my best shots were in overcast conditions when the softer light rendered the bird's plumage and the grassy backgrounds much nicer than when in direct sunlight. The top one was Birdguides photo of the week.

These and plenty more at 900px on my Flickr gallery.


Black-winged Stilt

Happy Birthday to me! What better way to celebrate than with a brilliant view of another rare wader at the lake. I had to wait until I finished work to go down and see it, but patience paid off and in lovely evening light it wandered round to the shore in front of Stratford hide for a few photos.

You can see these, plus a few more at 900px on my Flickr gallery.

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Rich Andrews Photography   CVL birding