Rich Andrews photography
Rich Andrews photography
 
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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:

EOS 7D

EF 500mm f/4L IS
EF 1.4x II extender
Kenko 1.4x DG extender
Sigma 150mm f/2.8 APO DG
Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 OS HSM
Super-Takumar 50mm f/1.4
Samyang 14mm f/2.8

Speedlite 550EX
Macrolite MR-14EX

...plus sundry other gubbins.

I tart everything up using Canon DPP, Adobe CS2, Photomatix and Helicon Focus.



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Photo links

Camera Price Buster
Canon Rumors
Digital Photography Review
DSLR Controller [BETA]
Gareth's Birding Page
Gary Thoburn's Photos
Helicon Focus (focus stacking software)
Imaging Resource Comparometer
Mendip Wildlife Photography
Photomatix (HDR)
Photozone (lens tests)
Smart Images
Somerset Birder
UK Airshow Review
Wildimaging


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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.

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

You can click on the pictures to see them bigger.

MONDAY 22nd APRIL 2013

Woodchat

A great find by Colin Hunt yesterday morning was this female Woodchat Shrike just down the road at North Widcombe. Unlike the last few Woodchats I've seen, this one allowed quite a close approach and showed really well as she caught bees from a hedge in front of the assembled few. Views were less good if you walked down the footpath into the next field in order to see it from within the Chew reservoir enclosure. Them's the rules.

On Sunday the light was poor and it was difficult to get any decent shots until she flew towards us after an insect and perched in a bare sallow for a few seconds.

I returned at first light this morning in the hope that as the sun rose over Burledge Hill behind me, I would have fantastic views as she sat up in the hedge in the early morning sunshine, and that no other bugger will have been arsed to get up early enough with the same ridiculous notion.

Which is exactly what happened. Just me and a Woodchat Shrike. In perfect light. At Chew. Well almost. It's on my list...







SATURDAY 20th APRIL 2013

Arctic arrival

Arctic Terns are ace. They spend our winter in the Antarctic and migrate north in the spring to spend a few weeks in the Arctic summer. They travel 12,000 miles every year, and in doing so see more daylight than any other creature.

Normally we get a few passing on their way north in the spring; occasionally there will be a big flock or two moving up the estuary, but this year they have occurred inland in unprecedented numbers in places they wouldn't normally visit, numbering from a dozen or so at a few small fishing lakes, to 130 at Chew - nearly twice the biggest flock recorded there.

A few took up temporary residence at Apex Park, giving us the rare opportunity to see them at close range - something you normally have to visit their northern breeding colonies to experience. To watch them plunge-diving five metres away is a rare pleasure, tempered only by the fact that it's an act fiendishly difficult to photograph.

When surface-feeding over a small body of water they can't seen to be able to fly in a straight line for more than two seconds, making framing and focusing a real challenge, but despite substantially more frames being deleted than kept, it's a rewarding moment when you see a good one on the chimping screen.

Spot the Common...











FRIDAY 29th MARCH 2013

Osprey

Normally we get an Osprey or two passing through in the spring as they return from Africa, but nearly always they just fly through in their haste to reach Scotland (and some now to Wales and the north of England). This week, up to four have been at Blagdon Lake, remarkably remaining for days as they stop over whilst they endure this rubbish spring weather.

Two of the birds have been seen to be colour-ringed. This one is a 15 year-old female, ringed in Perthshire in 1998. This afternoon, she was sat in a tree below the main dam at fairly close range. It's difficult to get anything more that a flyover shot of an Osprey in this country, so to have one perched in a tree at eye level was a rare event. Could've done with her being touch closer if I'm honest, but thanks to the wonders of web resizing...





MONDAY 18th MARCH 2013

Day out

An early spring trip to the Forest of Dean with the camera. 'Proper' birds weren't particularly easy, but the feral population of Mandarins at Cannop Ponds is always pretty good value, and this afternoon they were reliable as usual. I bought a loaf of bread on the way over (in case they were hungry), and before long there were 20 or so cavorting about at close range in front of me. What brilliant little improbably-plumaged quackers they are. You couldn't make 'em up.

I also saw my first Wild Boar just down the road from the ponds, poking about in the leaf-litter just off the road. The verges around there are completely turned over by the boar; you can understand why some people are concerned that they'll bugger up our woodlands if the population expands. Let's hope they don't expand to the site I visited earlier in the morning - Dymock Forest, with its masses of wild daffs. I hoped that I'd be greeted by swathes of yellow, but they are later than last year and won't be on top form for another week or so.





Back on the other side of the bridge, I dropped in at Portishead to see whether the male Scaup was still on the boating lake. He was, but being asleep on the island in the middle of the lake wasn't any good for photographs, so I deployed the remainder of the loaf. Not for the first time I've discovered that carrying a few slices of medium white is better than carrying a 1.4x extender. Here he is up close...





...and here he is steaming towards a crust. Look at the extent of the black on the nail, should you care about these things. Compare that to a Lesser Scaup of the same age just here.

With the weather forecast being so rubbish for the rest of the week I thought I should make the most of the sunshine, and hoped that the Waxwings in Weston-super-Mare were still around. They were, and they had to be the most accommodating Waxwings I've ever seen. I was lucky that the sun was in the right direction, and as the afternoon wore on, the light got better and better. Superb.

As is the form with Waxwings, most of the time they were perched in a nearby tree, every now and then dropping down to feed on berries. Sadly, all the photogenic rowans have long since been stripped, and I had to make do with a skanky supermarket cotoneaster. No wonder that my best shots were later in the afternoon as they sat about in the trees, trilling:







Seeing as there was a clear(ish) sky, and seeing as I was on a west-facing bit of coastline, I decided to hang around until twilight in the hope of seeing Comet PanSTARRS. My choice of location (Black Nore Point) was a bit poor as it appeared right over the light pollution of Cardiff; I should have stayed at Weston. Still, at least I got the south Wales lights as I had planned.

Could've done with it being a little closer, really. If ever you needed to click and see it bigger...



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