Although a birder first, I've always been interested in photography. Both hobbies have ebbed and flowed over the years, but gradually I find that they're coming closer together. I started this website as my birding blog was becoming rather photo-heavy, and I wanted to maintain a clear distinction between the two.
I live in east London, and am a keen patch-worker, so many of my photos are taken close to home. That's not to say that the odd twitch doesn't occur, but it's very often difficult to get satisfactory images of rarities and my time is often better spent in less busy locations. I'm also increasingly travelling abroad to take bird images, the photographic opportunities overseas can be incredible. Morocco is a particular favourite, but anywhere that takes me into close proximity with birds is fine by me.
As can be seen in my galleries, Chats, and Wheatears in particular, are my favourite birds, although I'm happy taking photographs of just about anything! As long as the light is nice and the subject is close, I'm happy. The galleries represent what I think are the best images I have taken up to this point - it's a process of constant improvement and constant deletion! The challenge is always to do better. My photographs have appeared in various books, Birding World, Birdwatch, the national press and many local birding publications, as well as information panels for the RSPB and other nature reserves. If you wish to use an image, please get in touch.
I hope you enjoy the site!
My go-to bird photography kit is a Canon 1D Mk IV, a 500mm f4 Mk II lens, and a Gizto 5561T monopod. I use this setup more than everything else combined; binoculars round my neck, converters in a pocket, and I'm all set. All of this fits easily and comfortably in a small Thinktank Streetwalker Pro backpack.
If I have a particular target in mind where I know I want as much reach as I can get, I take a Canon 800mm f5.6 - this lens is not as large or as heavy as you might think, and also takes the 1.4x converter really well. Although I do use this with just the monopod, I prefer to use a Gitzo tripod and a Wimberley gimbal head for additional stability, but I'm beginning to find that this isn't as walkabout friendly a load as it used to be, and I tend to stick close to the car.
I usually take an additional body in case one fails, and if I'm travelling abroad a 16-35mm f2.8 and 70-200mm f2.8 Mk II will generally come too as a non-wildlife lenses. Depending on the location, a 300mm f2.8 may come in place of the longer lens - it's very effective with converters. The bag of choice here is the Kiboko 30L backpack, which not only takes the 800mm should I need it, but also fits within the hand-luggage policies of most decent airlines. It can carry everything I need for a trip and a lot more besides, but can end up being very heavy.