Andrew McCarthy ARPS


I picked up my first film camera - a Zenith-e in the 1970s – and subsequently used Olympus, Nikon, Minolta and Canon film kit, before settling on Canon (with a brief and temporary foray into Nikon). I was an early convert to digital and I currently use Canon digital kit.  

I have a lightweight set up, having now ditched my Canon pro-bodies and heavy 500mm f4 in favour of a 5D Mk 4 / Mk II 100-400 L zoom with Mk iii extender. It's a great set up - light, portable and sharp wide open. Ideal.

Over the years, I have explored a wide range of styles, including people, travel, landscape and street photography but I have always returned to my first love, nature. I am lucky enough to have worked as a professional ecologist for many years in the UK and overseas in locations such as the United States, India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia, as well as right across the UK, and this has given me many fantastic photographic opportunities.

In 2011 I joined the RPS and entered a set of images for the RPS’s Licentiateship distinction (LRPS). It was an excellent move and I was pleased to pass first time.  I also passed my Associateship (ARPS) on the first attempt with a Nature panel.

I try and keep my photography simple and for the most part local and I focus wherever possible on animals in the wild, rather than captive.  Although I do travel – you have to for some species - there is something really satisfying about working hard to produce a great set of images from your ‘own back yard’. In the final analysis - at least for me - it is all about the quality of the wildlife encounter, rather than the image per se



I aim to keep my gear simple these days:

Macro and wildife:


  • Canon 5D Mk IV with Canon 100-400 f5.6 L MK II; 1.4 III extender; Canon 180mm f3.5 macro lens, with a Gitzo 3-series tripod, specialist Fiesol macro arm and a carbon ball head. Various flash and macro clamps 


  • Fuji XT-2 with 14mm, 16-55mm f2.8, 60mm f2.4 macro and 90mm f2 Fuji lenses
  • Variaous strobes and studio bits and pieces
  • Sirui Traveller tripod fotr the Fuji.