I'll start with my rather unusual surname which, you will have seen from my header, is Enticknap. It’s a name that has certainly given me a few problems over the years! When I was at school, nobody could pronounce it, let alone spell it, so I was given the nickname of 'tick'
and, whilst I haven't been called that for many, many years now, it seemed like a good name to use for my website, hence 'tickspics'
. For some reason most people tend to think that Enticknap must have Dutch origins whereas, in fact, it's old English, from the Godalming / Dunsfold area of Surrey, derived from a settlement that no longer exists called "Anecknappe". Following a bit of research I found that "Anecknappe" has a rather amusing meaning believed to be "valley of the wild duck" - rather apt, given my wildlife interest. "Knappe" being valley, and the prefix "Aneck" almost certainly an old personal or tribal name. Origins of the name can be traced way back, but the first proper recording is that of Thomas de Anteknappe (also recorded in some places as Enticknappe) back in 1332. As with many old names the spelling has changed over the years as the original inhabitants of the area left to discover other parts of the country.
I was born in Kingston-upon-Thames in 1952. I grew up in Surrey, went to school there, worked there, met my wife Tris there (in a pub), got married and had two daughters, before moving down to Dorset, where we've been for the past 30 odd years. We currently live in a semi-rural area providing good access to the New Forest, the scenic Isle of Purbeck and Jurassic Coastline and, not too far away, the well-known birding spots around Weymouth and Portland.
I started work in the late 1960’s as a trainee draughtsman with a sliding door manufacturer. I stayed with that company for 16 years, during which time I progressed through the ranks to the position of Contracts Manager. In 1986 I joined a competitor as Regional Manager. It was that career move that took the family down to Dorset. It was more of a commercial and financial role than my previous job, which was good as it gave me more scope. I became a Director of that business, but then in 1998 they decided that they were going to close the regional offices and centralise operations in the Midlands. We didn’t want to relocate, so it was time for something different - a fresh start and a new venture, so, together with a colleague from the old company, I decided to start my own business. We started from nothing in a small office above a shop but, by the time I retired in October 2014, the business had moved to much larger premises, had associated offices throughout the UK, and had grown to become the biggest player within its specialised field (extract from company newsletter)
. Yes, it was sad to be leaving behind something like that, that I had helped build, but at the same time it was a relief to unburden myself from the pressure, commitment and worry that comes with the responsibility of running your own business. It was time to move on to another step in my life – a very important step as it is the one that has given me the time and freedom to pursue my photography and other interests.
I've had a general love of wildlife and nature for as long as I can remember, so perhaps it's natural that when I have a camera in my hands I get more enjoyment in taking photos of animals and scenery rather than people or inanimate objects.
Apart from when I was at school, I can't remember not owning a camera. The first SLR I bought was quite a few years ago now, but for various reasons, mainly associated with time and money, I didn't keep it. I had the interest, but it wasn't a true hobby, so I sold it in favour of a 'point and shoot'. However, when our daughters grew up and left home, and we had a bit more money to start travelling, I fast realised that I wanted something better. I upgraded to an 'all-in-one' Nikon Coolpix 8800, which at the time was a great camera. But, as most photographers know, you're always looking to move on to something better so, after a couple of years of use, I decided to go the DSLR system route. The timing coincided with Nikon's second generation DSLR’s and launch of the well-respected D300. I loved that camera, and have very fond memories when I look back at some of the photos I took with it. Okay, they're not as good as I can get today, but that's because technology moves on and, hopefully, over the intervening years I've learnt a bit more than I knew then. I've been a dedicated Nikon man ever since, either owning and trading-up from, or still using a fair number of different cameras and lenses. Whilst I’ve always suffered with GAS (gear acquisition syndrome), I think I’m finally reaching a point where I’m happy with the equipment I’m using. Apart from waiting for the D5 to be announced of course! My current photography and associated equipment needs tend to fall into three distinct areas – relatively static situations where a long prime and tripod are required, days where I’m out and about walking where a lighter set-up is more suitable, and when we’re travelling. I’m fortunate that I have equipment to cover these different needs. I will, in time, produce a ‘my gear’ page link where I can list the actual equipment I own and use in these various situations.
Notwithstanding the above comments, the real passion and interest though only took off a few years ago when Tris also decided that she wanted to take better photos than she'd been achieving with her various 'point-and-shoot' or 'bridge-style' cameras. Naturally, I set her on the Nikon path as well, with her first DSLR being the D5100. She's now using the D750 coupled with either the new 300mm f/4 VR or the 80-400mm zoom lens. In between she’s had the D7000, D7100 and D610, so clearly my GAS is catching! Her photographs are excellent and she hasn't looked back since, which is great as it has now given us a hobby that we can enjoy together. I say a hobby, but at times it's more like a competition where we are always looking for the better position or shot. It's all part of the fun and enjoyment.
It also combines with our love of travelling, which has given us the opportunity to explore some quite exciting destinations such as Costa Rica, Tanzania, The Gambia, Morocco, Brazil, Galapagos and Seychelles. It's the photos from these trips, rather than those taken during weekend sessions in the UK, that has driven me to start this website. Hopefully, with both health and finances permitting, we can continue to enjoy this type of adventure, which will provide me with more content and photos for the website.
I'm not doing this for commercial gain, as I’ve truly set it up as a personal website and associated photo portfolio. However, if you're interested in a particular image for a specific project then please contact me. I'm usually happy to make photos available if being used for non-commercial purposes, provided you've asked beforehand and the photo is credited accordingly and linked back to this site if used on the web. Alternatively, I could make a higher resolution file available for a suitable fee.
And, as I said on my home page, I'd like to say a big thank you if you've read this far, and if you like what you see, then please keep visiting and let me know what you think.