ancestors 130

My grandparents vacationing on the Yorkshire coast – there may be some resemblance.

Richard Gregson PhD MPhil CBiol FRSB

I spent the first half of my life in England where I was a biologist who morphed into being a pathologist. In 1998 I left the UK to become a paid-up Canadian living in Montreal, Quebec. I am now returning (through retirement or, as I prefer, through “repurposement”), to where it all started for me, doing enough hands-on wildlife biology in the field to re-kindle and maintain my interest.

I have been taking photographs all my life, starting at about the age of ten with a hand-me-down, pre-war, box camera from my grandfather that took 12 black-and-white photographs on a roll via a fixed focus lens. I recall the price of developing and printing was such that I was rationed to three photographs a day – not a bad discipline. Later, I learned the craft through a variety of ever more functional and expensive film cameras up to digital SLRs. Today I am using mirrorless interchangeable lens (MILC) cameras which are both technically impressive, and a lot smaller and lighter. There is always something to learn.

Most of my pictures are of botanical, wildlife and landscape subjects which I have found to have a certain utility in showing the world that conservation matters and that there are things and places and creatures out there that we need to look after. Occasionally something else creeps in such as a stack of Newfoundland lobster pots or a row of London telephone boxes that have caught my eye. I consider this to be an art and a craft, not a business. I rarely try to sell images but am always open to offers.

Please browse the site and feel free to leave comments as you go. Please, also, read the Copyright Statement at the foot of the page should there be any that you would like to have for yourself … I don’t do this as a business and so I try to make it easy for anyone who likes a picture to have the use of it for an approved purpose, but I ask that you email me first.

The Optical Rundown

Yes, this is a bit geeky but lots of other birders and photo people have an equipment page so we shall have one too – and because people do ask, quite often. I am a biologist that takes photographs rather then a photographer who has hopes to be commissioned by National Geographic. If there is one thing I leaned in my career it is that cheap optics are lousy optics,


Sony a7ii mirrorless (full frame sensor) interchangeable lens camera body. Mostly used for landscape, macro and botanical photography.

  • Voigtlander 12mm ultra-wide angle lens – very specialised, but when you want it then it delivers the goods.
  • Zeiss 35mm f2.8 lens – stunningly sharp lens
  • Canon 24-105mm image stabilized L-series lens (bulky, but a good all purpose landscape to portrait lens)
  • Canon 100mm macro lens
  • Metabones and Fotodiox Canon EF to Sony e-mount lens adapters

Sony RX10-mark3 “super-zoom” camera (finally, bridge cameras have got good lenses – in this case a Zeiss 24-600mm telephoto) suitable for decent bird and wildlife photography. Brilliant as a walking around camera)

Sony Nex-7 mirrorless (APS-C size sensor – 1.6x crop factor) interchangeable lens camera body (note – an excellent compromise when weight and bulk are an issue and the camera needs to fit in a (capacious) pocket but now overtaken by the RX10m3 and so now mostly used as my Digiscoping camera.)

It’s not realistic to go everywhere with “big glass” so I have added a Sony RX100 for my pocket. A tiny thing, barely larger than a smartphone but with a proper lens, a larger sensor and more controls and options than you can shake a stick at. A joy forever I hope and it should usually be with grabbing distance when opportunity knocks. Miraculous electronics and optics in such a small package, how they fit it all in I have no idea.

Occasionally I publish a picture taken with an iPhone. Sometimes that’s all I have with me. It can produce surprisingly acceptable images. I don’t quite understand people whose only camera is a phone, but you have to use what’s in your pocket.

My standard quality camera for some years before I went over to Sony was a Canon EOS 7D SLR body – excellent equipment, but bulky and heavy and so eventually sold to someone with stronger arms than me. I did, however, retain two lenses, superb lenses, for use with the Sony cameras as adapters are available. Some earlier images on the archive photo site were taken with this camera.

Tripods etc:

  • Manfrotto carbon-fiber tripod with ball head and pan heads for cameras
  • Manfrotto aluminium tripod (light) for the spotting scope
  • Manfrotto aluminium tripod (tall and heavy) with gimble head for video
  • Manfrotto monopod – 4 section, short, packs well in case.

Birding and Digiscoping Equipment:


  • Swarovski 8×32
  • Leica 10×42

Spotting scope:

  • Swarovski ATX/STX 65 mm with 25-60x zoom eyepiece
  • Swarovski TLS/APO digiscoping adapter with mounts for Canon and Sony e-mount lenses

Copyright ©

All images are made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada (CC BY-NC-ND 2.5 CA) License … which really just means that you are very welcome to share and use any of these images, but for non-commercial purposes only and you may not alter them without permission. If you wish to use any image commercially please contact me to discuss terms and licensing.

You should also show attribution – such as © Richard Gregson 2021 for example.

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