Hi, I'm Tony, and this is a bit of information about me ......

Longham Lakes, Dorset (2013)
South Luangwa, Zambia - with our guide Yorum (2016)
I’ll start with my rather unusual surname and the origins of my ‘tickspics’ web address. When you have a name like Enticknap you're bound to encounter problems from time to time as many people can’t pronounce it, let alone spell it. That was certainly the case when I was at school back in the early 60’s as even the teachers struggled with the name. My class mates thought it was hilarious, so decided that rather than calling me Tony they’d call me ’tick’ instead, as it was about the only part of Enticknap that people got right. The nickname stuck and followed me from junior to senior school and, although I haven’t been called ’tick’ for many years, it seemed like a good name to resurrect for my photography, particularly as it goes so well with ‘pics’. Although I hated my surname when I was growing up I’ve found benefits in later life, because it is uncommon and, consequently, tends to get remembered. Obviously that can work both ways, but in general it’s good.

Many people think that Enticknap must have Dutch roots, whereas it's an old English name from the Godalming / Dunsfold area of Surrey. A family name now, but one that was derived from a settlement that no longer exists called Anecknappe. The translation of Anecknappe is rather amusing as it’s believed to be “valley of the wild duck” (knappe being valley, and the prefix Aneck almost certainly a tribal name), which I think is rather apt given my wildlife interest. The actual spelling has changed countless times over the years as the original inhabitants adopted the settlement name as their family name when leaving the area to discover other parts of the country. Origins of the name can be traced way back, but the first proper recording was in 1332 of Thomas de Anteknappe (also recorded in some places as Enticknappe), who was believed to be Lord of the Manor. Today there are over 600 people around the world, from America to Australia, who bear the surname Enticknap and many more with alternative spellings.

Although we now live in East Dorset and have done so for over 30 years, I was born in Kingston. I grew up in Surrey, met my wife Tris there (in a pub), got married and had two daughters before a career move gave us the opportunity to relocate. Our current home is in a semi-rural location providing good access to the New Forest and Jurassic coastline and, a bit further away, the well-known birding spots around Weymouth and Portland.

My working life has taken me from trainee draughtsman to contracts manager with my first company, and from regional manager to operations director when I moved to Dorset. I was doing all right, but then in 1998 I was effectively made redundant due to a reorganisation of the business and although I could have moved to the Midlands chose not to. It was time for a change, a fresh start and a new venture, so together with a friend and former work colleague we decided to form our own company. We started from nothing in a small rented office above a shop but, by the time I retired in October 2014, I’m proud to say that the business had moved to much larger premises, had associated offices throughout the UK, a London showroom, and had grown to become the market leader within its specialised field (company news). It was hard to leave a business that I’d helped build up over the years, 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 company. Retiring early was a big step, and a very important one, as it has given me the time and freedom to pursue my photography and other interests.

I've had a general love of wildlife and nature since I was a young lad, so when I acquired my first camera in my early teens, which from memory, was a Kodak Instamatic, I found that I was getting as much enjoyment taking photos of animals and scenery as I was of family and friends. I’m sure I took more photos of the cat than I did of my sister. I then recall having a few 'point and shoot’ cameras in the 70’s, but have no record of what they were. I do know however that my first SLR was a Canon EOS, but I don’t remember the model number or much else about it as I didn’t own it for long. I obviously had the interest but for various reasons, mainly associated with time and money, it was sold in favour of a simple Nikon Coolpix. After our daughters grew up and left home and we had a bit more money to start travelling, I realised that I wanted something better so I upgraded to the far more advanced 'all-in-one' 8Mp Coolpix 8800, which had a built-in 10x digital zoom lens giving an effective 35-350mm focal range. It was the first Coolpix to incorporate VR and my first camera to use CF cards. I had it for four years but, as most photographers know, you're always looking to move forward with technology. The timing coincided with Nikon's second generation DSLR’s and launch of the well-respected D300. I loved that camera and the 70-300mm zoom lens that was almost permanently attached to it. My association with the Nikon brand, and further information regarding the various cameras and lenses I have owned since the D300, is documented under the ‘my gear’ link above so there’s no point in repeating any of that information here.

But the problem in those days was that I always had time constraints due to the business and, consequently, my real passion and interest for wildlife photography only took off a few years back when Tris 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 with her first DSLR being the D5100. She's now using the D750 and D500 coupled with either the new 300mm f/4E or 80-400mm zoom lens. In between she’s had the D7000, D7100 and D610, so clearly my GAS (gear acquisition syndrome) 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 well with our love of travelling, which has given us the opportunity to explore some exciting and incredible destinations such as Tanzania, Zambia, The Gambia, Morocco, Costa Rica, Brazil, Peru, Galapagos and Seychelles. It's the photos from these trips, rather than those taken during days out in the UK or indeed in Europe, that drove me to start this website. Hopefully, with a few more active years in the tank, and with health and finances permitting, we can continue to enjoy this type of adventure, which in turn will provide me with more content and photos for the website.

Tony - ‘tickspics
Reviewed and updated, June 18 (originated Oct.13)

put a camera in my hand and give me freedom to roam and I’ll be a happy man"