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Welcome to Andy Main Photography

A portfolio of my main passion; mountain, landscape, climbing and extreme sports photography, along with some architecture/abstract/commercial photography and my web design/multimedia projects.

Based in Scotland in either Edinburgh or Newtonmore in the Scottish Highlands, my passion for climbing and the mountains allows the capture of the moments most don't see.

Please get in contact if you would like use my media or buy prints.

Is there something you love about the site or one of my images; have you found a mistake or want to critique my photograph? Don't hesitate to get in touch, leave a comment on my blog, or leave me a private message via the contact form. I'm always keen to hear what others think.

Cheers Andy

Thursday 24th 11 2011 05:25:29 PM

Pictures and words by Andy Main

Gray Mare's Tail Picture Published BMC Summit 64

Just found out I got one of my Gray Mare's Tail ice climbing pictures published the latest British Mountaineering Council (BMC) Summit 64 magazine. It's featured in the Top 10 Extreme Icicles (page 36) as No 1 i.e. the easiest. This issue of Summit has a lot of great winter content and has got me very cyked. Here's to a good winter and extreme icicles!

To see more from the day take a look at my original blog post; Gray Mares Tail – Road Side Lowland Ice

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Wednesday 31st 08 2011 09:38:22 PM

Pictures and words by Andy Main

EMFF 2011

So Summer was brief, its rainy cold and the days are drawing in, time to get cyked for winter and the Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival 2011.

I've got my fingers crossed for a winner 3 years in a row!

The categories and my entries for this year are;

A Bold Move

Mountain days

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Saturday 02nd 04 2011 08:21:47 PM

Pictures and words by Andy Main

Open London 2010

Id never been to London before; well I had been in the sense that Ive rushed about barely catching flights and getting crushed in the tube, but here was the chance for a proper visit. After my presence was requested to handle some client training, I figured I had to take advantage of the opportunity, go do some touristy stuff, see some of the sites of the City and take some great photos. I arranged that the work stuff would fall on a Monday and was all set with two days to wander the capitals streets. My first wanderings were not very successful, but I eventually stumbled on my residence for the weekend - the highly recommended UCL students hall of residence.

Next day I headed for the iconic Houses of Parliament, the Thames and the South Bank.

As I wandered along enjoying the sights and sounds of London, I was especially impressed with the London Eye.

 

I loved the Covered markets where I bought a great lama burger and a very nice piece of cake then found I was completely lost. I reckon this is one thing that is severely lacking in Edinburgh (the covered markets, that is, not the feeling of being in a maze).

 

I got along to the Tate and wandered around taking in the art on the walls, this got me inspired and excited; shiny surfaces, extreme contrast ratios and juxtaposition of man and man-made make some great snaps. I kept on along the South Bank and, on arriving at the very impressive City Hall, found an intriguing queue.

 

Being British, and having no idea what it was for, I decided to join it and try to get inside for a few photos.

On entering I finally found out what all the queuing was about; Id arrived on the right day for Open London, an annual event when hundreds of normally closed buildings throw their doors open and allow folk in for a look, AWESOME! I talked to the Open London chick, bought a programme and started off round City Hall.

The highlight, for me, was the amazing tilted spiral stair case.

 

I ended my tour of the South Bank by crossing Tower Bridge then headed for the Tower of London and to the two buildings I most wanted to photograph.

 

Ever since seeing a wide angle picture of the Lloyds TSB Building with a suit striding down the stairs, Ive wanted to visit. I went a bit overboard taking pics, so Ive created a photo montage with a few of my favs.

 

 

Unfortunately the Gherkin was not open (hopefully next year), however I did get some nice shots of the exterior; I love the play between the sheet glass and the reflections it holds.

 

At this point I was feeling pretty broken with all the walking so grabbed a bit of food and headed back to the Halls. Due to my rubbish navigation, I got to see loads of the tube on the way back and flaunted the photography banned to try to capture its odd beauty.

 

After the epic day Id had before, I took a more relaxed approach to my second day in London, grabbing more buses, sitting in more cafs and heading to some of the more touristy, but less obviously photogenic locations. Piccadilly Circus Trafalgar Square ect After a long wait I got to go up Tower 201, one of the tallest buildings in London, and while everyone else was taking photos from the windows, I was loving the interior views and again the strong contrast rations and shiny surfaces.

Also managed a vist to euston on my way back to the dorm, looking great after the refurbishment.

Great wee weekend vist and looking forward to next year, tranning on monday whent ok to :P

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Thursday 27th 01 2011 10:53:43 PM

Pictures and words by Andy Main

Fuselage gully

Flushed with the success of Slioch and recuperated after a rest day sitting in front of the fire we headed for the big one, Beinn Eighe and Callums first winter climbing route Fuselage Gully. Starting off in the false dawn light we made reasonable progress up to the saddle of Coire Dub More.

The gain in height again brought deep snow and with no trail broken we floundered taking longer than we should to circumvent the ridge of Sail Mhor. We finally arrived in Corie Mhic Fhearchair to be greeted with stupendous site of triple butters cover with snow and haloed by a golden winter light. At this point we had taken 5 hours for a 3 hour walk in and we starting to worry about timing, but our objective was in site and a fast pace over the frozen loch brought us to the initial slopes below the triple buttress.

Again deep snows hinder progress but we got up to an exposed boulder below the gully entrance and geared up. We were both a little nervous about the snow condition so I showed call how dug a pit and assessed snow conditions which were relatively safe. We then headed into the maw of the gully and soloed the first easy slopes, Calum doing well with the exposure after the encounter with slioch.

We reached the bend and the steepening slopes convinced us to rope up and simil climb. Continuing this way we coved the majority of the 400m gully until reaching the fuselage, this bit of history imbedded its self in the mountain 1951, when a Lancaster bomber flying solely on instruments struck the top of the Triple Buttress. It still very much there and provides a few meters of interest in an otherwise easy snow gully. I lead through and belayed Cal up with a minimum of fuss.

The gully was then again simil climbed to the top and celebratory sandwiches were had just as the first hints of dusk were arriving.

We had celebrated prematurely though and I made a mistake in descending to soon leading Call down the steep slopes of Conneach Mhor. I had thought after the gully the snow slopes would offer a quick way down the hill but in contrast with enclosed atmosphere of the gully, the south face of Beinn Eighe made cal a little uncomfortable. After some encouragement we made it to the easy slopes just as true darkness hit and limped back to the car after an eventful 12 hour day and an easy gully.

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Friday 17th 12 2010 10:41:08 PM

Pictures and words by Andy Main

Slioch

On a crisp, cold day we drove over to the head of Loch Maree and parked up. With the first hints of dawn rose-tinting the sky, the surrounding peaks and the dusting of powder at our feet we knew it was going to be a good day. A deceptively long walk along the shores of Loch Maree lead us to a picturesque old pier in the bay formed by the out flow of the Gleann Bianasdail and the first chance to contemplate our objective for the day.
As we trudged up the banks of the burn, through progressively deeper snow we managed to lose the hint of a path we were following and floundered in the now knee-deep powder.

We were grateful when we sighted another party and ploughed our way upwards, picking up their trench like path. With the way becoming easier we made good progress and ate our lunch perched atop the ridge of Meall Each while considering the face of Beinn a Mhuinidh opposite and the routes it appeared to offer.

After our picnic, we continued upwards and soon reached the first top of Sgurr Dubh to be treated to our first view of the vastness of the NW plastered with snow the like of which we had never seen before.

We continued on the ridge with Calum apprehensively approaching the saddle and steepness up to the summit. With some encouragement we made it and were soon sat atop the summit post enjoying our second lunch.

The adventure was far from over though, as the most exposed part of the ridge was still to come.

Wild-eyed, Calum overcame his fears and negotiated the knife edge. As we reached the last sub-peak of Sgurr an Tuill Bhain, we floundered again despite the tracks kindly laid by our friends ahead. Never had I wished more for a snow board or pair of planks as we swam down the face making furrows and burrows in the chest-deep powder.

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As we descended, we lost the light; the trail and the world froze around us. We pushed our weary bodies onwards to the banks of the loch and, finally catching the party in front, we thanked them profusely for their days work and sped onwards. Fire to match the cold, food piled high as the summits, and rest to counter the days exertion, awaited.

Slioch had been ascended and we could not want for more.

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Thursday 04th 11 2010 12:57:30 PM

Pictures and words by Andy Main

Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival 2010 Perfect Day Photography Competition Win

Pleased to announce that I have again won one on of the categories in the EMFF Photography competition

Perfect Day

Neil Mackenzie, Lewis and Reiner Luyken. Last day of the 2010 touring trip before the last decent back to Julierpass, Around the Chamanna Jenatsch Hutte, Eastern Switzerland

On the back of this I also submitted a few pics to other photo comps mainly the UK Climbing Allcord Logo Photo Competition and the Kendal Mountain Film Festival Photo Competition (Thought voting for this closed 3 days after I submitted!). Anyway if you get a chance go vote on the pics at UKC, if you happen to vote for mine that would be awesome. :p

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Wednesday 03rd 11 2010 11:05:04 PM

Pictures and words by Andy Main

Warren Millar's Wintervention

So getting very cyked for the start of winter and thought I had watched every skiing / snowboarding video in existence. However another one is on its way and not just any video but the premier of the new warren Millar film Wintervention. Its 2010 winter tour will come to Edinburgh and appear at the Dominion theatre on the 11th at 7.30 get you self down there and get cyked for the white stuff!

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Tuesday 12th 10 2010 01:03:00 PM

Pictures and words by Andy Main

Edinburgh Mountian Film Festival 2010

So the time for the Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival (EMFF) has come around again and if this years is as good as pervious form we have some great lectures videos and partying to look forward to.

After last years success I've again submitted a few entrys to the Photo Competition, they have got through to the next round and are currently being exhibited at Ratho Edinburgh International Climbing Arena. Hopefully the judges will like them and I 'll get some winners again.

You can see my snaps and some great other shots in Rathos foyer.

The winners will be announced on the last night of the EMFF see you there :P

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Tuesday 13th 04 2010 01:49:51 PM

Pictures by Andy Main and words by Neil Mackenzie

Epic day - Bynack More

Despite the epic drifts of snow bearing down on the ski-road, our approach to cairngorm car park was remarkably un-enthusiastic. Our plans were undetermined and our path over the vast whiteness unclear, Andy and Warren wanted to go in different direction; I just wanted to sleep off my hangover, but this was never an option on such a fine day!! After a brief argument with a parking attendant we geared up at the lower car park and skinned up towards the Ptarmigan top-station, where we passed a free-style comp and contemplated the joys of chilling in the sun with a beer enjoying the show. The joys of the mountain were, however, far more tempting and we continued to the summit of Cairngorm.

With our route still undecided we surveyed the landscape, blue and white as far as the eye could see, and decided to cruise due south from the summit towards Loch Avon. The terrain here was gentle, the spring snow soft and the sun warm giving wide turns of a carefree nature. This was the life! Things got a little more testing as we got closer to the steep slopes looking over Loch Avon. We scoped a short steep route following the Feith Buidhe and with a few sharp turns I launched myself down and easily out-ran the slow moving slough that I had displaced. This was short but on the spring snow very fast and provided a great contrast to the top section of the run.

We had hoped to find a navigable path on the ice across the Loch but it looked decidedly dodgy and there was not sufficient snow to skin around so we decided to power back up to the saddle and make for the summit of Bynack More. With the sun now high, this was hot work, giving a good excuse to stop for regular water breaks and enjoy the magnificent views over the entire Grampian mountains. Some small rock steps had to be hiked on the ascent but this took nothing away from what was now turning into an epic day. We stopped on the summit of Bynack More for some tea and sustenance, admiring the crown decoration of half meter tall sastrugi tracing the winters prevailing wind. So enraptured was Andy by the surroundings that he dropped a ski, it made a valiant attempt for freedom but was luckily stopped before it got out of control!

A slightly wind-swept start to this run brought us quickly into a natural funnel that dropped us at the top of the Alt aChoire Dheirg. This was a narrowing gulley that was atmospherically guarded by corniced buttresses on either side, these crests of snow had be broken by the spring sunshine and gave the appearance of miniature seracs. This section gave a steep and fast descent and which I took too quickly and two thirds of the way down the snow consistency changed, the nose of my board dived and I was catapulted into a corkscrew front-flip, which I somehow landed and carried on riding! Unfortunately this unexpected highly stylish trick/fluke wipe-out was not captured on camera, as it would have made a entertaining sequence. From here further gentle turns were enjoyed as we descended further into Strathnethy where we dropped below the snow line and hiked back over Stac na h-Lolaire towards the car park in the evening sunshine.

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Monday 11th 01 2010 02:27:43 PM

Pictures and words by Andy Main

Gray Mares Tail – Road Side Lowland Ice

After weeks of freezing weather in Edinburgh I was cyked to get out to some lowland ice venues and I thought no one was up for it until I received a last minute txt from a Mr Dunn. We left Edinburgh at about 3pm pretty random driving south in sunset with winter gear. 

The roads were pretty dodgy, but James driving and 4 wheel drive got us there with just enough light to do the first pitch.

This was awesomely formed and gave some straight forward climbing to steep/overhanging sections. I found this quite hard especially with my waist leashed catching on the down turn icicles. By the time I had untangled myself and got up to James bealy it was completely dark and I set of on the second pitch with much trepidation.

The second pitch started as the first had ended with some knarly steepness. This was soon over and I stretched the rope out to get to the first amphitheatre. We then raced up the remaining gully in 2/3 solo pitches and escaped right.

A brilliant road side route and great to finally get it in such good nick. Climbing it in sunset and starlight only adding to the atmosphere of adventure.

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