Andy Sands Slime Mould

Andy Sands Photography – Slime Moulds

If you’ve ever looked close enough at a leaf or a log, you might have noticed the tiny extremities which Andy Sands now photographs in his spare time. These ‘Slime Moulds’, the informal name given to several kinds of fungi-like organisms, are the focus of Andy’s recent photography and have been featured in the BBC Science and Focus magazine.

Andy also owns and runs Chiswick Camera Centre he has had thousands of his wildlife pictures published, won competitions and received recognition at the highest level as a photographer of British wildlife. He has always had a life-long interest in natural history and wildlife from a young age, and he juggles running his camera shop with his passion for photographing the natural world.

Images above: Andy Sands in the wild, Andy’s shop – Chiswick Camera Centre

Humble beginnings

Initially Andy was not interested in working in retail or photography, but it was something he was almost forced into after leaving school.

“I came home in 1987 on the last day of school and my mum told I had to start paying rent, so I had to get a job. I went to a job centre, and there was a job at a camera shop in Watford where I lived. So I went along, got an interview and started on the Monday. I had no intention of ever working in retail and no interest in photography. I’m not quite sure what happened because that was 30 years ago and I’m still working in a camera shop.”

Andy learned his photography skills from colleagues in his first job, which he then combined with his love for wildlife.

“I focus on British wildlife specifically, the two tied well together. I’ve always had an interest in small things too, so macro photography and insects. Then I got very into fungi photography, and when you start looking for fungi you start to find what else is around too.”
Andy found these “weird very tiny things” which looked similar to mushrooms but were in fact ‘Slime Moulds’. He first discovered these slime moulds in the woods and began researching them. He discovered you can find them practically anywhere where there is organic material.
Most slime moulds are about a millimetre tall, so many people would never even notice they were there or think to look. Slime moulds to be formerly classified as fungi but are no longer considered part of that kingdom, which suits their almost alien appearance nicely.

Images above: Andy Sands examining Slime Moulds, Lamproderma Scintillans Slime Moulds on a twig