I’ve owned a camera for as long as I can remember. When I was young, I used to take a few shots on holidays in Jersey, Wales, etc. on a little black camera that used 110 film. Then I had a 35mm compact. After I went to university, I had a Canon IXUS APS camera, but I was still only taking a few snaps as holiday memories. In 2003, I went digital with a Canon S2 IS bridge camera. Earlier the same year, I’d got my first dog, so many of my photos were now of him!
Moving on to 2008, I was wanting to take more control of my images. I enrolled on the Open University’s ten week ‘T189 Creating and Sharing Digital Images’ course. This gave me the foundation I needed, and taught me the basics of shutter speeds, apertures, depth of field, etc. They also introduced me to Photoshop Elements 5, which opened up a whole world of image editing. Before that, I had only been cropping my images. Finally, they taught me to look at images more critically, and see how I could improve them. This was the start of my ‘serious’ photography.
At the same time, I purchased a Canon 450D DSLR and a couple of lenses. I started experimenting with different genres and techniques. Photography was no longer just about recording my holidays and my dogs.
In January 2009, I joined Derby City Photographic Club. They were very welcoming, and I enjoyed watching the speakers and competitions. I soon plucked up courage to enter a couple of images in order to hear the judge’s comments. Shortly afterwards, I was lucky enough to win not one, but two competitions at the club! Within a year, I joined the DCPC committee and became the Internal Competition Secretary, responsible for orgainsing the club competitions. That lasted for three years, and then I moved on to be the External Competition Secretary. The highlight of my time in that role was steering the club to third place in the FIAP World Cup - a great achievement for our club.
In late 2014, I was invited to join the Print Project Group, who specialize in monochrome prints. We aim to stage three exhibitions a year, and I enjoy having my work framed and on show to the public.
In 2016, some friends and I formed a new club called Synergy. We meet twice a month to critique each other's work and discuss photographic topics. We enter a few local, national and international competitions both as a club and individually.
I enjoy the challenge of trying to achieve photographic distinctions. Since March 2010, I have successfully obtained a Licentiate of the Royal Photographic Society and a Credit followed by a Distinction of the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain. These are for sets of images assessed on a single day. For my exhibition acceptances, I have achieved the levels of EFIAP Silver(for international exhibitions) and BPE4* (for national exhibitions). Together these give me the letters you see after my name.
Until summer 2019, I was a Canon user, my main camera being a 1Dx with various Canon and Sigma lenses. But then I was introduced to the mirrorless full-frame Sony A9. I was quickly converted!
I enter the occasional photography competition: notable successes have been having an image Commended in the Landscape Photographer of the Year (Collection 5); and category winner in the 2009 Kennel Club Dog Photographer of the Year with the image below.