I’ve just put the finishing touches (again) to the presentation I am going to give on Friday at the Guild Of Photographers Event at Crewe Hall .
I feel so honoured to have been asked to be one of the presenters especially when I see who else is speaking eeeeekkkk. This will be followed by an awards ceremony (Saturday) where I have 3 pictures (2 categories) short listed for Image Of The Year – I am totally overwhelmed by this and it’s going to be really exciting seeing who has made the cut too. I am sure that the standard is going to be exceptionally high.
To be honest I feel a little bit like a fish out of water because I think a good number of the attendees are professional or semi professional photographers and I am just an enthusiastic amateur. I won’t know anyone at the ‘do” although I have been informed that the awards evening will be “very enjoyable and that I will be amongst friends….” It’s a black tie affair so I will have to dust off my posh frock and find some heels I can totter about in. I hope that there won’t be too many politically charged acceptance speeches and there won’t be a puppy handed out to those who don’t win a prize (my cat wouldn’t be too pleased me coming home with an extra furry mouth to feed !!)
So, although I am looking forward to meeting new people and chatting to them about our mutual love of photography I can’t help being a little nervous about doing my presentation because (as we all know) what I produce isn’t to everyones taste, but of course I will do my best to make it interesting.
This is a new chapter in my photographic life – I have enjoyed the highs and lows of BPE/FIAP comps but feel that now its time to get off that particular roller coaster ride…. for a while anyway. In future, it is my aim and ambition to help people achieve their own personal goals and will do as much as I can to support and mentor them. This will be something I do privately as I am not part of any official mentoring team – but that said, I will be able to share my knowledge of entering comps and being somewhat successful over the last 9 years.
Now, let me have another run through of my presentation………..
Now that I have gained The Fellowship of the BPE (I believe I am only the 29th person to have achieved that honour of which only a handful are Women) I am set for pastures new, although I am having withdrawal symptoms when I receive information about the upcoming comps.
So instead of producing pictures that are solely for competitions I have been producing a set of images that are intended as a series of prints.
These pictures are made up of antique photographs that I own and elements from photographs I have taken myself and carefully blended together to make something a little surreal… or even Real Surreal Images 🙂
Eventually, I am going to offer tutorials on how to put this sort of picture together and I would like to think that they will be as popular as my Tantalising Texture Workshops.
And while we are on that subject, I am going to announce the next Tantalising Textures Workshop very soon….. so if you want to know more about that and the Real Surreal Images Workshops please fill in the contact form below and tell me which one you are most interested in.
Now that I have gained my BPE Fellowship I feel more free to pursue and develop a series of pictures that I have been putting together over the last 12 months.
I have also decided that I am going to concentrate on helping others to achieve their own personal goals – I had very little help on my personal photograph journey as I am self taught both in photography, Photoshop and post processing.
So what about my new images well ……they will be square in format, mainly (but not exclusively) green and feature olde worlde characters slap bang in the middle of the picture. The above is an example of where my creativity is going and I am really looking forward to seeing where my art takes me.
I have just received an email informing me that 3 of my images have been chosen to be in the final of The Guild Of Photographers Image Of The Year 2017.
I quote from the email….
“From the thousands of stunning entries into the Image of the Month competition throughout 2017, the Judges have selected just 12 images in each genre to be short listed as Finalists in the Image of the Year Competition.
We are delighted to inform you that you have been selected as a Finalist with two images in the Creative and Digital genre.
To reach the final is clearly a remarkable achievement when you consider the number of entries we have had and the tremendously high standards we have witnessed all year!”
I have also had another image chosen in the Avant-Garde Portraiture genre.
This means SO MUCH to me because I didn’t enter the competition, I didn’t even know that images were being judged let alone know there would be finalists.
These judges don’t know me or anything about me, they have no idea about what I have produced over the years, they don’t care what club I belong (or belonged) to, they don’t know whether I am a professional photographer or an enthusiastic amateur… which I am obviously the latter, they just judged the pictures on its own merit and WOW is that just fantastic…. well it is to me.
The Image Of The Year will be judged in December and I can honestly say I don’t think I stand a chance … especially against the professional photographers who probably grace the finalist list too.
The first set of 2018 Calendars featuring images that I have created this year has now totally sold out.
I sold the last of the printed Calendars at the weekend at the event I attended and also had a number of orders from people who were at the presentation (but who were not quick enough to nab one of the calendars for sale).
These have now been dispatched.
So, I am in the middle of another print run
I print the calendars myself using high quality Permajet Paper and Ultra Chrome HD ink
The featured images can be saved and framed if you want to have them as wall art after the calendar has done its job.
You can purchase a calendar via eBay…. if you are interested
From a very early age I was taught to share – even though we had nothing and this need to share has never left me.
When I visit camera clubs to do may presentations I am regularly thanked for sharing my “knowledge” and people often say that they are surprised I am so open as to how I “do things”. I have lost count of the number of people who tell me that so and so at their club knows how to do something to a high standard but when asked how they did it will say “oh, I’ve forgetting how I did that…. I did it a long time ago”… or similar statements.
Whether it be camera settings, what lighting was used, how a picture was constructed or even the name of the model featured in the photograph, many people will keep this information closely guarded.
In some ways I understand. If you have taken the time and trouble to learn something (especially if you have paid for that information) does it sit comfortably to then pass on that newly gleaned information to others ? I have heard people say “I had to learn how to do such and such a thing so everyone else should do the same and find out for themselves……why should I teach them”. I also understand that for some people telling others how they (for example) put their picture together might help others to “beat them in the monthly comps” – I have heard this reason for not helping others time and time again, I have also had personal experience of that particular mind set when the person involved would always shrug and smile when asked how they had created the image.
I was told a few years ago “that I was crazy” to show people how I did my textured images – I was told that I should “keep it a secret and tell no-one”. Those that know me know I didn’t take any notice of that piece of advice and there are lots and LOTS of people who have attended my workshops and those people are now producing some lovely textured images. Am I dismayed about that fact … not in the least ! I am thrilled to bits that they have embraced what I have shown them and gone off and done their own thing.
I try and help and give advise to as many people as I can – people come to my home for a one to one, I give critiques over the internet and I also run a Face Book group which is dedicated to help people be more creative. This is all done free of charge and I do it willingly in the hope that some (if not all) may benefit from the little bit of input I give them
Helping others improve is a great gift and seeing them blossom and move forward is a wonderful thing and I for one throughly recommend it.
This is the first composite I have put together for quite a while.
The model was from a shoot organised (and styled) by Karen Boyle hosted at the Saracen House Studios (Andrew Griffiths) a few years ago and the resulting picture has been hanging around for quite a while.
I also put together the background about 6 months ago but didn’t do anything with it… until tonight.
I had a sudden spurt of inspiration and the whole picture came together quite quickly.
I wish I was one of those artists/photographers who creates images full of emotion and hidden (or not so) meanings but… as much as I try, it’s just not me.
All I do is create “pretty pictures” as they say “to thine own self be true” 🙂