In The Words Of Kate Bush WOW WOW WOW !!!

Well, I am still recovering after, what has turned out to be, a very surreal, yet amazing few days.

I was asked to do a presentation at the Guild Of Photographers Awards weekend, little did I know that the weekend would leave me emotionally drained… but in good way !!

I have to say that I was really worried about giving my talk – not worried about standing up and delivering it, I’ve done that lots of times – but worried that I would bore the pants of those people who attended.

On Friday I sat through 3 fantastic talks that proceeded mine and each time I questioned myself as to why I had agreed to participate. What could I tell them that they didn’t already know?. My images – according to lots of people I have had the “pleasure” of meeting over the years – wasn’t proper photography, instead it was a case of  “good computer skills”. Many of the people at the conference were professional/semi professional photographers of some repute, very skilled and very well known in their particular field. Me? I was/am just an enthusiastic amateur. Oh dear…. my heart began to sink, could I run away and hide?

My turn to talk… I took a deep breath and off I went and I have to say, by the reaction of the people that attended it went very well. So from feeling like a fish out of water I now had people asking if I would mentor them, would I do a one to one session with them, could they book on my next workshop and I lost count of the number of business cards I had thrust in my hand. This was beginning to feel really unreal !

That night I couldn’t get to sleep because my brain wouldn’t stop thinking about what people had said and how enthusiastic they had been about my presentation…..and then I woke up at ridiculous o’clock (4:30am) and couldn’t get back to sleep ! Saturday was full of great presentations and then the Awards Ceremony – which was a black tie affair ! GULP !

I have to admit when I attended the dinner I really did feel like I was in the wrong place ! I never ever attend such events, so felt totally awkward, even though people were very kind to me and included me in their conversations. Even though I can stand up in front of 200 people and give a talk I am quite shy (yes I know …. unbelievable) and find it difficult trying to join or break into other peoples conversations or groups, I would rather sit on my own and “be quiet”.

So now the meal was finished and the award ceremony proper began. We were all given a beautiful book containing all of the short listed images – and without exception they were exceptional ! Having carefully studied each glorious page I was totally convinced I didn’t have a chance of an award, even though I had 3 pictures (in two categories) shortlisted.

The runner up and then winner of each category was announced and the recipient went up to collect their awards… now it came to my category. Creative and Digital Art and then to my utter UTTER amazement my name was called out as the winner. I was gobsmacked and had to go up to collect the award (a certificate, a glass trophy and a framed print of my winning image). I had to negotiate a tripod with a camera on it that was recording the event – and for those who know how clumsy I am you will know how much that bothered me ! Nonetheless, I negotiated the obstacle and collected the trophy – which was glass – without dropping it ! Hurrah. Lots of smiling faces …….but not as smily as mine.

I rushed out of the room to ring John (my husband) to tell him that I had won the category and of course he was delighted for me. I finally got back to my seat (I had been stopped by a few people en route who were congratulating me on my success) so when I eventually sat down they were announcing the Image Of The Year (Judges Award) for 2017 and I nearly fell off my chair when my name was announced as the winner – I was in total shock and sat with my head in my hands for a little while –  I think a gentle nudge encouraged me to get to my feet .

When I  crossed the floor to be presented with the award I became aware that there were lots of people on their feet cheering, whooping and clapping … a standing ovation. I was beside myself in shock and joy. WOW ! I was asked to say something and managed to say a few words.

At this stunning event there was so much to take in – the hall was full of younger people than I usually see around my  photographic world (PAGB/BPE Comps , Photographic Clubs). I am more use to being in a room full of gentlemen of a certain age but here there were so many young woman (who were also being awarded various top honours), everyone was friendly and I wasn’t told once that “what you do isn’t real photography”. I had people wanting to shake my hand, ask me questions, asking if they could “please have their photo taken with me?” …. all very surreal as I said before. I had so many lovely comments and congratulations that when I went back to my room I was still awake at 3am trying to process it all and here I am at 5:30pm still trying to precess it !

This was one of the best few days in my photographic life and to those of you who I met and made it so special for me you have my heartfelt thanks.

You made an old lady very happy !!

Onwards & Upwards


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.



The Purple Barn

Channelling my inner Van Gogh again (apologies to the Master) I thought I would continue in my Purple Fields series.

This one again started out as a photograph but I messed about with it in Corel Painter and Photoshop.

Finished up with something, as far as I am concerned, a little more interesting and a lot more painterly




Being Creative On A Cold Afternoon

What to do when its cold, wet and dismal outside????   Do something creative ?

I love putting images together for no other reason than a) it makes me happy  b) it takes up a little time on a cold wet afternoon c) I love to see what emerges from a blank screen when I just mess about putting bits and pieces of images together

Should make a nice print 🙂




Dare To Share?

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.


Another Road……

Todays creative edit again features trees but this time I have added a shadowy figure.

Is he just a man walking away or is he waiting for you…. you make up your own mind.

I have created this image using Photoshop (various layers and blending modes) along with brushes that I have made myself.

This kind of digital art is so enjoyable to create and the bonus is that they are making a lovely set of vibrant prints.

Children From The Past

Today I have concentrated on colorising these two little children – I still have to wonder who they were and where their lives took them. Obviously I will never know.

A little bit of added surrealism makes the difference to this picture..  Well I think so anyway.

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