Looking To The Past


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.

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.



There’s Nothing New !





There’s is nothing new under the sun… fashion, furniture, hairstyles, etc etc and especially photography.

When I give my talk at photographic clubs I show examples of how an idea has been used over and over again. Take for example King Kong – which gave birth (not literally) to Godzilla…. massive person/creature striding though a big city. Through the years we have  seen that idea used many ways … for example,  in the Rolling Stones video Love Is Strong, The Clarks Shoes advert, Scary Spice encouraging you to play Costa Bingo and now I see it being trotted out again for Celebrity Big Brother where the host is seen striding through the streets of London. Nothing new – it’s been done before.

Just recently (3 months ago to be exact) I  discovered the very wonderful film maker Wes Anderson and The Grand Budapest Hotel which has  now become my absolute favourite film. I love the the limited colour palette, the symmetry and the way he places his actors (or subject) slap bang in the middle of the screen. I am sure Mr. Anderson has been influenced by someone else, but for me I recognise it to be HIS style.

Over the last few weeks I have seen that some adverts on the TV have a definite Wes Anderson feel and I find myself saying “ooooo that’s Sooooooo Wess Anderson”. For instance, the Asda Christmas advert was so remarkably like one of his films and now this morning I have spotted another, this time for milk (I also noticed one yesterday for Haven holidays)  “sooooooo Wes Anderson”.

I think it was Picasso who said “Good artists copy, Great artists steal” which he suggests that you may not have  been the first to try something, but you did it so well that everyone thinks of you when they see that style. Its difficult to “find a style” and all artists, whether a conventional painter or a photographer, needs/seeks to cultivate a style. However, this can be very challenging as we don’t live in a vacuum it’s difficult not to be influence by something that we see and consequently triggers the imagination.

I have been told many times that people can spot it’s one of my pictures  because “it’s my style” – although I don’t see it myself and I haven’t actively tried to cultivate a style, it just kind of developed. Over the years I have produced lots and lots of green images – for which I have been criticised and advised not to do anymore as judges “hate green”. I have also favoured putting the subject in the middle of the picture – again, I’ve been advised not to do it that.  I have also produced lots and lots of square images and yes…. I’ve been advised not to do that either.

So for me its a future of square format images which are mostly green with the subject matter (usually a person or persons in costume) plonked in the middle.    I am now beginning to wonder whether this is why I love Wess Anderson films so much  because it’s what I do and have done for many a year…… even though I had never heard of or watched any of his films? Hmmmmmm

New Workshops For 2018

I am planning workshops for JANUARY – March 2018 and will announce them first on my private Facebook Group site which is called CRE8ING IMAGES WORKSHOPS – By JoanieB.

The workshops are usually booked up very quickly (sometimes literally within seconds of being announced) so if you want to find out more please ask to join the group.

The first 2 workshops will be covering the following topics:-

TANTALISING TEXTURES (see squirrel picture)
CREATING CREATIVE IMAGES a brand NEW workshop (ALL elements of this workshop will be provided on the day)

The above workshops are limited to 6 attendees so that everyone gets lots of help & advice – I will be donating a percentage of the profits to charity.

Studio days with excellent models and lots of costumes will also be announced on the same site – limited to 4 attendees

For more info please contact me using the contact form below :-


FBPE Award – The End Of A Quest

The 31st December 2017 saw the end of my BPE competition quest as I have received confirmation today (Thanks Alison & Andy Fryer) that I have been awarded the FBPE Distinction.

The final awards/points were gained at the Bebington Salon – the IRONY of which, won’t be lost on those who know me well LOL. !!!

So my refections on my competition journey?

I have really enjoyed (for the most part) the roller coster ride of gaining awards/points in the various BPE comps and salons. I have been elated when a picture has done well and scratched my head when the same picture has bombed. It’s taken a while because I don’t do many prints, I don’t do nature and until just lately hardly any mono images.

Over the last 9 years I have been very fortunate to meet some exceptionally lovely people who are now some of my closest friends and without being involved with photography our paths would probably never have crossed These people have been and continue to be a joy to be around they have been generous with their time, advice, encouragement and although I am not going to name them/you individually…. you know who you are. Thanks for your friendship and support

On the other side of the coin I have been unfortunate enough to come across some very nasty, vindictive , poison filled individuals. These people suck the life out of those who cross their paths and do everything in their power to “keep people down” and try to stifle peoples progress. It’s impossible to know why these people are the way they are but they continue to blight peoples lives. Obviously I am not going to name them individually …… but you know who you are and thanks for making me even more determined.

So what next? Even though I have enough “points’ for EFIAP/Gold I can’t be bothered filling in the forms etc so I am happy to stay with EFIAP/Bronze but I will continue to support U.K/Irish Competitions. I have no desire to pursue the FRPS distinction so I will continue to be a lapsed ARPS. I would like to help others on their personal quest too and have started putting ideas together on how I can do that.

Personally, I would like to do more judging and would welcome the chance of being one of the judges at a BPE Comp (I feel we need some new faces doing the judging – we seem to see the same people judging over and over again) – so if you are in charge of such a competition I would be happy to chat with you. I have judged a number of International Competitions (the next one is the Southampton International) and have really enjoyed the experience.

So, in conclusion – thanks to all of you nice people out there who have encouraged me over the years … and for those who tried to keep me down, better luck next time

Things you don’t want to hear at 38 thousand feet in the air!



There are a few things you don’t want to hear on a flight……

Captain – “as we have experienced a great amount of turbulence on the way out here I have instructed the air crew to serve hot drinks for the first hour and then bolt everything down until we land. If you need any further cold drinks please press the button above your head and one of the crew might be able to attend to you…… if its not to bumpy” pause “the toilets will also be out of action too”

and, once we had reached 38 thousand feet…

Air Crew (in a panicky voice” – “is there a medical doctor or paramedic on board this flight? If so could you make your self known to us immediately please?”

Pilot – after trying to land the plane, failing and making a very VERY steep vertical climb “oops sorry folks missed the runway, I’ll turn round and have another go at it !!!!!” slight giggle “hopefully I’ll do better next time !!”

Air stewardess – “sorry madam we have run out of the vegetarian option but I can offer you a peanut and jelly sandwich instead”……… this was on a 12 hour overnight flight!

The other thing you don’t want to hear is the man seated behind you who sniffs and clears his throat (in a very irritating manner, like he is trying to cough up a huge lump of something very nasty) for the whole 3 hours of the flight. Cough, hack hack hack , sniff, cough cough. eeewwwwwww

Also, while I am on roll….. why is it that someone can fall into a deep sleep whilst their children (sitting next to them) scream and fight and disrupt everyone else around them….. except for the now snoring mum in the next seat?

And ….is it “bad form” to tut loudly when a group of “ladies” decide its still New Years Eve (even though that was 2 days ago) to try and get up and form a conga train down the middle of the plane?

I am convinced that on my passport it says “please place this lady next to a constant cougher, loud sniffer, unruly child/children or someone who is terrified of flying and squeezes your hand (which you have offered as a way of comforting them) so tightly your fingers turn white.

Give me strength ….. Happy New Year !!

Oh No….. Not Her Again !!!!!!

Something caught my eye just now on Facebook – it was an advert of a man demonstrating a pastry crimper and that image took me back to when I was a child…. let me elaborate.

Mum and I had very little when I was young and she worked all hours of the day to save up to take us to Blackpool for our annual 2 weeks holiday.

One year I found myself standing in front of a man in a large department store who was demonstrating a pasty cutter/crimper……. I was mesmerised. Each day (and many times a day) I would elbow myself forward to the front of the gathered crowd and watch him expertly crimp the pie and cut out dainty leaves to place on top of the crust as a delightful decoration  – I was obviously easily entertained in those days.

I stood for hours watching him and as the time went on I learned his patter ….. and quietly said it along with him. I must have driven him mad….. and all these years later I apologise to that poor man for making his life a complete misery.

Even at that age I could see his spirit and shoulders drop when he spotted my beaming face in front of him on a daily basis –  when all he was trying to do was make a crust…….. sorry, had to get that pun it !

Sadly,  our two weeks were over all too quickly and I am sure the gentleman in question hung out the bunting (if not an actual bun tin) when he realised his stalker had finally disappeared.

However, about six months later Mum booked us on day trip by coach down to London to see the Ideal Homes Exhibition (ironic really when we were trying to have a day AWAY from a less than ideal home) and as we walked round the crowded floor I heard a familiar voice……. Yes, it was HIM.

Can you imagine the sheer joy on this poor mans face when he saw his nemesis standing in front of him delivering word perfect his demonstration dialogue, I’m sure I saw a tear in his eye and perhaps the pie was crimped a little more tightly.

Needless to say Mum bought a pastry crimper…. It was the least she could do.