For just about as long as I can remember I've been taking photographs. I received my first camera, a Kodak Instamatic 25, for my birthday when I was nine or ten and much to my Dad's frustration I used up all my first roll of film trying to get a picture of our neighbour's five legged-ginger cat! That certainly taught me the value of being selective. In my teens I bought a Zenit EM SLR and started experimenting with a makeshift darkroom in the bathroom. I think this must have been when I really got hooked on photography and where my affinity for black and white images came from. Anyone who has ever developed their own photos in the darkroom must have been amazed when they saw their pre-conceived image suddenly appearing in their developing tray as if by magic. I certainly was and I don't think I ever forgot the buzz from creating my photos in the darkroom - maybe I'll go back to the darkroom again someday!
A few cameras and a few years on, I now use a Canon EOS 7D MkII digital SLR which I'm really pleased with. Around 7 years ago I joined Sodbury and Yate Photographic Club (SYPC). This is an active club with a broad range of experience and plenty of friendship, enthusiasm and support. I feel that joining a club really helped me to improve my skills and confidence both with the camera and with the all essential image processing software. I successfully achieved my CPAGB award in May 2011 for a print portfolio (If you would like to see these just open the Galleries page and select the CPAGB Album). All being well, I will probably try for the DPAGB award in the next couple of years - watch this space.
I live in Gloucestershire in the UK in the beautiful Cotswolds. This is a picturesque part of the world and I'm very lucky in that I only have to step outside my house to find plenty of inspiration. Most years, I generally like to challenge myself with a personal project and just recently I drew on the beauty of my local area to create a photobook of winter black and white landscape images taken from within a mile of my house. You can see some of these in the South Cotswolds Landscapes album.