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Country: England

I started my club photography in 1976, in the good old days of slides and rocking the dishes for monochrome prints.  When I joined my first Photographic Club the Chairman approached me asking if I did my own prints.  I confirmed that I did and he asked if I could bring some to the club the following week, which I agreeably did.  However, when he looked at the prints he told me straight that technically they were fine, but the content left a bit to be desired.  In other words they were rubbish.  I was mortified at first, because everyone else who had seen them thought they were fine.  I later found out that because an image is sharp and correctly exposed, it does not make it a good picture.  As I continued to progress in my photography I decided to venture into nature pictures and was soon wining club competitions.  This inspired me to join larger and more advanced clubs, namely; Nottingham and Notts. Photographic Society and Rolls Royce (Derby) Photographic Society, for which I am still a member today.

It was whilst at the Nottingham and Notts. Photographic Society I was introduced to International Competitions by a very good friend, who sadly has passed away now, called Cliff Steer, FRPS, EFIAP.  He also encouraged me to join the PSA as well as the RPS of Great Britain, where I was successful in obtaining my ARPS distinction in the Nature Category in 1980. Don’t forget this was still in the days of colour slides.  I built a slide copier with a jig that held 35mm film in exact register and built up my images using lithographic film as masks. Following international success with my slides, my friend, Cliff Steer, FRPS, EFIAP, kindly agreed to give me free tuition with Solarisation in his darkroom, to which I became quite proficient at, resulting in achieving my FRPS with the RPS of Great Britain under the Pictorial Category, and AFIAP, followed by EFIAP and PSA 3*.

It was in 1988 that my wife and I started a family when our first child was born and this subsequently followed by our second child in 1990.  My priorities changed then, as it was more difficult to continue with club photography, and so I had 22 years out of the photography scene while they were growing up.
It was in late 2012 that I was able again to get back into club photography.  I initially joined my local club and found that things had changed dramatically. It was now the digital age and people were talking about RAW, layers, back focusing etc and I did not have a clue what they were talking about.  Club competitions were horrendous as I was getting the lowest marks of the night.  Then suddenly things started falling into place and I continued to progress in the right direction.

I started to enter International Exhibitions again and found things a lot more straight forward.  No copying slides.  No putting them in a box. No rushing off to the Post Office etc etc.

I persevered with my results and was determined not give up on this challenge, so I read various articles on how to do things in Photoshop to enhance my new found ways of doing things.  Finally, in 2013 I was rewarded with my 2nd FIAP Gold Medal.  My confidence was growing and I achieved my EFIAP/b in 2017, my EFIAP/s in 2018, my EFIAP/g in 2019 and my EFIAP/p in 2020.  I also achieved my PPSA in 2018 with the Photographic Society of America and most recent the distinction of Artist.CPE.  Within the UK British Photography Exhibitions I also achieved my CPAGB in 2015 followed by my DPAGB in 2016.

To-date I have received about 1,100 awards in International Photographic Exhibitions, with nearly 9,000 acceptances, with about 125 of these awards being a combination of FIAP and PSA Gold Medals.  I have also had the privileged of being placed in the PSA Who’s Who in Photography (PID-M and PID-C) for the years 2016-2018, with a world ranking position between 4th to 7th.

For the moment that’s about it folks.  The morale of the story is… and my advice to anyone who is starting or showing an interest in photography is: ”Do Not Give Up”.