Thames Canoe Challenge with FITWAYS by Tony Inwood

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Meet Nick (Blue Tracksuit) and his experienced team of instructors from Fitways Adventures as we end the 85 km 3 day Thames Canoeing Challenge

My first time out on one of these events and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed every minute. I didn’t arrive until later on Friday as I had an awards ceremony to photograph that day. Once I secured my vans parking I soon settled in and as I already new a lot of the people from the company taking part, I was made to feel very welcome.

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Can’t remember the last time I went camping so it was no surprise I found it a little strange to start with but after a few beers and a couple of gins from the Gin Tent I was off like a light.

Morning came quick as it does this time of year and I woke along with the birds and was feeling a little heavy on the head. With an early start it wasn’t long before the smell of bacon drifted under my nose and that was enough to pull me from my sleeping bag and tent.

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A global corporate event which I was honoured to photograph and with a remaining stretch of around 50km down the Thames I was looking forward to seeing some beautiful scenery. What I wasn’t expecting was this gentleman who seemed very proud of his dwellings. As the story was told by the boatman this gentleman befriended an older lady and a couple of years later passed away. To his amazement she left him a well over a million but it is this lifestyle he chooses to live. Just goes to show your happiness should come first before money.

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So the journey continued south towards Reading and it was at the next lock where I decided to have a go myself. Only a mere snip of the distance that others had done I could no longer sit and see others paddle while I sat comfortable on the safe boat. For the next 10 km I was partnered by one of the instructors who was happy to show me the ropes.

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Am I doing things right? by Tony Inwood

I guess I am doing things right if I receive reviews like this.

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I guess you are doing things right if you gets reviews like this...

One’s wedding is, hopefully, a one off event, and the record of the day through photographs is, possibly, the single most important aspect of what will be a precious and cherished memory. Getting the right photographer is not so much important, more absolutely essential. A wedding is made up of individual moments of joy; smiles of friends and family, intimate moments of shared happiness, fleeting and priceless. It’s not just a case of finding someone capable of spotting these magical snippets but, in addition, it’s vital that the professional has the ability to compose that moment. This is not something that can be taught, not something that can be learned in a lecture room, or picked up through repetition.

This is a gift. My sister has the gift, always has had, which has proved an asset of Herculean proportions for her Interior Design business. But until we met Anthony of Anthony Paul Limited, Bourton on the Water, I imagined that apart from sis, this ability was restricted to the greats; Longford, Bailey, Cartier-Bresson. Just goes to show, it pays not to be narrow minded.

When we first met Anthony, we initially discussed our requirements for our wedding day and, not being overly au fait with the process, knew we would have to rely heavily on the advice of our professional. We, very quickly, relaxed into the meeting, assured at the outset that we were in safe and capable hands. In the meeting, Anthony asked that we meet again to have a “practice” session. This was important, he told us, in ensuring we were both comfortable in his presence on the day, and any shots he managed would have a much more natural feel to them. We met in Bourton and Anthony took us to Notgrove, where he and us had a very enjoyable meander through the beautiful Cotswold village, as Anthony effortlessly directed the stroll. The resulting shots has left us with a lasting sense of just how much in love we are with one another. This mans' ability to capture, not so much a moment, but more an emotion, inspires complete confidence. Before signing the contracts, Anthony sat us down and went through a comprehensive check list of the kind of day we wanted the photographs to portray, from options such as a fun or a romantic occasion, with an array of sub-categories which guaranteed our day would be just as we wanted it to be.

One is often left wondering whether the images on photographers websites are contrived or if they actually do show the professionals ability. Any body looking for someone to capture the essence of a wedding day, need have no fear that the stunning work shown on his website, is anything other than the genuine article, and need look no further than Anthony Paul Photography. This chaps service is first class and we look forward to posting examples of his considerable skill on our Facebook page.





Health & Life Sciences Ball 2019 by Tony Inwood

One of the biggest challenges to date but most rewarding was photographing a University Ball at the Oxford Town Hall. I first had to discover how I was going to get all my kit into the venue without parking restriction outside. It soon came to light that the Hall had a parking space across the road which I took with great relief.

So all my kit now setup and ready for the invasion of over 300 Students!

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Before I knew it there were loads of students queuing up and many of which returned for a second shoot. It was so nice to see all the students ready to participate and creating such a fun environment to work in.

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After two hours of frantic fun in front of the backdrop it was time to enter the hall and onto the dance floor. Nope….. not to dance but to capture all the fun and enjoyment on people’s faces.

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This was a remarkable evening and one not to forget as the students were friendly, fun and a little under the influence of alcohol.

Thank you to the Health & Life Sciences for making make my job a lot easier and for making me feel welcomed.

When things go wrong go to Plan B! by Tony Inwood

So, how did I capture this lovely family indoors when it was pouring of rain?

This family portrait shoot started out in a wood in Northleach but as we were setting up the heavens opened up. It was at this stage I decided to tell them to come to my studio in Bourton on the Water. With 20 members strong I knew it was going to be a challenge but I had plan.

This was not going to be easy and with all these lovely people packed into the back of our house the plan was to photograph them individually. With this in mind I quickly got to work setting up my green screen studio. We had just one hour to shoot 20 members but to position them so it would all fit together in the final image.

Once I had taken all members of the family they left and it was then that I went to work on the final image. Using my green screen technology software I erased all the background on each image and created a PNG file for each. This means I can apply any background in Photoshop and keep the persons pixels active.

I created a large panoramic file as my starting canvas, a suitable backdrop image and then added each member where I thought would best suit. One thing you have to remember is to ensure you apply some shadow or reflection at the base of each person as this gives it some realism.

And there you have it, one big happy family in a photo to last a lifetime!

Why I no longer use Facebook to sell my services by Tony Inwood

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For the last 3-4 years I have been under the illusion that Social Media can triple your business revenue. We all know this can be achieved in principle but in reality we are forced to splash the cash to increase your likes, web visits or add responses.

To be fair, Facebook is a great tool for sharing your work and at some point, someone will come back to use you for your services. Unfortunately, in my line of work I share photos across a platform already over saturated with images. It is mainly the public that are responsible for billions of posts each accompanied with an image or two. Online images are now becoming an expression of life and something to relate to in a circumstance of life.

The value of a photo taken by a professional or passionate amateur seems to have lost it’s value and it is this reason why I no longer advertise or try to sell on Facebook. I value Facebook for it’s ability to post your life as it unfolds should you wish. I no longer value Facebook as a tool to sell my services as a photographer. The temptation to post my current work is strong but I much prefer to use other methods.

Since the start of the year my photography revenue has tripled and is well on the way to breaking all my past year’s revenue targets. I am not looking to share with you how this is being achieved but to say that NO work at all as come through Facebook. I have found that using Facebook and other methods of Social Media only grows your contact base to a particular size. Keep feeding your followers with the same repetitive imagery, cold selling and behind the scene footage will eventually make you realize your efforts are being wasted in my opinion. This is my opinion and does not reflect those that do not provide a photography service as a business.

It is from my own experience and since moving to an improved solution I know where I was going wrong. I don’t feel that I should try to prove to anyone that I am busy and still active by posting on Facebook. It’s actually a good feeling knowing that I am building my photography without my competitors knowing what I am doing.

I no longer wish to waste time, energy and money in areas where the work is not required. Creating a solution where you are responding to someone who needs you is bringing in much better results as a business.

I will of course still post some of my favorite images as I take time out to enjoy photography in the Cotswold’s

Headshot Photography by Tony Inwood

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What is a headshot photograph?

A headshot is a photograph of a person's face, that usually includes their shoulders. It can be taken from different angles and is usually used in a professional context, like on social media or professional website.

Headshot Photography is becoming more and more popular for those people who need a professional looking profile online. The photos generally outline the persons features but the main aim is to provide a visual representation of the persons personality.

Most modelling agencies will use professional headshots to head up a profile of a potential candidate. More and more people are getting into Film & TV extras as a route to enter into acting or earn a little extra money. Headshot photos will give you a professional look in your portfolio. Portfolios are sourced by agencies who are on the look out for people who want to be part of a block buster movie, drama or even adverts.

Furthermore, you can use Headshots for business and social media profiles such as Linkedin.

If you are close by, in Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire or Warwickshire and looking for Headsets then please get intouch.

Why a pre-shoot is good for your wedding! by Tony Inwood

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Just one hour can make all the difference on your wedding day.

But why?…

If you can imagine meeting someone for the first time, someone you trust to capture your special day? Yes trust…. you have only just met them and you trust them?

We are talking about your photographer and unless you know them already you will never have seen them before.

Whether you’re using Anthony Paul Photography or another photography service it is highly recommended you meet up in advance.

Just one hour will be enough to get to know your photographer and more importantly they will get to know you. As a wedding photographer it’s important for me to know how my client’s are in front of camera. Are they romantic, playful, sexy or bashful. You can create a fun atmosphere in one hour where the bride and groom become relaxed.

This introduction is crucial as it will enable us to iron out any photographic issues before the wedding day. Nothing worse than seeing the bride and groom tense up on their big day because they are placed in an uncomfortable pose or there is one side they don’t wont photographing.

By becoming a friend and providing a professional service in that one hour, it will take a lot of pressure away from the bride and groom.


If you would like to know more about Anthony Paul Wedding Photography then please visit our service page.

Regards

AP

Understanding Image Size by Tony Inwood

Having been asked recently to print an image on a very large canvas, it has highlighted there maybe a little misunderstanding about image resolution.

So I was asked to print an image with a file size of 230kb which was around 400 pixels at the longest side. If I had sent this to print on a 120 cm x 80 cm canvas it would have come back all pixelated. These means looking like little squares making up the picture which would not have been good.

Most online printers will let you know if you have uploaded a poor quality image based on the size of the print. It will be a good idea to also ways check the print quality before you click “Buy”.

I have included a table below that will better determine if your image is good enough to print at the required size.

If you have your image on a PC you can right click and choose “Properties” or “Get info” on a mac. The information will tell you the MB or pixels the image is so you can compare on the table below.

As an example, you will not be able to print an image of 1000 x 1500 at 10” x 8” as there will not be enough pixels in the image to fill the print.

If you take photos from your camera always select the highest resolution possible to avoid disappointment when trying to print.

Hope this helps

Anthony

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Mystical Forest by Tony Inwood

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Since launching this service I have received a large amount of requests and lovely comments about the style and the creativeness around the finished work. Hard to think this little girl was sitting in my studio with a green screen behind her.

A lot of the ideas come from the children them self by telling their parents where they see themselves in a World of magic or fantasy. Once we know this, it is down to working poses and some very creative thinking to get shots like this.

No matter what they are thinking we can create a World to full fill their dreams and I am really proud to be able to offer this unique stylish and creative imagery. I do believe in searching for something that separates you from the rest and by combining my artistic background I feel confidence I have now achieved this.

If you would like to know more about this story telling technique then please do get in touch via the contact page.

Yours in Pictures
Anthony

Enchanting Story Telling Photography by Tony Inwood

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Over the past few months I have been involved with a few clients to take my photograph to a whole new level. It is a child’s dream to escape into a magical World of fantasy and beauty far beyond their imagination. With some careful planning and artistic skill sets I can make those dreams come true.

Overwhelmed by the client’s reviews, I am delighted to start offering this unique service to my photography.

From Saturday 26th of January you will see a few posts of a young girl I have been photographing as part of this service. The posts are a surprise and have been kept behind closed doors until her birthday on Saturday.

Anything is possible, so if you have a child with a dream then get in touch for a no obligation consultation. Please see home page for costings.

Recent review
”I would highly recommend Antony Paul Photography, I wanted my daughter to have a birthday shoot and decided to go with an enchanting story scene shoot, from the moment we arrived he was very welcoming, my daughter loved every minute of it! she loved doing the different poses for different scenes, she’s usually very shy but this wasn’t the case, my daughters words ‘it was the best photo shoot she’s been too’! And WOW to the finished images they’re truly sensational, you wouldn’t be disappointed! Antony has got such a talent and brought magic to my daughters eyes.
Couldn’t thank you enough Antony! 5*”

Makes it all worth while! by Tony Inwood

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Today, We received a lovely review back from a customer and now friend Wendy Veale. Wendy owns and runs the Old School Bed & Breakfast in Little Compton - in the Cotswolds.

We met Wendy a good few years ago when we made our first trip to the Cotswolds and stayed at her accommodation. Wendy has requested our services as a photographer on many occasions and we always look forward to a lovely cup of tea and a slice of cake.

Anyway, these words make our job, as a photography service, feel proud and excited that we can work with people as lovely as Wendy.

The Review

“Over the past 10 years I have had the pleasure of watching Tony Inwood network and develop his business into the highly professional photographic service there is around - and aside from his passion (and now recognition) for showcasing the Cotswold's - pictures available for those of us working in tourism to access, Tony also captured some super pictures for The Old School website over the years. More recently I commissioned Tony to do a family shoot as a Christmas present - and what results. Early one morning to get the best golden warm light, autumn sunshine and leaves and the most endearing photos of three beautiful daughters and their parents. I could not stop looking at them. Tony clearly has the knack of making people feel relaxed, of enveloping the surroundings too without over-whelming the subject, and just making people and personalities shine through. He is a charming, calming gent, proactive, professional, with great attention to detail, always creative and clearly loving his work. It shows.....”

Thank you Wendy


Paint and Decorate! by Tony Inwood

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Bourton on the Water plays host to hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. From Bed & Breakfasts, gift shops, ice creams to general eateries. Local business are working throughout the year to accommodate their every need.

January is seen as the month that is at rest, tourist are few and far between and work is under way to prepare businesses for the busy months ahead.

Anthony Paul Photography would like to help.

Many businesses are currently working hard preparing their business for when the visitors flood back. From painting, repairing, new products to re-designing shop layouts.

For the month of January only, we are offering Bourton businesses a reduced rate on our regular retail photography. For £35 we will come to your business and take 5 professional photos that will best portray your business. So, if you think you have done all your maintenance get in touch. All images will come with an “Exclusive Use License” This means they are only used by you and your business.

Offer ends January 31st

A very pleasing testimonial by Tony Inwood

I was lucky enough to have been given the 4 hour Cotswold tour with Tony (The Picture Taker) for my birthday. Being an avid wildlife photographer, I hadn’t taken any landscape shots really for a number of years and a long time before I knew anything about photography. So this made me excited but very nervous about doing this, but rest assured when I showed up Tony put us all (there were 3 of us) at ease.

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The day started with a sit down with a coffee in a local café, and we all talked about the cameras and lenses we use and what type of photography we like to take. This was not a brag about your photography skills session, but a chilled out way that Tony could get an idea of skill levels (or lack of in my case) and equipment so that he could tailor the session accordingly to make sure that everyone felt happy that they could all get some nice photos.

There were 4 locations we went to with all 4 being different and Tony made sure that he went over some ideas on what to look for and showed us some particularly beautiful scenes to capture at each location. He checked the photos we were taking, explained how you could improve, compose, frame and how to adapt depending on the equipment you had.....I say this as I don’t have the best lens for landscape but Tony definitely made me feel comfortable with what I had and made sure that I got some photos I am now proud of. 

 

Throughout the whole time we were out, Tony was answering every question we asked and was sharing his knowledge and love of landscape photography and at all times made us feel comfortable and relaxed whilst giving us this masterclass.

 

A brilliant tour of the Cotswolds for beginners and experienced photographers alike and a definite must for landscape enthusiasts and lovers of the Cotswolds.

 

5 *****

 

Twilight Hour - Bourton on the Water by Tony Inwood

Having seen many images taken during the twilight hour I have always been fascinated by the vibrancy of blue sky following a sunset. Most photographers would have moved on as soon as the sun sets but that may be at the expensive of missed opportunities.

Staying that little while longer really does reap rewards and it’s here where I feel it was achieved. Sometimes you can take as many as 50 images from the same location and as the scene gets darker you see a totally different World in front of you. Constantly changing my settings as the mood changes, trying to capture what you see with your eyes is most challenging.

The calm, quiet and dark atmosphere was surely an experience as I heard foxes in the distance fighting amongst themselves. The sound of birds settling in for the night was slowly fading in the distance. Overall, pleasant, peaceful and enjoyable photography and one I will look forward to doing again.

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Nominated Cotswolds Awards 2018 by Tony Inwood

To all my friends and followers

2018, could turn out to be one of my best years so far! As well as many other great Cotswold Photographers I have been nominated for "Best Cotswold Photographer 2018" and "Best Cotswold Wedding Photographer 2018"

I could not have been nominated without all the beautiful people that have followed and supported me during the last few years while settling in to the Cotswold lifestyle. 

During the last 4 years I have fell in love with this place so much I decided to capture it in pictures. These pictures have been taken from first dawn to dusk and throughout all 4 seasons. 

My work has been sold in gifts shops in Bourton on the Water and now, via publishers, throughout the UK and parts of the World. 

My commitment to photography in the Cotswolds can be seen at www.cotswoldstockphoto.com and my services as a photography at www.thepicturetaker.co.uk.

Having been contracted by the Cotswold Tourism Partnership and VisitEngland to cover the North of the Cotswolds my quest is not over. I am now looking to cover the South of the Cotswolds from the start of 2019. 

I hope you will join me on the journey as I bring you more of this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

If you would like to vote for me for any of the above awards please follow the link below and find Tony Inwood The Picture Taker in both lists.

Thank you all so much for your continued support

vote here  https://www.cotswoldsconcierge.co.uk/cotswolds-awards/

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Wedding Photohgraphy by Tony Inwood

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As a photographer there are no words that can explain the feeling when asked to be part of a couples special day.  The importance of choosing the right wedding photographer can not be underestimated.  With thousands of photographers out there which one do you choose?

Communication, planning and building a bond between myself, as the photographer and the couple, are paramount to professional quality images.  Each photographer will have a different style, various packages and ways of working best with the congregation.  More often than not photographers are chosen because someone they know used their services and have been referred.  This is a great way to select your photographer and ensure you will get what has been experienced already.

Until recently I have put my wedding services on the shelf to focus on some different experiences within photography.  I am happy to announce that I will now be offering my wedding photography service once more.  With over 20 weddings under my belt, up and down the country, I am looking forward to that special moment when asked to be "The Photographer"

As a way of trialing my services I offer a FREE engagement shoot in the Cotswolds before the couple decide who they wish to select.  

This is a great way for me, as the photographer, to get to know the couple and visa versa.  This is vital as it will minimize and remove any unwanted nerves on the day.  Should the couple decide to go elsewhere then they will walk away with one of their best images of the shoot.

If your not getting married but know someone who is then please share this blog as I would love to sit and chat about their requirements.

There are no tailored packages just a sit down, listen and cost only to their requirements.

Examples at Wedding Services

Regards

Anthony

 

Early bird catches the worm! by Tony Inwood

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For the last 4 years I have spent many mornings wading through the river in Bourton on the Water.  This stunning gem in the Cotswolds offers plenty for us photographers but its not until you explorer a little closer that you benefit from it's splendor.

Throughout the four seasons there is plenty to photograph in Bourton,  cold frosty mornings in the Winter, blossom through the spring, the splendor of trees that line the banks in the Summer and of cause stunning golden leaves through Autumn.

To be fare, you will only capture all it's beauty if you live in the area but there are certain times when you need to be there and experience all it wonderful features before the crowds.  Yes, I do mean crowds as this is one of the most visited places in the Cotswolds and when it's sunny it's like Blackpool Pleasure Beach!

So, why not join me for 2 hours of photography tuition in this stunning location from 7 am every weekend starting this Sunday. You will need your wellies for this one as we dip into the river to get some amazing pictures. Open to all photography levels and especially those visiting and want to take home some amazing pictures. As a resident I have photographed Bourton on the Water for the last four years throughout all four seasons. From dawn till dusk, you can see all the photos from the last four years at https://www.cotswoldstockphoto.com/…/T…/Bourton-on-the-Water

We will go through all the basics to ensure you enjoy and take amazing photos in this stunning location. It doesn't matter what camera you use I will guaranteed 100% satisfaction of taking some amazing photos! I want to ensure you experience the tranquil setting so get up early and join me on the banks before the crowds do.

In the two hours we will cover everything that makes up photography;

LIGHT
OPTICS
SUBJECT
APERTURE
MEDIUM
TIME

Once you understand all of these your photography will be much simpler.

Look forward to meeting you.

To book please visit https://www.thepicturetaker.co.uk/tour-workshops-1/

 

Your perfect Sunday morning by Tony Inwood

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The daffodils are on the way, the snow drops are blooming and Spring is just around the corner.  I am excited about this coming year and can't wait to get back out on a regular basis and bring home more images of the Cotswolds splendor.

For those that visit the Cotswolds for the first time no doubt will be treated to something special.  In such a sort space of time though where are the best places to visit?

Sunday morning is the perfect time to spend a few hours out in the Cotswold countryside.  Join me from 9 am in the Riverside Cafe for coffee on me.  From here I will take you to up to 4 amazing locations and provide photographers tuition for those eager to learn more.

I have huge collection of Cotswold images taken over the last 4 years that I'm excited to share with you.  Just visit my Cotswold Stock Photo Library   if this has wet your appetite and you want to join me this Sunday then please BOOK today as there are only 4 spaces available.

Look forward to meeting you.

 

Regards
Anthony 

 

Arch Way at Lechlade by Tony Inwood

Yesterday I started my seasonal journey around the Cotswolds. Getting up at 5.30 am to ensure I captured exactly what I wanted. With my flask of coffee, wellies and photography kit, I set off to the exquisite scape of Lechlade.

On arrival I had to move quickly as this moment doesn't last long. This shot was taken under the bridge where the Riverside Hotel and Pub sits beautifully along the Thames. This detailed arch way was the perfect start to my morning and frames my composition nicely. 

Throughout this composition I have used natural light to capture the detail in the stone, the sun light to highlight the foreground and the side of the barge. 

Kit used
Nikon D500
14mm x 24mm Nikon 2.8
Tripod

Focal length 17mm
F stop 14
Exposure 1/40

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PhotoART by Tony Inwood

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A long way back in my life I spent many hours as a child drawing all types of imaginary scenes.  These ranged from World War II battles scenes in the Pacific to beautiful sun sets surrounded by cliff tops.  It was this imagination that sustained my love and passion for art in that you could draw or paint anything you wanted.  Passing my O level Art at school inspired me to move forward and before I knew it I was painting, dogs, bikes, cottages and landscapes for paying clients.  There's no better feeling than being able to put a smile on another's face.  The emotion of watching another man's tears when handing over a painting of his pet dog having it passed away months before.

Time has moved on quickly and being caught up in this fast moving World we now live in I have lost the time to sit and paint.  Twelve years ago I took up photography as a way of reaching out once more to my creative side.  Photography is an art and a way of expressing yourself and as the artist we all want show our work for others to see. 

For someone who has a passion for all things beautiful I want to add a different approach to the work that I do.  Just like music, they will like it or they will not and although you can't please everyone it invokes my emotions to create some PhotoART of my previous work like it did all those years ago.

PhotoART for me is being able to create a digital representation of my own photography.  Using specialist algorithms, layers in Photoshop and a final workflow your imagination can run wild.  The aim, for me, is to invoke other's emotions, thoughts and feelings when viewing my work.  

I believe to this day that I will return to painting these scenes myself and get back to enjoying what was lost all those years ago.

My starter collection is at:

http://www.cotswoldstockphoto.com/Cotswold-Towns-Villages/Cotswold-Fine-ART