My interest in photography has always been there. I started with a Box Brownie in the 1960s then a 110 film camera, but never really took anything other than snapshots. When my daughter came along I wanted to get better pictures of her, so I got a Petri film SLR (single-lens reflex) in 1976. I bought various lenses and filters but never took it that seriously, until the dawn of digital photography - and my grandchildren. I quickly went from an early Kodak digital to point-and-shoots to a Nikon D50 and have never looked back. I still use Nikon to this day with a D850 and two D500s. In 2011 I joined a camera club which opened me up to competitions. At first I was not at all successful, however the critique of some good judges soon pointed me in the right direction.
In 2014 I was invited into PICO (Photographic Imaging Cooperative) based in Peterborough – this is an invite-only club with a view to achieving accreditations and focusing on improving the photography of each of the members. We hold critique evenings where are no holds barred - there is no point in giving false advice, so the critiques are given and received in good humour. The aim is to improve the quality of the image, and since joining PICO I have now achieved British Photography Exhibition (BPE) 4 Crown Award, and five of us have recently gained our DPAGBs - a Distinction from the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain (PAGB). Through PICO we also enter external competitions and have been fairly successful so far, we made the PAGB Print finals in 2017 and the PAGB Projected Digital Image finals 2018. It's been a great way to improve my photography and gain recognition for it.