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Monday, 17 March 2014

A new passion?

I've always enjoyed photography but only ever had a small point and click so as far as photographing wildlife is concerned they're a bit limited.  So up to now all our outdoor experiences and in particular wildlife experiences have been captured through Gary's lens and I've used his photos to paint from.  I think any artist would say that given the choice they would prefer to paint from their own life experiences - you can't beat it, as you relive the moment as you're painting, you experience a different feeling when painting something you've experienced.  That's not to say I don't enjoy painting from other people's photos as I love that too, a photo can trigger something in me and inspire me to want to paint it, like when I saw a kingfisher for the first time but didn't get a photo so used one of Gary's old ones - I hadn't been there when he took the photo but the emotions I felt when I saw my first kingfisher went into the painting. Some of the photos I've used from PMP have given me enormous pleasure to paint,  whether it be for a challenge or because a photo has reminded me of a place or a time etc.  and I love seeing the subject come to life in front of me - not that I always like the end result! - but I will have enjoyed the process.   So the emotions can be there whether or not you have actually been there at the time.   

Anyway I'm in the very lucky position of having a very good teacher and a good camera to start my journey into DSLRing! So not only will I be having the experiences I will be capturing the images through my own lens (well Gary's borrowed lens!!)  He generally uses a Nikon D3 but has kept hold of his old D300 so the other week I asked him if he could teach me how to use it and I'm loving every minute.    I went out yesterday on my own to have a practice and was delighted to come across 2 Mute swans in a beautiful courtship display so got a few shots of that and I tried to get some shots of flapping ducks - this is the only one I managed and it was a bit of a fluke!

So you can expect art AND photography posts from now on hopefully - I've finally got into the watermark thing too, something I should have started ages ago!!!!   

On the bottom of each of my blog posts at the moment you'll find a link to the charity wildlife ebook Gary and I are both part of. Everyone involved in the book has volunteered their work and time to put it together and all proceeds go to the South West Deer Rescue Centre

Here is a link to my post about it  

If you haven't already please consider buying this book - it's a wonderful book and only costs about the same as a coffee and it will make such a difference to the deer centre.  


  1. All of these are gorgeous Sharon. It will be interesting to see what you do with your own photos when you paint. I use mostly my own photos to paint from but when someone shows me their photo which absolutely blows me away I always ask permission to paint it. I have been so fortunate to have so many friends who give me their photos to use. Enjoy your new creative tool. Have a great week!

  2. Ah Sharon - you are not only an artist with a paint brush but a camera as well. I took a few minutes to catch up on your latest posts...the one about being an artist touched me - I so identify with you because I work as well. I love and read and study art and do it in within my time constraints. I want to improve and grow but there is no driving force for me either. Congratulations on your Wildlife Art and Photography Book - will certain check this out. Have a great day.

  3. Hello Sharon,
    Great shots!!
    Wonderful the swans with their head in a heart. The first of the duck is really fantastic.

    Best regards, Marco

  4. Hey Sharon, the new passion....WOW.

    For colour of course I'm going with the Mallard.

  5. No end to your talents Sharon, lovely photos... I am going on a course in a couple of weeks to teach me how to use my camera (have to confess I don't know what DSLR means and whether my camera works like that, it's a Canon EOS1100D) I can see already that I will need a new lens as the zoom on mine isn't great but that can wait, I need to learn the basics first!!

  6. Thank you Sharon for the info! Such beautiful bird photos, but I love your artwork too!

  7. Super images Sharon, if this is the quality of your first effort I reckon some of us so called photographers had better start watching out!
    Good luck, and enjoy your new passion....[;o)

  8. You're a natural. These photographs look as if you are an expert. And oh those gorgeous Swans. Happy Snapping xx

  9. absolutely wonderful photographs! I signed up some time ago for your blog and have never received an email notification so I found and LIKED your FB page which I hope will get me your blog info too.

    1. thank you Mellowood Gallery - I follow you on facebook too!


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