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.