I've long had a creative urge, but as I can't draw, paint, dance, sing or play a musical instrument, finding an outlet for this creativity was a bit of a challenge! I'd always been interested in photography, whilst managing to remain happily ignorant of things like apertures and ISOs, but when I bought my first DSLR my enthusiasm really took hold. I bought piles of photography magazines, read books, looked at online photo sharing sites and took many, many (many!) bad photographs. It was often frustrating to return from an outing with images that fell a long way short of those I'd been hoping to achieve, and progress seemed to be annoyingly slow.

Not long after joining Chichester Camera Club one of the members passed on what she said was best piece of photography advice she'd been given. "This is it" I thought - "the shortcut to being a brilliant photographer!", so I was more than a little disappointed when this gem turned out to be "Take lots of photographs and look at lots of photographs". "What? That's it??" I thought - not quite the profound and illuminating revelation I'd been hoping for! But, actually, it turned out to be a very sound piece of advice and (in the absence of any speedier alternatives!) it was what I did.

I love photography because it gives me a reason to be out in some beautiful places at the best times of the day and night. Whether it's on a tor on Dartmoor at 3 a.m., on the Northumberland coast at first light or the South Downs at dusk, time flies by and hours seem like minutes. Pure pleasure.