I mentioned in a previous blog post that I have exciting news.  Well it’s exciting to me and no-one else but I thought I’d share anyway 😉

As regular readers of my blog know I have a passion for photography.  I started taking photos when I adopted my Mini Schnauzer Bertie in 2011.  Hadn’t the foggiest clue what I was doing (still don’t!) but I love it.

In September I decided to join my local Camera Club to see if I could improve my skills.  The Club holds regular in-house competitions which are judged by an outsider from another Camera Club.  Your pictures are critiqued in front of everyone, which is mortifying, but the point is that you learn not only from your own mistakes but from everyone else’s.  It’s also nice to get inspiration from other people’s pictures, particularly the Advanced class who’ve been taking photos for donkeys years.

I entered my first competition this week with a photo of some Honesty seeds and the judging was last night.  The result………fanfare please………is that I was awarded 2nd place!  Can’t believe it for my very first photo entry and I’m thrilled to bits 🙂


My second piece of exciting news is that many of my photos are now available for sale!  Some of my friends asked if they could buy my pictures as cards, prints or posters so I’ve placed them online.  I only make measly pennies on each one, but I’m not in it for the money – I just love taking photos of wildlife, my gorgeous dog and the stunning area around where I live, and it’s a bit pointless taking pictures unless you share them.

My UK shop is at where you can buy prints, posters, mousemats, jigsaws, fridge magnets, stickers, coasters and cushions but sadly not greetings cards (Photobox stupidly don’t offer them for sale).  If anyone sees a photo they like but would love, for example, a canvas or foam board print, please email me through the site and I can provide a price.

My international shop, available in most countries including the UK, is at where you can buy cards, prints, posters, mugs, t-shirts, cushions, duvets, mobile phone skins, tablet skins and laptop skins (note: not all photos available in all products).  Just click on the picture you like from the gallery, and available products will be shown if you scroll down the page.

If buying greetings cards from Redbubble from the UK there is unfortunately up to a 2 week delivery time as they are printed in the States, though the time should be quicker for posters as they are printed in the UK if ordered in the UK (printed in the States if ordered from the States).  Unfortunately I can’t provide postage and packaging costs as it depends on your country of origin, so this is calculated at checkout.

I’m just an amateur, so don’t expect the Mona Lisa, but I hope you enjoy looking through the photos as much as I enjoyed taking them 🙂 .


18 thoughts on “Photography

  1. kneillbc

    Congratulations! You sound genuinely happy, which is lovely! I’m so glad that you have something to focus on other than health issues- your life is (by necessity) dominated by health issues- your health, your parents’- even the wee dog has health issues. It must feel so good to poke your nose out from under all that and see the beauty in the world. I think it’s a hard thing for anyone with a chronic illness to do. I know that is sometimes have the feeling like I ‘should’ be calling this doctor or that doctor, but, the fact is, I do NOT want to spend every waking minute focusing on my illness! I’d like to focus on living a bit too…
    I’m so glad for you that you have found something you can do at your own pace, without needing to risk your health by over-doing it. Your photographs are beautiful, by the way. The seed picture is stunning! How did you take it?


    1. bertieandme Post author

      I totally agree Karen about the need to not focus every waking second on being ill, especially when you’ve been sick for 2 decades! I’m lucky in that I have my dog, garden, photography and volunteer work – all of which I enjoy and which give me a goal and a purpose.

      The seed picture wasn’t difficult really:
      Brought a piece of Honesty into my lounge from the garden. Put it in a narrow necked vase, stuffed with paper to keep it upright and steady, and placed it ontop of a small box.
      Placed a sheet of black cardboard about 2 feet behind.
      Used a small battery operated LED light behind to light the seeds, though you could use a torch just as well.
      Set camera up on a tripod and used manual focus to get the seeds pin sharp.
      Used a macro lens (but you don’t have to, a standard lens would be fine)
      Aperture of f/14 to get it all in focus (anything from f/8 onwards would have been OK).
      ISO of 100.
      Camera set shutter speed quite slow, due to low ISO, dark background and smallish aperature. So shutter speed was 0.6seconds.
      Pressed the camera button and…..voila!
      Then all I had to do in Photoshop afterwards was rub the vase out with a black rubber 😉

      Sounds complicated but wasn’t at all x


      1. kneillbc

        It sounds relatively simple…perhaps when I get bored with my current craft- which is beading, photography will be next on the list! I’m enjoying challenging my creative side to move past ‘crafting’ into ‘art’. It’s a different type of thinking involved- with crafting, something is either right or it isn’t, it’s not subjective like art is.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. d


    Congratulations! I am so happy for your success. I know what you mean about critiques – it’s the most stressful fun you’ll ever have, but you do learn a lot.

    I look forward to checking out your photos.



  3. Marley

    Dear Jak,
    I am so happy for you for winning second place on the Honesty Seed photo! I looked at some of your other photos and you have a talent. In America, we call the Honesty Seed plant, the Money Plant. As you may recall, in a previous blog, I thought the Honesty Seed was a winner. I admired the shading and the colors were right on for Fall. It was also interesting how you took the shot. What type of camera did you use? Again, Congratulations! Marley


    1. bertieandme Post author

      Thanks Marley 🙂 I bought a 7 year old, third hand Olympus E-520 camera off Gumtree (the camera is now obsolete)! I also bought my other 2 lenses (macro and zoom) 3rd hand off Ebay. Photography is an expensive business and I’m skint, so I just have to make do with what I can afford and get things bought for Birthdays and Christmas.


      1. d

        Hi Jak

        I don’t know if there is such a thing as AirMiles in the UK – you collect points at various stores. You can use them for trips or you can also use them for other items they post on their site. We got both our DSLR and an extra lens on points… most of them by buying groceries. It does take a while but it’s one way to get yourself something you want or need.



  4. Jill Jarvis

    CONGRATULATIONS on your 2nd place prize. That’s fantastic 😉 I’m really chuffed for you!
    I hope you’re so mega proud of yourself. You deserve it! I’m thrilled and living in that faint 2nd hand glory of being a friend of the person who has the talent and put in all the hard work to achieve this. It’s brilliant news.



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