I am absolutely over the moon that one of my images submitted into the "Wildlife in the Garden" category of the International Garden Photographer of the Year 2013 Competition was shortlisted!

I entered the international competition last year for the first time, and never expected to get very far. I was more interested in the valuable feedback I would receive from the expert judges. It was sometime after the judging and winners had been announced, before I started to get feedback emailed to me, and it's been a mixture of positive and negative:

 
 
I am so pleased that one of my photos from my Gerbera series has been chosen to be in the Photo Images 2013 Exhibition, running from Tuesday 8th January until Saturday 2nd February at Queens Park Arts Centre, Aylesbury.

This evening, Mr. Ewers and I attended the selection of images for the exhibition and judge's critique of the chosen images at Aylesbury Camera Club. The competition was open to all CACC (Chilterns Association of Camera Clubs) member clubs, and a total of 101 photographers entered, with up to 4 images each. The short list for the exhibition in the New Year was whittled down to 120 images, varying from Portraits to landscapes, natural history to abstract - there was a really good mix to suit all tastes.

So, without further ado, here is my selected image:

 
 
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This morning we arose early to make our way to Pitstone Windmill in time for sunrise. Now I'm not usually one for getting up at stupid o'clock in the morning, or for photographing scenery, but the morning promised frost, and lots of it, so I headed out, wrapped in 4 thick layers of clothing!

I have to admit, I did take some shots of the whole windmill, but I was much more interested in the patterns and textures in the frost cover plants, and the weather beaten textures on the windmill itself. The light was perfect, as it came up over the beacon behind us, and as a fellow photographer said, it was then that the windmill came alive! I was so impressed by the textures of the wooden doors, the wood panel body of the windmill, and even the metal grates on the stairs (it takes all sorts I suppose!) Here's what I mean:


 
 
After reading about sightings of Waxwings on an industrial estate in Aylesbury on the Bucks Bird Club website Mr Ewers and I decided to go to the infamous spot this morning and see if we could spot them ourselves.

After bring up their birdsong on a rather handy app, we noticed a few fly into a tree not far from where we'd parked the car. Fantastic! They then flew further down the road to another tree where they were within easy reach of berries...

 
 
I joined Twitter a while ago, and after making every effort to tweet every day about my photography and read what everyone else had to say, I started to slow down a little, and recently I've practically disappeared on there (despite still having people start to follow me).

So, to renew my interest and faith in the social networking tool I've decided to gather as many wildlife facts as possible to have at least one interesting tweet a day!

Facts such as:

Caterpillars have some 2000 muscles in their tiny bodies

There are 56 species of butterfly in the UK

The top butterfly flight speed is 12mph

In Lithuania, be sure to point out the beautiful "drugelis", or butterflies!

In Britain, there are 26 species of ladybird

Plus many others! So, if you want to find out more about the wildlife in this world, be sure to follow me on Twitter @FionaEwersPhoto !
 
 
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So much has happened (and not happened) since my last post!

First of all, we did not stay for the craft market in Kingsbury, Aylesbury, on 30th June. The wind and rain was immense, and whilst setting up I could see that our prints would either end up blowing away, or getting wet, or both! So, very sheepishly we said goodbye to the organiser and made our way home, feeling pretty down and dejected.

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When we parked back at our shop (my husband's business), we decided to turn the front of the shop into a gallery so that we could display our photos inside, away from the elements. Within about 2 hours, we had stripped all the stock off the slat wall, moved the counter to the side, and brought in the two tables we would have used at the craft market! A short while later, the photos were on the walls!


 
 
I am getting really excited about our first event tomorrow! From 10am until 3pm myself and my husband Danny will be at the Aylesbury Craft Fair, Kingsbury, Aylesbury, so if anyone wants to pop by, that would be lovely!

This is the first event that we have done to sell our nature photographs, and I'm really keeping my fingers crossed that's it a success.

I will be posting photos of our stall, including new gazebo and print displays tomorrow. Until then, wish us luck!
 
 
I have now created my own photography page on Facebook! It's looking a little naked at the moment, but please drop by, take a look and "like" by clicking below, thanks!
 
 
Unfortunately because of ill health during February and March, I had to abandon the 365 Project (as the idea is to take one photo a day) :o( But, not to be beaten I have re-launched the 365 Project as the 2012 Project - to take as many natural patterns and textures as possible, so examples of recent shots are shown below:
To make it a little easier to view, I have split the photos into different categories - just click on the images above to be taken to the corresponding Galleries. Alternatively, click to see the 2012 Project Page, and go from there! More photos will be added shortly, as well as more info over the whole website! So far there are 154 images in this project, with more to be added very soon!
 
 
I am so over the moon to be given the opportunity to have been appointed Programme Secretary for my local Camera Club, ImageZ, that I had to post something on my blog before I burst!

My husband and I haven't been members of the club for very long, but we have been welcomed with open arms and enthusiasm, and practically feel like part of the family. I have had so much fun at the club, learning new skills in areas of photography that I hadn't looked into before, making new friends, and obviously the greatest confidence boost of having my photographs considered for a regional competition as well as being made Programme Secretary. I am jumping into the role with both feet and have already secured an evening meeting during the Summer.

For anybody interested, please check out the club website

www.imagezcameraclub.co.uk

and look around the website of the friendliest camera club I've ever been too (and believe me, I've been to a few!)

Will keep you all posted as to how I'm getting on in my new "job"!