Wildlife at Wooley

I have got a little lazy taking the camera out with me on my dog walks. Two young dogs and a Collie and a camera was always a bit tricky and they had not learnt to wait quietly.

I would be rich if I got a pound every time I came home and said I wish I had taken the camera.

The dogs are more settled now and are learning that when I have the camera and stop, they might as well just settle down! There does not seem to be as much wildlife around as there was 5 yrs ago.

Thankfully I had the youngest on the lead.  He has extremely high chase drive so today’s walk could have got very exciting.

The first sighting was a deer running from the copse across the field. First thoughts are on to the dogs, making sure I have their attention, Buzz and Maya were off lead. I was a bit late getting the camera up on this one and it was quite a distance away but managed to capture it jumping over the fence to get to the woods beyond.

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I walked the dogs up to the woods but there was not much going on so decided to head back, letting Dash off the lead for a bit of ball play. In the distance, I could see what I thought was a couple of dogs running around so decided that he had best go back on the lead as he is not good with other dogs! Just as well, the eyesight is not what it used to be and soon I realised it was another two deer.

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Would I be lucky enough for them to head in my direction? What had spooked them?

I scatter feed my dogs regularly, it’s much more rewarding for them than having food from a bowl. It also has its uses in emergency situations!  Buzz went on lead very quickly. Maya aged 11 was trusted. Down went the food to get their attention off the two deer which I could see were heading for me. I sat on the floor and what a wonderful sight. The dogs didn’t even notice them!

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How mad would I have been if I had not taken the camera out!

If it wasn’t for scatter feeding then I would not have got these images as the dogs would not doubt have been going mad on the end of the leads wanting to chase!

Just when you think you have had a great day, I turned around to see these beauties in the field behind me. 2020-02-09_00132020-02-09_0014

I won’t be venturning out in todays wind and rain with the camera!

 

 

 

New Years Resolution – Blog more regularly!

Well I haven’t done so well on the New Years resolution but January is always a busy month, catching up after the Xmas break not to mention the tax return and getting ready to submit my Qualification panel at the Societies Convention in London (will blog about that another day)

So Feb started with a bang. The Guild of Photographers Award Evening. A fantastic event. I arrived on Friday to help Clive Hall give his presentation on his amazing Fellowship panel and spent Saturday day time listening to some wonderful presenters. Weddings, Wildlife and Portraiture. Love to look at other people images, hear their stories and learn.

The evening was a big event. It’s very well attended. Sold out in hours of the tickets going on sale! Held at the magnificent Crewe Hall.  I was lucky enough this year to get awarded the Photographers Bar again.

Thank you to Rachael Foster and Samantha Jayne Photography for the images above.

The Photographers Bar

Becoming a member of the Photographer’s Bar is a unique distinction awarded to those photographers who have had images assessed by the Guild via the Image of the Month competition over the course of a competition year, attaining a score the equivalent of a point for each entry made.

In other words any member who can secure 24 points* in one section of the Photography of the Year Title chases from 24 images in any 8 months of the same competition year (ie your chosen 3 POTY images X 8 Months in the same category) will be awarded honorary life membership of the ‘Photographer’s Bar’ in order to acknowledge the fact they have submitted strong images consistently throughout the year in competition judged in accordance with national scoring criteria – a distinction that is very difficult to achieve!!

Such a friendly, well-run event everyone always has a blast.

Thanks to Samantha Jayne Photography for the image below! Party Time!

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The Guild of Photographers

I have been a member of the Guild of Photographers for a few years now. They are a really friendly bunch of people and if you are intersted in photography as a professional or ametuer I would recommend you joining. I recently gained my Master Craftsman Qualification with the Guild which I am very proud of.

There are regional meetings held which provide a great way for photographers to meet up. You dont need to be a professional, you just need to enjoy photography.

There are yearly seminars where you can attend workshops on a variety of subjects.

They provide a mentoring service, where you can get advice from one of the panel members from just improving your photography to help with working for qualifications or competition entries. There is a fee for this but it is worth every penny. I would recommend it to anyone.

They also produce a colourful and informative magazine. I have attached a version here has some of the images on from the panel I submitted and gained my Craftsman qualification with last year.  Pages 3 (botton right image) & pages 94-95

Full magazine here.

Master Craftsman

 

I have no idea where time goes these days! I had meant to write this post last week.

So in October 2019 I started work towards my next photographic qualification Master Craftsman/Fellowship. I had decided I wanted to create a panel to celebrate older dogs. The criteria was set at 13 yrs or above. I did make one exception for an elderly Great Dane at 12 yrs old that is a fantastic achievement for such a large breed.

Lots of you kindly volunteered your dogs as models for the project and we had fun doing the shoots and I met lots of lovey dogs and people and was overwhelmed with the love they had for their four legged friends.

All photographic organisations have their own qualification system.  Licencieate, Associate & Fellow or Qualified, Craftsman & Master Craftsman.

The Guild of photographers are as follows.

‘Qualified’ status is aligned to standards of competence that reflect a level where the customer should be ‘pleased with the results’, when employing the services of a skilled tradesman (the photographer). In other words ‘Qualified’ indicates professional ‘competence’ to a level where the Guild is willing to recognise the photographer as an ambassador of the association , so those who achieve that level should be proud of doing so.

‘Craftsman’ status is aligned to the exacting standards of a true ‘Craftsman’. Therefore to attain this level an increasing level of professional critique to evaluate our members work. In other words we get increasingly ‘fussy’ and look in minutiae at all the elements of photographic understanding. Those that achieve this accolade have demonstrated the finest technical skills and an exceptional creative and artistic ‘eye’.

Finally, in the same way as when a ‘Craftsman’ was granted the highest accolade of ‘Master Craftsman’ having created something truly exceptional (their ‘masterpiece’), a ‘Craftsman’ within the Guild of Photographers can only achieve the acknowledgement of being a ‘Master Craftsman’ by producing their own photographic masterpiece.

Creating a panel is not for the faint hearted! A lot of work goes into it and even I had underestimated this having done my Craftsman Level last year..

You have to supply a panel of 20 images mounted in 20″x16″ mounts a piece of Wall Art and an album and a statement of intent. These are then presented in person and judged by 5 members of the Guilds qualified judging panel.

I am really pleased to say that I was awarded my Master Craftsman on the 21st May 2019.

I would firstly like to thank all the dogs and thier owners. Sadly three of the dogs that participated and had their images in the panel have left us on this world but they will be forever in their owners and my hearts. I would like to thank my friends and family that have supported me, and those that have taught me over the years. You all know who you are.

 

 

 

National Dog Portrait Awards 2019

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Hi there, I am very excited to announce that I am now providing sessions and entry into the National Dog Portrait Awards 2019!

What’s in it for you?

A fun 1 hr session either at my studio or out on a location close to me with your dog …

A reduced fee for mid week session of ONLY £25

Entry free into the National Dog Portrait Awards of which a £10 donation is given by me from your £25 session fee which will go towards helping several Pet Charities.

Chance to Win the following great prizes

1st PRIZE – £1,500 plus a £500 portrait
2nd PRIZE – £1,000 prize plus a £500 portrait
3rd PRIZE – £500 plus a £500 portrait

Limited slots available on this offer so book soon!

How do I book?  Its very easy!

Call me 01235 763359 or 07818427876

Email me on mel.j.taylor@gmail.com

Go to my Website www.meltaylorphotography.co.uk have a look at my award winning images and send me a message from there.

£25 fee is payable on booking, refundable with 24 hrs notice.

What happens once I have booked you?

We will arrange a session time to suit us both

You come along for an hours fun shoot. Dogs can be kept on lead outside if required and the lead will be removed at the editing stage.

I edit the images to competition standard.

You come and view the images and choose the one you want entered into the competition. You will be given the oppertunity to buy any of the images if you wish too. There is no obligation.

Book now before all the slots go………

Competition Rules

Entries to be made prior to the 15th September 2019.

Only one image per dog can be entered.

Winners will be chosen by and expert judging panel

Winner will be notified by email

Click here for Full Terms and Conditions

The Photographers Bar

Very pleased to have been awarded the “Photographers Bar” again this year. It is a unique distinction award to Photographers in order to acknowledge the fact they have submitted strong images consistently throughout the year in the monthly international competition judged in accordance with national scoring criteria – a distinction that is very difficult to achieve!! Thank you to Rachael Foster photography for the image.

Here are a few of the images submitted this year.

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New Qualification – Craftsman

Yesterday, 9th May I travelled up to Stoke on Trent to the Headquaters of the Guild of Photographers to sit my Craftsman Qualification. This qualification is equivalent to the Assocatiate Qualification I gained with the SWPP but the difference being the images had to be presented in person and in print.

The images are judged by 5 Judges that all hold the Master Craftsman qualification and have been through a tough training programme to become judges.

20 images have to be submitted printed in mounted at a minimum size of 16″x12″. If you are a proffessional photographer you are also required to povided proof of Public Liability insurance, a finished product that would be given to the customer and a book showing all the images. The the images also have to be provided in a digital format should they judges want to look at the images more closely on a computer screen.

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I didnt realise how nervous I was until all 5 judges were facing me and I had to read my supporting words about my panel to them. I was begining to wish I had not laminated it as at one point I was in danger of it sounding like a thunder storm as I shook so much!

The Judges then turn to view your panel and you leave the room while the look at the images closely and then a vote is taken.

I am glad to say that I got the thumbs up from all five judges.

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(Image copyright David Islip)

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Dogs Today Feburary Issue

Loving the cover photo on February’s issue of Dogs Today magazine.

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As always lots of interesting articles, Canine sensitity, Convential vs alternative vets. Will Power, what will happen to your dog if you die, Dog Crush is the Akita!

Valentines is upon us and I was thrilled to find one of my images in the Best Dog Photos in the world section. Not hard to guess which image it is. There is not love, like a dogs love!

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If you dont want chocolates or flowers for Valentines then this is a great alternative. Gift Vouchers available.

Midweek and Weekend studio sessions are available.

 

Up for an Award

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I am very pleased to say that for the third year running I have reached the Final of the fiercely contested Guild of Photographers Image of the Year Competition.

The Guild is a highly respected UK based association for photographers which has members from overseas as well. Each year it runs an on-line monthly photographic competition, judged by internationally respected judges with awards given to the best entries.

During 2017, the competition has attracted around 1200 entries per month from the most talented of photographers.

It has just been announced that from all the entries across the year, the Guild’s Judges have selected JUST 12 images in various genres to go forward to the annual Image of the Year Final. Those selected really are the best of the best, and  I have been selected as a finalist in the Pet Genre.

Guild Director Lesley Thirsk said “One of the Guild’s aims is to drive standards and creativity amongst photographers. Our monthly competition certainly does that, for the standard of the entries we see each month is quite staggering. To have an image recognised by the Guild in the monthly competition is difficult enough, so to have an image selected as being one of the best in a category for the end of year Final is without doubt an incredible achievement, and shows just how talented photographer, name is”
I love photography and put a lot of effort into developing my skills. One way I do that is to enter the Guild’s competition. It drives forward photography standards month after month and so it helps me push myself. The standards are really high and to have one of my images shortlisted in the overall final again is a real honour.

The final outcome will be announced at a lavish Awards night in a magnificent Jacobean mansion in Cheshire on 3rd February 2018.

To find out more about the Guild of Photographers and their competition visit their website (www.photoguild.co.uk), and to find out more about me visit my website at www.meltaylorphotography.co.uk.

Published in Dogs Today

Dogs Today is my favorite Dog Magazine. It is full of useful articles, breed information, health advise and interesteding Dog articles.

I am pleased to say that one of my images was published in the September 2017 issue. In the section for “The Best Dog Photos in the world”.

The image of three lovely Lagotto Romagnolo dogs that came for a session at my home studio a while ago. Photographing multiple dogs is always a challenge, depending on the level of obedience they have of course. These dogs were very good, although getting them to all look in the direction of the camera at the same time was a challenge!

The Lagotto is a small to medium sized dog distinguished by his curly and water resistant coat. The Romagnolo Lagotto is a Venetian/Romagnan dialect word meaning “duck dog”.

A lively Lagotto pup will usually grow up to be a sensible, happy, affectionate, agile little dog.  They are very trainable, they are known for truffleing, retrieving waterfowl and they also makes an excellent family companion pet and are good alert dog.

The Logotto is a working type of dog, and were often kept centuries ago by peasant marshmen to look after the house and warn off intruders. They are not a yappy dog but can be very vocal when strangers are around the home. (ref http://www.lagottoromagnoloclubofgb.co.uk)

Mum on the right featured in an earlier post of mine as did this photo as she did very well at Crufts 2016 and won the Veteran Bitch Class at 12 years of age!

The September issue has lots of interesting articles and you can get copies easily on line. https://dogstodaymagazine.co.uk/

My favorite reads were Send in the emergency dogs, Britains foodbanks now for pets, and The dog crush was about Whippets, one of my favoritebreeds.

Thank you for reading my post.