That Lighthouse Photograph: Explained

I’ve written this post for a couple of reasons, both of which have been prompted as a follow up to a picture that I took of my wife Anne with my iPhone and posted up on Facebook and Twitter towards the end of last week:

  1. To say a HUGE thank you to my good friend Matt Kloskowski.
  2. To give you an explanation as to why.

The photograph you can see Anne holding is of a Lighthouse in Portland, Oregon USA taken by Matt Kloskowski; Professional Photographer, Photoshop Guy for the N.A.P.P. Photoshop Instructor, and owner of a VERY big heart.

So what’s the deal?
Not wanting to go into too much detail, on a personal level this year has been quite tough for my wife Anne. My Mother in Law’s need for closer supervision and care has accelerated at what seems like an alarming rate with short term memory problems and a generally confused state getting progressively worse. Clearly seeing your own Mother in this state by itself is stressful and upsetting enough but that combined with what I shall only refer to as ‘family issues’ where your siblings let you down on a mammoth scale could have very easily been ‘The straw that broke the Camel’s back.’

So why a Photograph of a Lighthouse?
A few weeks back, Matt posted a series of photographs on his very popular Lightroom Killer Tips blog asking for feedback; one of those photographs was of a Lighthouse. Naturally I left some feedback saying that my favourite of all the images he’d posted was in fact the Lighthouse and went on to tell Matt the reason why: With all that Anne has gone through over the past few months she very sweetly calls me her Lighthouse; keeping her safe and protected when it feels that all around her is harmful…just as a Lighthouse does to passing ships. I went on to explain to Matt that Anne had asked me to photograph a Lighthouse and was so planning to make a trip to Portland Bill along with my good friend Noel Hannan to do just that, so that we could frame it and have it on display in the house.

Matt’s response to this has blown us away; friendship and kindness that knows no limits, as I received an email from him saying that ‘something’ would be arriving in the post. Well, you guessed it…Matt sent us the very same Lighthouse picture that he’d posted on his web site, printed at 24″ x 16″  on Foamcore, and it’s absolutely stunning. Needless to say, we’re now sending the print off to be framed by a company we use on  a regular basis for our clients, Kaleidoscope, so that we can then hang the photograph on the wall taking pride of place symbolising “Safety, Love and Friendship“.

Becoming involved in the world of Photoshop and Photography, I’ve received many benefits and apart from the obvious, the biggest of all has been the friendships that I’ve gained, and continue to do so, along the way; friendships that I may never have experienced and it’s during this time I’m constantly reminded of the phrase ‘You can choose you friends, but….’ well, you know the rest.

I speak for both Anne and myself when I say that we feel extremely blessed for the friends we have in our lives so here’s raising a glass to many good times ahead spent in very good company:)

Finally to you Matt, ‘Thank You’ just doesn’t seem enough but I guess from what you already know, we are so incredibly grateful for your friendship and your generosity. Needless to say a return trip over to the United States is in the pipleline and the drinks are definitely on us:)

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September 11, 2013 - 10:43 pm

Gary Nicholls - Hi Glyn. This post says as much about you as it does your wife and Matt. Not all blog posts are about self promotion, and your posts show what a genuine man you are. Never change, nice people win too. See you on the photo walk!

September 11, 2013 - 10:40 pm

Jonathan Thompson - Hey Glyn, so sorry to hear Anne’s had a rough time recently. It’s occasions like this you hope the people closest to you are your strength. It’s no surprise to me that Anne describes you that way, you’re a fantastic team. Friendship has to be one of the most precious gifts, I would be nothing without it. Matt is obviously a really nice fella and a great friend, what a wonderful gift.
I hope we can get together soon, perhaps the Portland Bill trip would be a great excuse for friends to come together.
Take care you lovely people, we’re always here for you.

JT

September 11, 2013 - 10:23 pm

Glyn - Totally hear you there Elizabeth.

September 11, 2013 - 9:49 pm

Elizabeth Gower - The kindness and generosity of some people never ceases to amaze and inspire me!

July 7, 2010 - 9:18 pm

Glyn - @Matt…Hey no ‘thanks’ required :) Loving the photo as you know; Anne now has plans for us to see the Lighthouse you shot with our own eyes in the very near future, so what with that, Photoshop World, Joe McNally and of course ‘getting the drinks in’, it looks like we’re going to be spending a fair bit of time in the US :)

All the very best to you,
Glyn

July 7, 2010 - 9:15 pm

Glyn - @Mark…Thanks for your words; very heart felt…Really appreciate it!

All the best,
Glyn

July 7, 2010 - 9:12 pm

Glyn - @Rick…Thanks for dropping by mate and for commenting; we both really appreciate your words.

Having become friends with Matt after first of all meeting him at a Photoshop World in Las Vegas a few years back I can certainly vouch for his friendship and generosity; definitely one of life’s genuinely decent people.

Cheers,
Glyn

July 7, 2010 - 9:10 pm

Glyn - @DaveT…Thanks for commenting Dave and yeah I totally agree…it’s incredibly humbling and heart warming to read some of the comments and Matt’s kindness has literally blown us away :)

Cheers,
Glyn

July 7, 2010 - 8:12 pm

Matt Kloskowski - Thanks for mentioning me Glyn. I’m so glad you and Anne are enjoying the photo and thank you so much for sharing your story. I hope the best for you and your family :)

- Matt Kloskowski

July 7, 2010 - 6:30 pm

Mark Sands - Hi Glen,

That is truely a touching story, both in terms of your mother in law, but also your strength and support for you wife. Not forgetting the generosity of Matt.

It’s very heart warming to know that men like you and Matt exist. I continue to strive to be a better photographer but also a better man.

Take care,
Mark (mozart71)

July 6, 2010 - 3:54 pm

Rick Wenner - It’s rare that I come across a post on any blog that really hits me at a personal level. Without providing too many personal details, I can just say that I am very sorry to hear of your mother-in-law’s condition. I am sure it is a lot to cope with and I’m sorry that you and family have to go through this. If possible, I hope for a speedy recovery and best health to her.

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Matt K. at a Photoshop World about a year or two ago in Boston. He definitely seems to be a very nice guy. From reading of his generosity to you and Anne, he just confirmed that.

All the best,
Rick.

July 6, 2010 - 10:11 am

Keith Hammond - @Anne Dewis – I hope to meet you aswell Anne, maybe at Windsor, Lyn and Nic were saying they would like to come.

July 6, 2010 - 10:05 am

David Kelly - @Noel – well if Glyn’s going to be the knight in armour (or should that be in amour?) surely you’ve got to be the wise & sageful Merlin ;-)
Need to grow that goatee a bit more though a la ZZ Top…Hey maybe that’s an idea for next year Project 52 Mk II?? Weekly self portrait of Noel + growing beard gradually becoming a Merlin figure ;-)

@DaveT – it’s one of the positive aspects of the internet beastie that people can still connect with each other at such a level, without even “knowing” the individual in the traditional face-2-face sense. Kindness can now know no boundaries with this virtual world crossing any geographical constraints.

July 6, 2010 - 9:41 am

DaveT - Hi Glyn,

It’s so nice to hear of such a touching gesture by Matt. And thank you Glyn and Anne for sharing this wonderful story of kindness in what must be a difficult time for you.

Seeing your comments, and those by others who have reached out to connect with you, is so heart warming. In a time when there is so much bad news out there it’s good to see the hand of human kindness at work.

Dave

July 6, 2010 - 8:34 am

Noel Hannan - @David.. knight in shinning armour or… damsel in distress…? forsooth!

@Anne, that trip to Portland sounds fantastic! Good to see you are on the photowalk! Take care.

@Glyn, take care mate, great post, as ever.

Noel

July 5, 2010 - 10:52 pm

David Kelly - @Anne & Keith,

It’s not a nice experience that, when members of families should be pulling together and working with each other, unfortunately they can begin to pull each other apart. I can only empathise with the situations you’ve been through / are going through – it’s enough of a stressful situation without the added pressure of having to defend your decisions or actions to others who are happy to let you take the strain alone.

Getting support in such a situation is through friends, family or supportive voluntary organisations is so important. It helps to spread the load so to speak and hopefully help people to replenish their strength and ergo be able to maintain helping family members for a longer period.

Thankfully both of you had good partners to give you support and encouragement where others failed and I hope with time the other members of your families may come to appreciate what you have done and continue to do in this situation.

Best wishes to you both

July 5, 2010 - 9:51 pm

Anne Dewis - @Noel…. The Portland trip can still happen.. Hopefully we could all go to THE Portland in Oregan, the subject of the special picture. Thanks so much for the lovely comments, I’m bowled over by all the support and it’s a strengthener for my character.
It is definately more than just a picture of a lighthouse…. See you on the next photowalk Noel. Love to Katherine and the children.

@David Kelly….. LOL. It would be like trying to get a suit of armour for Arnie The Terminator. Come to think of it, Noel is a little like James Cameron ;0)
Thanks for your comments, we are so blessed with all the lovely people in our lives. We wish you best of everything.

July 5, 2010 - 9:18 pm

Anne Dewis - @Keith Hammond, Dear Keith, we have lots in common. You must never feel you failed, it is incredibly difficult to manage the situation both you and I have found ourselves in. It is doubly compounded when family prove difficult and become an enemy rather than an ally! Dramatic I know but that is how it’s started for me.
People I loved and felt comfortable in the knowledge that they loved me turned in pack formation and criticised at every moment they could. Shut down, wouldn’t communicate and expected me to take a verbal assault and say, “Ah well, ok” and carry on. difficult!!!
Keep your personal health safe as there are others who love you and want that future to be bright with you. Getting help is wise and I know that now and things are getting sorted. Thankyou so much for your comment, it is truely appreciated and the Matt Koslowski original is going in pride of place in our home.
Photography has brought the best of people into our lives and made it richer and fuller far and away above what monetry wealth could give.
Good luck and fortune to you and Lyn and I hope to meet you in the near future.

July 5, 2010 - 3:16 pm

David Kelly - Hi Glyn, great post and you’re very generous to share such a personal story.

The penny now drops – I recall reading your comments in Matt’s blog and recognised his image when I looked at the image from your tweet but didn’t connect the two until now. Proof (if ever it was needed!) that Matt’s an all round nice guy and a generous gentleman. Kicks into touch some of the stick (and that’s using too mild a word) he received from some people regarding his recent HDR blog posting of St. Pat’s church in NY.

As Jürgen alludes to, the symbolism evoked in images can mean much more to viewers. That personal interaction is something us authors could never realise / envisage when we’re taking the photographs. The old adage that a picture says more than a 1000 words comes to mind…

All the very best wishes to you, Anne and your mother in law – let’s hope for some fair weather for you all.

BTW Pity Anne didn’t refer to you as her knight in armour – that could have been an interesting photo assignment with Mr Hannan trying to get a shot of you in a full suit of plate mail armour whilst on horseback ;-)

July 5, 2010 - 2:40 pm

Keith Hammond - Reading about Anns mum is very sad and reminded me of our experiences with Lyns mum who had the same issues and like yourselves we had very little help from family and the stress was so much that i had a heart attack. After that very frightening experience we had to get help because we just could not manage alone, we felt that we had failed in that we could no longer cope but it had to be done and with the right help and care Peggy had the best quality of life for the time she had left, what i’m really trying to say mate is don’t be afraid to get help when it starts getting to much for you both.
I bet that Matt Klosowski original is going to look great on your wall.
Sending you Anne and Mum my best wishes. Keith
ps. sorry to go on about myself there but i couldn’t stop myself typing after reading your post.

July 5, 2010 - 2:05 pm

Noel Hannan - Glyn, What a fantastic story and what a very big heart Matt has, an incredible gesture, and one that will adorn the walls of Glyn and Annes’s Home for all eternity. I don’t mind missing out on a trip to Portland Bill for that!

This photograph is clearly so much more than a picture of a lighthouse…

All the best to you, Anne and Matt,
thanks for sharing this great story.

Noel

July 5, 2010 - 2:02 pm

Dan Davies - What a lovely gesture – I hope that it won’t stop you and Noel enjoying a photographic journey sometime though.

All the best to you & Anne – credit to you both for the love & care for her mum evident in the photos you’ve posted today.

Best

Dan

July 5, 2010 - 1:35 pm

Glyn - @Jürgen: Thanks for your comment and yeah I agree; I guess this is proof that photography is so much more than ‘a picture’ but is a ‘feeling’.

Regards, Glyn

July 5, 2010 - 1:31 pm

Jürgen - What a story. It it a good reminder that our work is not only creating some nice pictures, but can give deeper meaning to things.

Editing The Debonaires: Part 3

In this final part of ‘The Debonaires’ editing series we finish off the picture by going through a number of steps including:

  • Adding a Hue & Saturation Adjustment Layer to bring the sky to life
  • Converting the image to Black & White to Desaturate the colour in the image
  • Adding a Vignette
  • Sharpening using the High Pass Filter

Of course the techniques you see me using in these tutorials aren’t the only ones that can be used to give the same results, and that’s what I love about Photoshop…the fact that there’s not just one way to do something and you can tailor your editing techniques to your own style and preferences. In fact I’d probably go so far to say that despite my ‘favourite’ techniques each time I edit a picture I’ll try something different (depending on time).

Anyway I hope you found this 3 Part editing series useful and if you have any questions or comments about what we’ve covered then as always post them up in the ‘Comments’ section below and I’ll be sure to respond to each and every one; it’s always great to ‘hear’ your thoughts and get your feedback.

Enjoy:)

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July 5, 2010 - 1:13 pm

Glyn - @Keith…Thanks for the kind words Keith :)
Re the B&W shots, there was no editing done to them apart from a B&W convert using the Nik Silver Efex Pro Plug In mate; just available light as you say.

Cheers,
Glyn

July 4, 2010 - 11:52 am

Keith Hammond - Top set of videos Glyn, great to see it all come together.
Q : for the inside B & W shots in the first blog about the shoot did you just convert in your beloved Nik software or was any other tweeking involved, i remember you saying they were quick available light shots so just wondering.

July 4, 2010 - 7:25 am

Glyn - @David…Great to hear you liked this series of editing videos David. I’m working on more and more; the hard thing being holding back from posting them all at one :)

Cheers,
Glyn

July 2, 2010 - 3:50 pm

David Kelly - Hi Glyn,

Nice finishing part to the PP on this image. Great to see the before / after image recap at the end, like DaveT said. Thanks as always for your efforts in putting these videos together.

I know you draw from a ‘dolly mixture’ pool of tools / techniques in your PP in Photoshop but the one consistent approach I see is in your use of opacity values ;-)

Take care,
David

July 2, 2010 - 10:05 am

Glyn - @Tom…Very kind of you, thanks.

All the best to you,
Glyn :)

July 2, 2010 - 9:40 am

Glyn - @Dave T…Cheers Buddy; glad you liked it :)

July 2, 2010 - 9:40 am

Glyn - @Matt…Thanks for stopping by and commenting and for the kind words mate :)

With regards to why I chose to use the High Pass Filter, there’s no real reason other than like I said in the post, sometimes I’ll chop and change from one technique to another. That being said I like to use the High Pass because it I can see the extent of the sharpening and the areas that it’s mainly going to affect before I apply the Soft Light Blend Mode; does that make sense?

Again though mate, I do go from one technique to another.
Hope that answers your question (sort of) :)

Cheers,
Glyn

July 2, 2010 - 9:01 am

Tom Haider - great tutotial. thank you.

best regards from south germany.

July 2, 2010 - 7:25 am

DaveT - Hi Glyn,

Great tutorial again – like the recap at the end ;-)

Cheers
Dave

July 1, 2010 - 10:04 pm

Matt Sanderson - Great post. Always useful to see how others approach editing.

Would you care to share why you prefer high-pass sharpening to Unsharp Mask? I used to use High-Pass Sharpening, but never really saw any difference than using Unsharp Mask – aside from the Threshold option in USM, which is why I returned to using that.

- Matt

iPhone 4 Camera & HD Video…Now that’s cool!!!

Last Thursday saw the long awaited release of the iPhone 4; but was it really worth all the hype and getting up at 4am to line up outside the O2 Store in Windsor and wait for it to open? (Along with Mrs D and 14 other people at the time I hasten to add) Well I guess as a fan of all things ‘Apple’ I’d be expected to say ‘yes’ but in an effort to remain impartial I’d still have to say that the upgrade really is quite something.

The biggest things I was looking forward to was the improved camera now boasting 5 mega pixels and with built in LED flash, HD video recording and a high resolution screen going under the name of ‘Retina Display’.

Focusing on the camera (no pun intended) the quality of the pictures in relation to their clarity, colour, tone and sharpness really are quite something in comparison to the previous iPhone models. As a photographer having a camera with me at all times is a ‘must’ as it helps to keep me fresh and constantly looking for the ‘shot’ but I also really do think that for anyone who would like to have a camera with them at all times but doesn’t fancy carrying around a Digital SLR or separate Point and Shoot, the iPhone is a viable alternative. Don’t get me wrong, the iPhone is no replacement for a digital SLR but it’ll definitely capture good quality, useable pictures for you.

As for the HD video recording, this is something I was really looking forward to seeing and haven’t been disappointed. The 720p HD is extremely crisp especially when viewed on the new ‘Retina’ display screen and the ability to ‘touch screen’ focus and expose just works…plain and simple. In addition, Apple released iMovie for iPhone which is a scaled down version of their desktop video editing software; the same software infact that I have used a lot to make some of the ‘Behind the Scenes’ and ‘Editing’ videos on my YouTube Page.

I couldn’t resist having a ‘play’ at editing some video footage on the day I got the new phone with iMovie, so here’s my first attempt using footage and photographs taken using my iPhone 3Gs. Incidentally, this took no longer than 5 minutes to put together and sure it’s not perfect by any means but it gives you a feel for what can be done with a bit more time:

Here too is a video made and edited entirely on the iPhone 4 that I saw posted on John Nack’s blog. When you watch this, remind yourself that this has all been done entirely on the iPhone 4 and has been nowhere near a computer…really cool stuff!!!

Sure there’s a heck of a lot more to the new iPhone than what I’ve covered in this short post but like I said at the start, it was the camera, HD video and Retina Display that I was most looking forward to. Of course now my mind is working overtime thinking of the possibilities; photo shoots filmed and edited entirely on the iPhone, Live video feeds and so it goes on…

So I guess the question is….do you use an iPhone and if you do have you upgraded? What enhancements were you most looking forward to?

Any questions / comments about anything in this post, as always please feel free to use the comments section below.

Enjoy:)

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June 30, 2010 - 10:17 am

Glyn - @Andy…lol…don’t mean to tease mate :)

Really liking your idea about how to make use of the video recording; exciting times ahead me thinks :)

Cheers,
Glyn

June 30, 2010 - 3:29 am

Andy Cuadra - You’re not making it easier Glyn ;-). Seriously, the HD video is something that I could use for my start up, client interviews, project clinics, etc…. Looking to make a move late summer.

June 29, 2010 - 10:49 pm

Glyn - @Keith…Thanks for that. What’s real exciting is thinking about what ‘can’ be done with it; exciting times ahead indeed :)
I’ve not seen the holders you mentioned but as i need one I’ll head over and take a look.

All the best to you,
Glyn

June 29, 2010 - 10:47 pm

Glyn - @Neil…All I’ll say is ‘You’ll love it’ but be warned, they can be Time Machines if you get my meaning :)

Thinking back as you have, I remember my Dad having one of the very first mobile phones; geez the size and weight of the battery was unreal. Come to think of it, it may have been that which got me into Weight Lifting at an early age…lol :)

Cheers,
Glyn

June 29, 2010 - 9:52 pm

Keith Hammond - you done well Glyn to knock that up that quick, and the other vid well unbelevable, all done in phone. Have you seen all the diy holders people are making on Youtube, can’t wait to get mine.

June 29, 2010 - 7:14 pm

neil Holmes - Hi Glyn, just got the e mail from Vodaphone to tell me I’ll have mine on Friday, this is my first iPhone so I’m really looking forward to its arrival.

If we step back a little and think, its my dad’s 81′s birthday tomorrow, he grew up with valve radios and 78 records, todays technology is incredible, to coin a fraze ‘What will they think of next?’

Cheers Neil

A Wedding, a Portrait and an iPhone 4…

I’d been looking forward to this past weekend for a few weeks now as on the Saturday it was Derek & Dorothy’s Wedding. I wrote earlier about these two very special people and was really pleased to see that so many of you had taken the time to send them ‘Congratulations’ by posting in the Comments section; so many of you in fact that I actually printed out 5 A4 pages worth of comments and gave them to Derek and Dorothy after their Wedding Breakfast.

During Derek’s speech, in which I found it a real challenge to hide the tears, he made mention of their photos that had appeared here on the blog and of the comments you’d all sent in. To say both he and Dorothy are overwhelmed by your kindness is an understatement. They are both clearly emotionally moved that people they don’t know from all around the world had written a message to them. Needless to say Derek & Dorothy have said that they will write a message back to you all and I’ll be sure to post it here on the blog along with some photos from their very special day.

For those of you who haven’t read Derek & Dorothy’s story here on the blog, I’d recommend you go take a look. In my opinion they set the standard that all should follow; their view on life, love and friendship is inspirational and should you ever need to be reassured that there is such a thing as ‘True Love’ you need look no further than these two wonderful people.

Incidentally the photo above is one that I took at Derek & Dorothy’s Wedding of two of their closest friends Steve & Gilly Duffy; a couple of people I have to thank for recommending me and for also introducing me to Derek & Dorothy.

Before I sign off I just want to say a BIG thank you to my Buddy Vince Callaghan who was second shooter and assistant on Saturday and who despite the 30+ degree heat and my constant ‘Can you hold the light just there, left a bit, down a bit’ demands was an absolute star and took some cracking shots of his own too.

The photo of Vince above was taken and edited with my new iPhone 4, and yes I admit I was one of ‘those’ people that got up at silly o’clock to cue in line on launch day:)

Talking of the iPhone 4 I’m really pleased with the upgrade particularly around the built in camera and HD video recording; so much so I’ll post about it later in the week and as well as showing examples of photos I’ll also show you an example of some of the movie editing you can do with the iMovie App which is the iPhone version of Apple’s Desktop Movie editing suite; very impressive stuff.

Catch you later:)

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July 15, 2010 - 12:44 am

Glyn - Hiya,

Great to hear you’re all looking forward to seeing the photos but before they’re uploaded we need to meet up with Derek & Dorothy to go through them. Once we have and they’re happy they’ll be online in a Password Protected area for friends and family to see.

Hope that helps,
Best wishes,
Glyn :)

July 14, 2010 - 10:50 pm

k worsley - where is the wedding photos, we are all waiting.

July 4, 2010 - 7:24 am

Glyn - @David…Yeah it was an amazing day with Derek & Dorothy, and their guests; definitely a day to remember.

Thanks for dropping by :)

July 2, 2010 - 3:30 pm

David Kelly - Glyn,

A nice follow-up post on Derek & Dorothy’s big day. Glad to hear that it all went so well for you & the happy couple, given the extreme weather conditions last weekend. It’s nice that you & Vince were made to feel like welcome friends / guests at the event and I’m sure that connection gave an added congruency / harmony to the work undertaken on the day. No doubt you’ve got some beautiful shots resulting from this.

As was commented on your original post, it’s that personable connection with the happy couple that’s just so important in taking wedding photographs which don’t just record the event but also capture the spirit or embodiment of the day in a still image.

Regards,

David

BTW All the very best wishes to the newlyweds

June 29, 2010 - 10:44 pm

Glyn - @Noel…Thanks for the comment about Steve & Gilly’s photo. Making a really special photo of the two of them was actually one of the days priorities for me and also Derek & Dorothy; I’ll explain why when I see you.

it was as you say a great experience; very emotional and one that has actually made quite an impact on me. Derek & Dorothy are truly wonderful people that I’m so glad to now have as friends…all thanks to photography :)

Cheers,
Glyn

June 29, 2010 - 10:41 pm

Glyn - @Shirley…Thank you so much for dropping by and posting a comment. It was a real pleasure to meet you and everyone else on Saturday; all of whom made both Vince and myself feel extremely welcome.
Saturday was a thoroughly enjoyable day and one I will always remember.

Best wishes to you,
Glyn

ps> Thanks also for the kind words about Steve & Gilly’s photo; very kind of you :)

June 29, 2010 - 5:50 pm

Noel Hannan - Glyn,
What a lovely shot of Steve and Gilly that is sure to remain a family favourite for years, if not forever!

Sounds like a great experience you had; I think the lesson here is that true love is, thankfully, more evident than one might think and that the medium of photography can be an expression of it.

Well done mate,
All the best
Noel

June 29, 2010 - 12:45 pm

Shirley Partridge - Hi Glyn – It was a real pleasure to meet you on Saturday. Your professionalism, manner and patience was second to none! Thank you. I look forward to seeing the photographs. I must also comment on Steve and Gilly – it is a beautiful picture of two lovely people.