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2020 - a year of ups and downs!

Wow, what a year this has turned out to be - the calendar was full of events and trips and looked like it might be a fantastic year.

It started well with a couple of trips to the Lake District and the first Art Show of the year (Longwick Art Show) was a huge success, where all, bar one of our images, sold . . . . . and then, bang - LOCKDOWN!

The whole year then gradually crumbled away, with exhibitions and art shows falling by the wayside, one after another, plus trips to Skomer and the Cairngorms have had to be pushed back to 2021 and 2022, respectively.

Other trips to places such as the Malverns, Lake District, Peak District and Dorset were cancelled while trips to Norfolk and Grasmere were delayed and eventually failed, due to poor weather when we did get there.

However, rather than dwell on the negatives, there were some major positives for the year while being forced to adapt to the situation - I entered more competitions than i usually do and achieved some success - Oakhaven hospice calendar (image chosen for October), Photocrowd competition (winner), Art in the Park (winner) and had an image 'shortlisted' for the Landscape Photographer of the Year competition (LPOTY).

While the image didn't make it in to the LPOTY book, this was a huge boost to the confidence because there are some renowned photographers out there who have tried for years to get their images in to the competition but have, so far, not been successful.

Further success came with a trip to Richmond Park, London and another foray up to the Lake District where I got my two favourite pics of the year. Firstly, we encountered the perfect conditions at Richmond Park and got some fantastic images of the deer rut and then I made a day trip to Clappersgate, just outside Ambleside, and managed to get a shot I've been chasing for a couple of years.

The problems caused by the pandemic has meant that many businesses have had to adapt, and we're no different - one big change that has proved a major challenge has been the restrictions on travel and having to look more locally for images.

It has been tough going, but I feel that I'm a better photographer for it because I have had to work really hard to find suitable subjects - you certainly don't get the big vistas in Buckinghamshire!

What does 2021 hold in store - well, who knows at the moment - we've already had one Art Show postponed (put back to October 2021) and we don't know how soon we can get back on our travels.

All we can do is get some things planned and then react as quickly as possible when we get the go ahead.

In the meantime, thank you all for your support through the year and we wish you all a very Merry Xmas and Happy New Year - stay safe everyone.

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