Five years ago Sharon Repton, pictured, had never really picked up a camera, apart from to take family snaps as her two sons grew up, but then she was given a secondhand Nikon by her husband and she was bitten by the bug.
Now she shows her stunningly beautiful close-up pictures of flowers and insects at art trails in the county and has an enviable Flickr page full of fantastic shots.
“My husband was never going to use the camera so he handed it to me and said ‘why don’t you give it a go?’ I don’t think he thought I would use it at all, so I have really surprised him… and myself to be honest,” she said.
“I was fascinated by the macro lens that came with the camera and straight away I started taking pictures of flowers and insects in the garden. When I realised the possibilities I was hooked and really got into it.
“I had no idea what I was doing but I was enjoying it so much I bought some photography magazines to teach myself more. It is a brilliant way to learn and I just kept practising until I got it right.
“I am still learning all the time and I always have my camera with me. My family, who are very supportive now they know I am serious, often groan and say ‘oh your not taking your camera with you are you?’ but I wouldn’t want to see something and not be able to capture it,” she explained.
Sharon, 55, who has lived in Wirksworth all her life, says she has always been an outdoor person and used to spend a lot of time walking with her dad.
“I try to capture the unusual in nature with my camera and am inspired by colour, insects and flowers. If you look closely there is always something going on. I don’t have to go far, and in fact most of my pictures are taken in my own back garden.”
The amateur photographer can also be spotted stooping down to capture her quarry at Stoney Wood and The Meadows, which are just a short walk from her home.
As she works part time at Anthony Gell School, Sharon says she takes most of her pictures in the early morning.
“It’s my favourite time anyway – just as the sun is coming up – so it works out well for me. I particularly enjoy capturing starbursts of light on the plants.”
For the techies among you Sharon uses a Nikon D7100 and says she uses manual focus to enable her to get super-sharp shots of her tiny subjects.
Go to https://www.flickr.com/photos/sharonrepton/ to see more of her intriguing pictures.