For his 50th birthday Ian Gregory, pictured, decided he would like to have his first proper camera so he could try his hand at photography.
He had never been taught how to use one, so he set about learning everything he could from magazines, books and online.
“I had always been interested in taking pictures, but I had never had a decent camera before I persuaded my wife Angie to buy me one,” said Ian, who is proud to say that he has lived in Belper all his life.
Within a short time he was capturing images with which he was happy enough to share online and even enter into competitions. A photograph taken while paragliding on holiday in Turkey so impressed judges in one contest that he won a week-long workshop in the Lake District with landscape photographer John Gravett.
“It was that course that inspired me to concentrate on landscape photography. While there I realised outside is where I am happiest – the course sowed the seed in me and I have never really looked back,” said Ian.
The engineer, who works for Bombardier in Derby, says that on the workshop, which was nine years ago, Gravett encouraged him to develop his own individual style of photography and experiment.
“There were only eight of us on the course and there was a lot of one-to-one tuition about composition, exposure and the use of filters, which I have been experimenting with ever since.
“Living in Derbyshire means you have great landscapes on your doorstep and while I enjoy travelling I don’t need to go very far to find something to photograph,” said the 60-year-old.
As you will have probably worked out from the pictures on these pages one of Ian’s favourite spots is Crich Stand – he has spent many an hour on the hill capturing the tower in all weathers.
His photographs are for sale at the tearooms on the site, which is the memorial of the Sherwood Foresters – now known as the Mercian Regiment – and they have proved to be very popular with the visitors on the annual pilgrimage to the tower in July.
Encouraged by the feedback for his work Ian has now taught himself how to make frames and he is looking for other places to sell his work. They can be found at the Homesford Cottage Tearooms on the A6 near Whatstandwell and also at his son’s shop and tearooms, Beaurepaire Patisserie in Belper’s King Street.
If you want to meet Ian and talk to him about his pictures and at the same time enjoy some fantastic coffee and cake then you need to make sure you visit Belper for the annual Arts Trail on May 6 and 7 Ian is one of the 120 artists taking part and he will be at the Patisserie.
For more details about the arts trail click here.