Jim Read 

My interest in photography began in my early teens, I was able to use the family Kodak Brownie 127 occasionally and have the use of my Grandfathers magnifying glass to look at the 'enprints'.

I've been down both the education route, City & Guilds modules and the exhibition route, 15 so far to hone my skills.

Enter the digital age and slowly I changed from film to files as and when I could afford it.

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This site used to be full of images loads of them, stuff I'd done over the years, you name it I'd had a go at it.

Some photographic milestones; 1840's the negative, early 1900's colour film, 1975 digital sensors, 1994 Photoshop 3.0. Photoshop 3.0? Well yes it could do layers, pics one on top of each other and the layers could be merged. It was the start of digital art.

In 1998 I came across digital art montages by Catherine McIntyre using Photoshop 4. I was scared, too scared to even try I thought I could never do that and though over the years I did try, the results were rubbish. It got to me, under my skin, I felt a complete failure, and diverted into all sorts of single image blind alleys.

I have admired Catherine's work ever since and she has been a constant inspiration over the many months that I have really got to grips with it. She will not explain her techniques insisting that I find my own by observing the work of others. I knew that I'd 'arrived' one day though when she said this in a message, "It's great you're reaching into yourself for something far more expressive and exciting (than straight photography) And what a brilliant thing it is, an artistic development - it's the best thing one can possibly do with one's time, imho! Enjoy!" I value these words far more than anything else I have ever achieved.

This year, 2014 two of my images were shortlisted for the Royal Academy Summer show. In September I found the Photo Book Club and went to their meeting in Coventry in October. I really enjoyed looking at the books and chatting, I have a small collection and I've learned more from it than any other source.

After that I thought hmmmm why not start something near to where I live and after finding a very nice venue not far from the M1 I started the M1Ju29 Photo Book Club we are a small group, our meetings are informal, chatty and inspiring.

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