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2020 – The Year Of The Mask

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I think I will always remember 2020 as the year of the mask. It is a year I don’t think I will ever forget, even though I may want to. It has been a tough year for so many reasons. Emotionally, physically, fiscally, mentally and creatively. That said, I do appreciate how lucky I am. I still have my health. Like many people, I didn’t think that something like this would happen in my lifetime. It is more the stuff of Science Fiction and there is still part of me that finds it a bit surreal. As I said, I am very fortunate and very thankful to the NHS, teachers, shop workers and all those who kept the country going throughout this extraordinary year.

We all had to change our plans this year. I even changed the plans I had already changed. As I reflect back on the year, I find it hard to judge. This probably seems an obvious thing to say, but without looking back and judging it, how can we learn from it? But perhaps now isn’t the time to do that. It might be the end of 2020, but it is not yet the end of Covid19. The end is in sight, although still someway off.

This is a reflection of the my year through photography. I was going to pick out just one photo for each month, but for some I couldn’t decide, so there are lots more than 12 to look at. I hope you enjoy them. Enjoy the festive period while staying safe, and I’ll see you in 2021

January

All the way back in January I did a photoshoot with The Lost Trades. It seems like a lifetime ago right now, being in a room with other people. It was such a fun shoot, with great people, you can read more about it in this blog.

3 piece folk group The Lost Trades

The Lost Trades

 

February

February was all about early spring bulbs, which meant being outside as much as possible. Given what was to come, that turned out to be an even better thing than it usually is.

Greater snowdrops (Galanthus elwesii)

Greater snowdrops (Galanthus elwesii)

 

March

March was something of a month of two halves. Going out as much as possible, followed by staying in as much as possible.

Silver birch trees, Bickerton Hills, Cheshire

Silver birch trees, Bickerton Hills, Cheshire

an orange mug of tea, a DSLR camera & a computer

Lockdown Life

April

April was the month I became very grateful for my partners love of gardening and the fact that she relatively recently acquired a bigger garden. It did mean doing more work in the garden, but having that outside space during Lockdown made things easier. It also meant lots of photography opportunities, not just of plants but of wildlife too. 



May

Another month spent at home. Mostly out in the garden, thanks to the nice weather. Plants and wildlife was once again what I saw most of through my lens.

June

June was another month of the same. Although it was also the month I launched my shop, (go and check it out, you know you want to) which might explain why I took fewer photos this month.

July

The month when things started to relax. Leaving the house became a possibility. Although I started the month off by experimenting with some indoor still lifes of plants. I am sure there was a good reason for this, although I can’t remember what it is. 

 

August

A two week trip to the Isles of Scilly took up a lot of my August. It was a little bit odd going from wearing a mask on a busy boat to being the only people on a beach. You could forget for a little while that there was a pandemic.

September

September was more time spent in the garden and preparing for the months to come as best as possible.

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Rustic Dwarfs Mixed’

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Rustic Dwarfs Mixed’

October

Photographing autumn colours will never get boring and I tried to make the most of the opportunity. I think the first image here sums up the year quite well.

November

The second Lockdown in England started this month.

Ginkgo biloba leaves and fruit

Ginkgo biloba leaves and fruit

December

And now here we are in December. Short days. Colder, wetter weather. Coronavirus cases on the rise, despite the Second Lockdown. The prospect of a very different Christmas on the way. So I decided I needed to do something fun. Anyone who follows me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter will have seen my Lego Star Wars Advent Story. I have been posting one part each day, but here it is in full (or as much as I have shot at time of writing. I will update when it is finished).

New In The Shop

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I hope you are all keeping safe out there, and managing to look after your mental as well as your physical health. I know I have been a little quite, but I have been busy. I’ve added lots to my shop. So much so, I am not sure where to begin. I guess I will begin at the beginning, it’s a very good place to start (apparently).

A6 cards

Whilst having a sort out recently, I came across a box which contained some of the first cards I produced. When I first started putting my images on cards, the cards were smaller. They were A6 size. That’s 105 x 148mm, 10.5 x 14.8cm, or 4.1 x 5.8 inches. Before I had sold out of these cards I changed supplier and size and for a while I sold both sizes. After a while, to simplify things, I switched to only selling the 5×7 inch cards. But having re-discovered these cards and now having a shop on my site, they are once again available to buy. I have no current plans to get anymore cards of this size, so when they are gone, they are gone. Some of the card designs are the same as the 5×7 cards I currently sell, so you can pick the size when you have chosen the design. Others are only available as A6 cards and are listed as such. They are currently on available at sale prices in the the card section in my shop. They are already discounted, so no need to add a coupon code at checkout.

Autumn & Winter Cards

I have added my range of autumn and winter cards. They are included in the multiple buy coupon offer, so you add one of the coupon codes – 3CardsFor£5, 6CardsFor£10 or 10CardsFor£15 – as necessary at the checkout stage. And while I am writing about cards, should I mention the ‘C’ word? I know it is early, but we all seem to be thinking about it earlier this year, because of the crazy state of the world. So I will mention it. Christmas. There I did it. So, yes, I have also added my Christmas cards to the shop. They are available to buy as boxes of ten. They can also be bought individually and are also part of the multiple buy coupon offer.

Framed & Mounted Prints

All my prints are now available to buy framed, mounted or unframed. They would make excellent Christmas presents (I know I said the ‘C’ word again). I have also added a few more images to my range of prints, so hopefully there should be something for everyone. All my framed and mounted prints are on sale until 2nd November 2020. This discount is has already been added, so no need to use a coupon code at checkout. If there is an image of mine that you would like as a print that is not already available, please get in touch and I will make it available (where possible). There is free delivery on all UK orders from my shop.

New Cards

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I have added some new cards to my shop. They are also available from Edington Farm Shop, as well as my Etsy store. They were printed for me by Redcliffe Imaging, who are based in Bristol.

These new cards expand my range to cover new subject matter, while complementing the cards I already have available. The cows in their muddy field, may be a familiar image to you, as it is available as a print. It has sold so well as a print that I have now made it available as a card. Boats feature on three of my new cards. These were all taken on the Isles of Scilly last year. Although they are all of boats, they are all quite different.

All the other photos were taken in the garden during lockdown. I am really lucky to have had the garden to enjoy and take photos in. And also really lucky that we get so much wildlife visiting, the highlight being the young long tailed tits.

Online shop

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Hello, I hope you are all safe and well in these interesting times. I am delighted to say that my website now has it’s very own online shop so you can now buy direct from me.

This is something I have been working on for a long time, but I kept coming up against technical problems. Since moving my web hosting, things have been somewhat easier, although not without a certain number of challenges. In fact every problem I solved seemed to present me with at least one more challenge to overcome. But now it is done and ready for you to have a look at and, hopefully you will feel inspired to make a purchase.

Why set up my own shop?

I currently sell through Etsy so why set up my own webshop?

Well, one reason is that it will allow me to offer a wider range of products. With Etsy there is a listing fee for every item that is listed (regardless of whether the item sells, or not). So, with my own shop I can sell more items without having to worry about cashflow so much. Having my own online shop also allows me to offer my own deals, discounts and offers. While I can (and do) have offers and discounts from time to time with my Etsy store, the options are limited. With my own webshop I can offer discounts like 3 cards for £5.

Will I still be selling through Etsy?

As having a shop on my own website is so great, will I still be selling on Etsy? Yes, is the simple answer. The reason for that it has a much wider reach than I can (currently) achieve on my own site. People will find my work through Etsy that would otherwise not see it. It is also a name that people trust, which is an important thing when people are shopping online. So for the time being I will continue to sell my work through Etsy.

What can you find in my shop right now?

I am currently selling cards and unframed and unmounted prints. I haven’t extended my product range too much from what is available on Etsy. This is partly due to Covid-19 and to ensure that I have the capacity to cope with incoming orders. But I will add to my products over the coming weeks and months. What I can offer right now is discounts on cards. You can now buy 3 cards for £5, 6 cards for £10 or even 10 cards for £15. Just add the relevant coupon code in your cart or at the checkout: 3CardsFor£5, 6CardsFor£10 or 10CardsFor£15. Also until 22 June 2020 you can get 10% prints by using the coupon code 10%OffPrints.

2016 Reviewed

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2016 reviewed by Andrew Bert Greaves Photography

Where did the year go? I’m sure I had all 12 months of it here just a moment ago… Nope, I just checked and they have gone.

Well, what to make of the year?

In general it seems that it wasn’t people’s favourite year. Politically some interesting decisions were made on both sides of the Atlantic by the voting public, so 2017 and beyond will be very … interesting.
The year also saw the passing of many people we all look up to and admire, particularly from the worlds of film, TV and music. I fear that this will sadly be a trend that will continue because many of those we look up to have lead very long and full lives.

And what about me?

Well, this year did seem to go really fast. Much of the what I intended to do ended up on the back burner, while I tried to keep pace with life. One of the things I did do was to set up a store on the online retailer Etsy, so it is now easier to own my work.

In the latter half of the year I spent a lot of time focusing on me and I don’t mean self portraits. I am not only an introvert, but can also be shy too (no, they aren’t the same thing). This can make selling myself and my work more of a challenge, which has obvious downsides in a business. I have now started to understand myself better which means I can make the most of my strengths and also overcome my weaknesses. I haven’t by any means conquered it entirely, but I feel I’ve made significant progress. This is starting to sound like a self help blog. But sometimes you’ve got to help yourself, because no one else can do it for you.

Photos

I think I’ll stop with the words now, and finish with some photos. 12 photos in fact, a favourite from each month of the year, I hope you enjoy.


Tell The Hoi playing at The Nest, Bath January 2016

Cows in a muddy field, Wiltshire, February 2016

A jumping Spider next to a Ladybird on leaves, Wiltshire, March 2016

Close up of a mute swan's head

Close up of a mute swan’s head, April 2016

The Bohos playing at The Parade Gardens, Bath for Bath Music Festival’s Party In The City, May 2016


Red bicycle in a field, Wiltshire, June 2016

Neville Staple Band, Village Pump Folk Festival, 2016

Neville Staple Band, Village Pump Folk Festival, 2016


A bee on a blue-spirea ‘Worcester Gold’ flower, Wiltshire, August 2016


A close up of a garden spider (Araneus diadematus) on it’s web, Wiltshire, September 2016


The Model Folk playing at the Stallards, Trowbridge, October 2016

Roses covered in frost, Wiltshire, November 2016

Twisted State Of Mind playing at The White Swan, Trowbridge, December 2016

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