Jayne Jones - winner of the 2016 Cheshire Life photography competition
PUBLISHED: 00:00 22 February 2017
The winner of our competition to find Cheshire's best amateur photographer shares some of her favourite shots
Jayne Jones has been taking photographs for years but only recently learned how to use her camera properly. And no sooner had she got to grips with one than she won another in our annual competition for amateur photographers in Cheshire.
The mum-of-two won a Fuji Film X100T camera worth £796 provided by competition sponsors Wilkinson’s Cameras for her picture of a squirrel at Dunham Massey.
And Jayne, from Grappenhall, was quick to acknowledge the role other people played in helping her understand her camera’s various buttons and settings.
‘I’ve been lucky that people have invited me out and have been happy to answer my questions and give me help and advice along the way. I’m still learning and I can see a real improvement in my work over the last year or so,’ she said.
Jayne travelled extensively in her 20s – a safari in Africa and a visit to India were among her exotic highlights – and she thinks the snaps she took then may have sparked her interest in photography.
‘I always had a camera with me but it was always on auto,’ she said. ‘I would look at other people’s pictures and think how great they were. I went onto a dslr from my film camera but I never benefitted from its features, it was only when my children got older that I thought to learn it.
‘I signed up for something on Facebook where you were given 100 words and 100 days and had to upload a picture each day of your interpretation of one of the words. That made me use my camera and by the end of that I was really enjoying my camera and wanted to find out more.
‘I joined some local groups on Facebook and in November 2015 someone suggested meeting on Bonfire Night to take pictures. They set the settings on my camera and I didn’t really know what they had done or understand what results it would bring.’
Jayne, who used to work as an area manager for major breweries, now runs a business importing wedding dresses and enjoys the flexibility that being self-employed gives her and the time it allows her to explore her hobby.
She added: ‘In February or March last year someone on one of the groups suggested going out and I started to ask questions about how to get certain results or what some of the features were. I started to add to what I had by buying filters and other lenses and being able to use all those bits and pieces meant the results were so much better.’
Photography isn’t just about having the right kit, though, you need to use it well and to have a little bit of luck. For instance, Jayne’s winning shot might not have happened if her son hadn’t had a headache!
She took him to school late and stopped at Dunham Massey on her way home to photograph bluebells. Although she wasn’t pleased with any of the flowery pictures, she did spot the squirrel and managed to snap him before he scampered away.
All photographs added to our online gallery will be entered into the 2017 competition. Go to cheshirelife.co.uk/photos. You will be asked to register, which is free and also allows you to comment on articles and photographs on the site and to take advantage of special offers.
Jayne’s top five
These are a few of her favourite places for taking landscape pictures
• The lighthouse at New Brighton
• Lymm Dam
• Walton reservoir in Warrington