Creators Makers Artists

In November last year I started a new photographic project. One I expect will keep me busy for some time. The project is to visit and document craft people, designer makers, their work, spaces and process.

I’m really excited about this project and the people I will meet for a couple of reasons. The first is because many of the crafts and art forms I will encounter are ones I explored years ago at art college. So I’m looking forward to seeing true masters in action. The second reason is because many of the traits that make the people I will be meeting true artisans and skilled designer makers are the same traits a photographer needs to succeed. Patience, dedication, doing it for love not riches, personal creative gratification, the list goes on. So for these two reasons I will be gaining great personal inspiration, meeting a myriad of new and interesting people, all whilst doing what I love.

I will be meeting textile artists, potters, jewellers, furniture makers, leather workers, knitters and upholsterers and more. At the end of it I hope to have a collection of images that show the people, their unique work and what it takes to make their creations. And hopefully these will come together as a book.

In my next two posts I will be sharing the images from the first two people I have met. Rosalie, a jewellery maker that uses recycled coffee grounds, and Michelle, a textile artist that mixes photography and bold colours to create bold and exciting wall prints.

I hope you’ll follow and enjoy my journey.

To see more of my photographic work please visit my website:


Back from Uganda. So what next?

After an amazing 10 days in Uganda, I’m back home and the next phase of the project can start.

Writing up my notes, sifting through all the photos and editing them into some sort of cohesive story.

Keep an eye on the blog as I will be posting a short diary for each of the various Soft Power Education projects I visited.


Remember if you want to help make this project really succeed you can donate direct to Soft Power Education here

Or help fund the exhibition and book here

Thanks for reading.

Building Education. A photographic documentary.

It’s only one week until I jump on a plane for 8 hours to Entebbe airport, drive for another 5 hours to Jinja through the hussle and bussle of Kampala.

Then the fun begins. I will be visiting schools in the area that have benefited from the support of Soft Power Education. Documenting the schools, the children,  work the charity has undertaken past and present,  the staff and volunteers.

Then I’ll hop in a car and drive 8 hours north to Murchison Falls National Park to visit more schools and the charities Murchison project.

After that, back to Jinja, a mornings rest, then back to Entebbe airport and home. It’s going to be fast, frantic, hot and dusty. But I can not wait.

But. And there is always a but. I need some help. On my return I am putting together an exhibition that will raise awareness of the charities work and with a bit of luck fund one of their on going projects.

If you feel like helping, follow this link



RPS Licentiateship

On Monday I achieved my LRPS. What the hell is that, I hear you ask! Very good question, I shall explain; L stands for Licentiateship, RPS, the Royal Photographic Society. The Licentiateship is the first level of distinction that the RPS award and is based on a panel of ten images that the society recognise as being of a specified standard judged on a wide variety of criteria. It has taken me a year to get here and it has been worth every second.

But why? Quite simply I wanted feedback and constructive criticism about my photography. I needed to know what I was doing right and more importantly wrong. I also wanted recognition for what I had achieved. Who doesn’t!

So with a lot of hard work I put together a panel of images and headed off to Bath for an advisory day. I had checked and rechecked the criteria, reviewed all the example panels available online, read through the forums and done my homework. I was confident. Over confident! It’s not that easy. The panel members are harsh critics and rightly so. They inspected every aspect of my images, I will spare you all the details and their comments. However I had the basis of a panel.

Now, probably a little prematurely, I had already booked an assessment. Thinking of course that to gain the entry level distinction was a mere stepping stone on the road to higher achievements. It didn’t take long to realise the error of my ways. I set about addressing each and every comment from the advisory day, and one image at a time, rebuilt my panel of images. With limited time and access to another advisory day, I submitted my new panel online. I eagerly awaited the good news that I had a panel of images worthy of assessment.

How disappointed I was. Again I had underestimated what was required. Some of the feedback contradicted that of the advisory day as well as highlighting other possible problem areas. The key to success was slowly becoming clear, I must leave no doubt in the mind of the judges. A difficult think to achieve when working with in a subjective creative medium. After some more revisions to my panel I posted it to the RPS forum and was surprised to get a lot of very helpful comments and feedback from other RPS members that had recently taken their LPRS. Of course, their experience is limited and their views could differ wildly from that of the final panel.

Now at this point it was clear what I should do. Start afresh. By happy coincidence I came in to contact with Peter Hayes a Fellow of the RPS. He offered to help. He reviewed my previous panels, and a new one I had painstakingly pulled together. Very kindly he gave me the benefit of his experience, pointed out some weak areas and suggested some helpful changes to the arrangement of my submission.

Assessment day. Sitting at the back of the room, I was watching the panels go up and their assessments. My panel wasn’t due until the afternoon session, so I was enjoying the work, successes and insight to what I would be going through later on. Then, I was asked if it would be ok to bring my panel forward. Now this happened on my advisory day, slipped in right before lunch. The panel sitting there probably weary and in desperate need of food and a pee. Was this a bad omen? What the hell. “Of course”, I answered. And there it was, my panel going up one by one. It was like time standing still. As with all the previous panels, the panel members all stood up and started to inspect every minute detail. My eyes darted from one person to the next as each one surveyed and pointed to different points on each and every print. One by one they sat down until the final judge gave her view of the panel to everyone in the room. I don’t remember the details, but there were no negative comments. She sat down. Then for what seemed like a lifetime the chair person reviewed each of the panel forms before finally standing up and announcing that the panel of images would be recommend for an LPRS.

Relief and joy finally hit me. I had done it. And here they are, the ten images that make up my successful LRPS panel.

Final Hanging Plan


Bread and Cheese

Electrick Building


Violins and Cellos

locked hart


LFT Session 2 03

To the Left

Stripey blue deck chairs

You can see more of my photography on my Flickr photostream here or on my website

Update: What a difference a year makes

Following on from my previous post. I submitted my image ‘Path to the sea‘, to the online portfolio section  of Professional Photographer Magazine. Shortly after I received an email saying it was being considered for the September printed issue, to appear on the portfolio section of the magazine. You can imagine my excitement. To have one of my images deemed to be of a standard good enough to appear in the magazine was an amazing feeling.

Then a couple of weeks later I was tidying up piles of paperwork sitting on the dining room table, when I came across the september issue of the magazine. It had arrive a couple of days earlier then disappeared into all the paperwork  on the table! I tore open the plastic wrapping and instantly flicked to the portfolio section.

And there it was, a half page filled with my image. Very clearly credited ‘ Jhy Turley, UK’.

It was a very proud moment.

Self Publishing

After a few years to really trying to push my photography, I though it was time to document this and put together a book. Mainly for self gratification, but also as an excise to see how easy it was going to be.

Who to use?

I had come across of variety of online companies and services that allowed me to do this. I looked in to several options. Snap Fish, because it linked in to my Flickr, meaning I didn’t need to re upload any of my images. Then there was Kodak, I have printed thousand of my images, mainly everyday snaps, but their quality was good. Of course, being an Apple user, I can do it through iPhoto, but wasn’t really enamoured but their (or any other services) set templates, plus I would need to upgrade my software to get the latest templates and workflow options, so of course an additional cost.

Having settled on Blurb, the reasons were simple,  firstly, I could download an InDesign an template and create any layout that took my fancy, giving me complete flexibility. Of cousre if you dont have Indesign there are loads of set design templates to choose from. Secondly, there is the option to sell your book, always a handy feature to make extra money. Finally the finishing options, with different paper qualities, I had more control over the finished article.

So how did it go?

Luckily I work in advertising and have used indesign for years, so putting together my page layouts was easy enough using the downloaded Indesign blank templates. How ever it took forever as I couldn’t decide on a final layout. Then it was a simple case of  downloading their PDF export setting, saving the PDFs, one for the cover and one for the pages. Then upload. This took a while, as I had opted for the largest book size possible, a 12 inch square coffee table book, which created a huge 15oMb file size. But once it was uploaded, the Blurb website flight checked my artwork, and it was ready to print. Via my account I can see a great preview of my book, allowing me to make a final check before I press print.

I did encounter a few problems after that point. Firstly, I got an e-mail the day my book was due to be shipped saying there was a delay. Then when it was finally with Fed Ex, Blurb had substituted my companies office name for theirs on the deliver label, meaning Fed Ex wouldn’t deliver. So after a painful 20 minutes on the phone, the address problem was sorted, but it couldn’t be re-delivered until the following working day (it was Friday, so that meant Monday).

It arrived!

And it was wonderful. Seeing my images all laid out exactly as I wanted them, full bleed, full colour and big. It was great.

Then I spotted it, a problem with the print quality. There had been a blocked print head that had left a very fine white line on every page. Nooooooooooooooooooo. But the lovely guys at Blurb, replied to my e-mail complaint within an hour, and are shipping me another at no extra cost. Happy days.

Would I use them again?

Yes, the service and website are easy to use, the finished article is great (once they reprint it). And their customer services was excellent.

So give it a go and produce your own book. Its easy.

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