I've been interested in photography for many years but am a little camera shy so I've always preferred to be behind the camera rather than in front of it. Since the introduction of consumer digital cameras in the mid 1990's enjoying photography as a hobby has never been easier - gone are the days of not loading a film properly, accidentally exposing it, having to send it away to be developed and therefore being mindful of what you actually photograph - nowadays you're limited only by your creative side as modern memory cards can store hundreds if not thousands of pictures, any one of which can be easily discarded if it's not to your liking.

It took around 10 years before I got my first digital camera, a Konica Minolta DiMAGE 7i which was great for taking pictures in the dark at parties as the view screen automatically went into infrared mode in low light, but once it was a couple of years old I began having difficulty with the auto focus, so I wasn't too disappointed when it got damaged. I replaced it with a 12x optical zoom 7MP Panasonic DMC-FZ8 which I still use today, and while it takes great pictures generally I've not been very successful taking shots in low light or at night. I'm tempted to think this is more likely to be an issue with the photographer rather than the camera as although I've started to take a lot of pictures in recent years, I still see myself very much as an amateur photographer taking pictures as a hobby. Perhaps finding a local camera club or taking a photography course might help me in this area.

Whilst there's no compelling reason to change it at this time while the FZ8 is doing everything I need it to, I must admit that I'm slightly tempted by the new Panasonic DMC-FZ38 with it's improved 18x optical zoom and 12MP. For now my sensible side is keeping my impulsive side in check, but things change.

Here are some of my photo collections. They're all copyright me and shouldn't be reproduced without doing the decent thing and asking me first, but I'm a nice guy. Click the Play button at the bottom to view the pictures as a slideshow, or you can browse forward and back using the arrows at the side of the screen. When finished use your browsers Back button to return to the main page. The images should auto resize to fit your window but they'll look best if your browser fills the screen.

Out on the bike:

Birmingham Business Park: