Keen photogapher Val puts the focus on 2013

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A college tutor from Bearsden has documented a year of her life in pictures on a new online website for amateur photographers.

Val Bissland describes herself as a ‘keen photographer’ and became involved with the Blip Foto website last January, uploading one picture every day of a scene that caught her eye.

A Doctor of Psychology and researcher at Strathclyde University, Val admits that it has now become something of an obsession, and she goes nowhere without her trusty compact camera.

Val, who is in her 60s and semi-retired from the university, said: “I thought I would stop after a year, but I really enjoy it so much. It makes you very aware of what is around you and makes you observant to what is happening from one day to the next.

“Some people on the site have a theme, but mine is eclectic with a lot of landscapes, flowers and the lives of people in Glasgow.

“I don’t really have a style, but I do really enjoy candid pictures of people.”

The tutor also revealed the wealth of photo-opportunities that have caught her eye on her doorstep.

She said: “I find inspiration close at hand. For example, on November 23 I took a sunrise with mist over Milngavie and a few days later I captured Mugdock Loch close to sunset with a dog at the water’s edge.”

As a tutor Val also teaches older people to build photo albums using different websites such as Albelli or Blurb.

According to Val, one of the major benefits of taking pictures is that it helps to keep the brain active.

She said: “The process of taking a good picture is quite involved when you break it down into its individual parts.

The eye is obviously very important, but it is the brain that processes the information and after a while it develops the sense of what would make a good picture.

“These are skills that people can learn at any age.”

Val also follows other photographers on Blip Foto and is particularly keen on pictures posted from the Shetland Islands, because her father was a crofter there.

She said: “The site will be an archive for future generations. There is a picture on the site of a drystone wall my father built.”

To view Val’s pictures go to