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40 years of photography

Well, that makes me sound really old doesn’t it, but this year i’m celebrating 40 years of photography! I saved up 10 shillings for my first camera way back in 1968 when i was just 8 years old (my goodness remember pounds, shillings and pence eh?! those were the days – never could quite get my head round it and was very happy when the UK went decimal).

Progressed from that first camera through a variety of Kodak Instamatics, hey, remember flash cubes! My very first 35mm camera was a Zorki 4K in c.1977 i was very happy with the results but very stupidly left it up a light house in the Isle of Man and it was never to be seen again. DOH!

That event spurred me on to buy my first SLR – a Practica LTL3 kit, purchased from my mums mail order catalogue so i could spread the cost over 52 weeks. This took my photography to new levels – trying out sunsets and experimenting with action photography (motorbike racing), using slide film for the first time ever, filters and even set up a darkroom to develop black and white film.

Eventually my dad gave me his cast-off Canon AE1 programme which i had for a long time, and i kept the Practica until sorting out to move house in 1999 when i gave it to a local student. In 2000 i bought my first medium format camera – a Hasselblad 501CM which i had hankered after for many years. In 2003 i upgraded the 35mm camera to a Canon EOS3 and went on to improve my dark room – developing not only black and white film but also colour and slide film.

Living in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland from 2001 to 2006 was a huge inspiration – not only the fabulous landscapes there but also the birds and plants. I got my first digital SLR, a Canon 10D and in 2004 started selling images commercially for the first time. The Hasselblad 501CM was traded in during 2005 against a beautiful Hasselblad H1 – autofocus, 6 x 4.5mm medium format which gives stunning image quality.

Along the way i’ve been inspired by such greats as Ansel Adams, Charlie Waite, Michael Reichmann and the fab bird photography of Nigel Blake. So here i am, 40 years later still taking photographs and very rarely venture out without a camera with me.

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