My interest in photography sparked off more than fifty years ago, when my father, a professional photographer, handed me an old box brownie. As an avid young train spotter, I quickly saw photography as a more satisfying way of recording memories of the majestic steam locomotives that were rapidly disappearing from the railway network during the early 1960s.
Within a year or two, I was proficient at operating various 120 and 35 mm cameras with a Weston light meter as well as processing my own black and white films in father's darkroom, (set up within a garden shed !) Over the intervening decades, my train photography has continued unabated with visits to heritage railways around the country and occasional main line steam excursions. However, over time I have gradually broadened the scope of my photography to include landscapes, buildings, people, wildlife and family pictures.
Through the film era, I used Canon SLR equipment in the main, shooting with colour transparency film and black & white. Through the ' 70s and ' 80s I had a darkroom set up in the house where we lived in Bedfordshire, but eventually space required for my growing family together with increased work commitments left little time or space for B&W processing. My photography therefore continued with various makes of colour film through to the digital age. However, I now wish I had used Kodachrome film more frequently, as its colour rendering has clearly survived the ravages of time far better than other makes of slide film !
Since 2007 I have used Nikon DSLR equipment: initially a D80 with an 18 - 200 mm lens, and more recently a D600 paired with a 28 - 300 mm lens. I currently process my images using a combination of Lightroom and Photoshop, and when time permits, I enjoy reworking old pictures by scanning and digitally enhancing my negatives and colour transparencies.
If you could photograph anything, what would it be and why?
I would want to travel back to the 1950s in a time machine to photograph the post-war railway scene, (with my D600 of course !!)
Since joining the camera club what have you learned that you didn't know before?
By looking at the work of other club members, and hearing the feedback of judges, I have become a far more discerning photographer. For example, when out and about, I am better at seeing potential pictures and thinking more about the composition before "releasing the shutter". I am also more skilful at digitally enhancing pictures whilst ensuring that the finished result still resembles a recognisable photograph.
What is it you like about taking photographs?
I thoroughly enjoy capturing and recording images of anything that I particularly enjoy seeing, and later on, revisiting those memories and processing the results on my laptop.