How long have I been interested in Photography?
I have been interested in the fascinating medium of photography all of my adult life. I recall the purchase of my first camera, a Yashica Electro GTX35N, which I bought from the camera shop in Cathedral Lane in Truro, Cornwall in the early 1970’s.
As Dred says in his excellent introductory video, that Yashica was a semi-automatic 35mm rangefinder camera. I got to know more about the nuts and bolts of taking a half way decent photograph by reading and re-reading the pages of a paperback whose title I have long since forgotten.I also bought Amateur Photographer every week and spent many a happy hour reading that. And yes, I took photographs. Many of them are now sitting in boxes waiting for me to do something with them! That’s analogue life for you (my digital archive is unsurprisingly even bigger and more unmanageable).
As with many photographers I found that I needed or more likely wanted to upgrade to a 35mm SLR camera with interchangeable lenses and I settled on Asahi Pentax as my manufacturer of choice, shunning the Nikon range which most serious amateurs would covet. I bought a Pentax KX with a 50mm f1.8 lens and a soft case and presumably a few rolls of film.
Much of my early photography centred around my children and my wife and our pet dog. I experimented taking photos of fire works, the annual ‘Summercourt Fair’ and of course there were shots of surfing and aircraft at or from RAF St Mawgan.
The KX was joined by an MX when Pentax produced this super small manual camera I was in heaven and then there was the ME Super with its automatic metering. Lenses, I bought a few! My trusty Tamron 85 – 200mm used to accompany me most places and later I acquired a 135mm lens from one of those companies that make lenses to suit the ‘K mount’ but are cheaper than the branded lens. My 135 produced some cracking shots for me and hopefully when I have trawled through my archive of analogue negatives I shall find a few representative images to add to these pages.
Taking photos and sending the film cassettes off to one of the processing houses entailed a wait and I believed that I could and should learn how to develop my own films and print my own prints. My first darkroom was something that I built in a corner of my parents garage at Castle Hill Gardens in Bodmin. It involved a few sheets of chipboard, some inch by inch wood to form the frame, a red darkroom lamp, a Durst F35 enlarger, lens, some Patterson developing dishes and tanks, a thermometer, some tongs and chemicals.