There were always photographs around whilst I was growing up in Ossett in the West Riding of Yorkshire. A lot of images of me and my brothers as we grew up and images of steam railway trains that my father was keen on photographing.
I attended Dimple Wells infants school, then Flushdyke junior school and then Ossett grammar school where I took O-levels and then A-levels. I represented the school a few times in Athletics and also played for the school rugby union teams for several years.
When I was in my mid teens I was given a Christmas present of a Kodak instamatic camera and began using colour slide film. The camera used a film cartridge and resulted in 24 x 24 mm images. I still have boxes of slides taken on this camera including one labelled number 1!.
I then attended Durham University (Grey College) for 3 years and took a degree in Applied Physics. I continued to use the instamatic through this period, but mainly for "holiday snaps".
I moved to Colchester in late 1971 to take a job in Medical Physics at Essex County Hospital. In early 1972 I obtained my first 35mm camera, a small lightweight Rollei B35 which has a fixed 40mm/F3.5 lens. The camera is totally manual but has a built in selenium light meter, read off the values and set the shutter speed and aperture manually. I still have this camera but haven't used it for many years.
I used this camera throughout the 1970's, including trips to Morrocco, Norway, France and Greece. I then decided to switch to the greater range of a SLR and obtained a Practica camera. I started with a "standard" lens but later obtained a telephoto as well. I used this camera until the late 1980's when I switched to a Pentax camera just prior to my first visit to Iceland.
I used the Pentax until the mid 90's when I managed to dunk it in the sea on a beach in Sicily!. It was beyond repair and I decided to get into the world of autofocus and bought a Canon EOS500. This is now my backup film camera as I later obtained a secondhand EOS30 which is now my main film camera. I now have zoom lenses covering the range of 20mm to 300mm, plus a fixed 50mm lens, a fixed 100mm macro lens and a fixed 400mm lens (they are not all Canon lenses). I also have a Canon zoom compact film camera (28 to 105mm) which I sometimes use instead of the EOS500 as my backup film camera.
Over the last 8 or 9 years I have also got into the computing side photography and have a Nikon Coolscan V ED film scanner so that I can scan 35mm slides or negatives into the computer and then use Photoshop on them and produce prints, up to A3, on my Epson 2100 printer.
I joined Colchester Photographic Society in 1997 and became Treasurer a couple of years later, a post I still hold. I now also look after the Society's Website (See the "Links" Page or www.colchesterphotosoc.co.uk).
In December of 2006 I decided to get into the world of Digital Cameras and bought a Canon EOS 30D with a 17 to 85mm IS lens. I can also use my older 70 to 300mm lens on this camera. I have used it since then on trips to Berlin, North Yorkshire, Northumberland Coast, North Norfolk Coast, Lake District, Scotland, Ecuador, Switzerland, London, as well as in more local areas around Essex and Suffolk. I have also continued to use my film camera using colour slide film on a few occasions.