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I have been a keen photographer for many years, thankfully due to my mum who always encouraged me and let me set up my own dark room and gave me access to various cameras over the years.
I used to use old Box Brownies that I bought from jumble sales as a kid. These were great starter cameras as they where easy to use and gave exciting results from their large negative format. I am very impatient and hated waiting for the films to be processed. As a result, I began to develop my own B/W films and, over successive birthdays and Christmases, amassed the necessary equipment to produce my own prints too (I had a Durst enlarger, but can’t remember the model).
I moved on to SLRs and thoroughly enjoyed the WYSIWYG way of working. I could make sure that the subject I wanted in focus was in focus. My first SLR was a manual Seagull Reflex (I’d never heard of it before either) which was suggested as a good starter SLR from someone at the local camera club because of its quality 50mm prime lens. This stayed with me for many years.
My mum had an Olympus OM2 and I’d always told myself that I’d eventually get one myself when I could afford it. Once I started work I went to the nearest camera shop and got a second-hand OM2 with 50mm lens and case. This was to be my main workhorse through most of my early working years and through into married life. Sadly, the shutter has jammed now, but I still can’t part with it just yet.
Shortly after the digital revolution came upon us all, I got a Canon S40 for various reasons: a) I still had my OM2 for serious photography, b) It came highly recommended, c) it did video, with sound and d) was small enough to keep in the pocket until needed.
I was blown away with the quality of pictures that the S40 produced – they exceeded my expectations of a 4MP sensor and I now have two of these just for when I want good quality but don’t want to lug around any other equipment. My photography cravings were totally restarted and the number of pictures taken exploded to thousands per year.
I soon became frustrated with the shutter-lag of the S40 for when I wanted to take action shots and yearned again for an SLR. The logical choice at the time was the Canon 350D – it took the same media and battery as my S40 and ran on the same software on the PC, so this made the choice much easier.
My son now uses my 350D and I have a 400D (still the same media and battery, which means they’re all interchangeable between the various cameras) and, for the moment, that’s where I am. My daughter graduated BA Commercial Photography in 2011 and has a 5D MkII.