Why is PHOTOGRAPY so important to me.

cameras, Fujichrome, fujifilm, Lenses, opinons, thoughts, photography, pictures, public, Travel

The word Photography literally means ‘drawing with light’, which derives from the Greek photo, meaning light and graph, meaning to draw. Photography is the process of recording an image – a photograph – on light sensitive film or, in the case of digital photography, via a digital electronic or magnetic memory.

This ability to record, special events in my life drew me to photography. Photos of my children and family become very important to me. This early interest, with a specific goal, led me into photography as a hobby, making images of things that interested me, other than just family. My first venture into photography was of course in the film era, and my first camera, as I remember, was a Polaroid. The instant film was great for family pictures, but I soon found this to be very limiting. I bought my first ”REAL” camera after about six months of using the Polaroid. A little cheap and cheerful Chinon CS that cost me almost a week’s wages at the time. It was a great little fully manual camera with a 50mm lens, it got me into using 35mm film, both colour and black and white. This again led me to go further, developing and printing first my own black and white pictures and then advancing to colour. The mechanics of the process interested me, and I was hooked.

The interest I had developed quickly into an ALMOST obsession, I was out every opportunity making pictures and developing interests in things and places that were interesting to take pictures of.

Film and its development became a constant challenge to both afford and complete, it was certainly not a cheap hobby. The more I did it, the more I found I needed to invest to improve my ability to get the images I wanted. Newer cameras, better lenses or suddenly became a priority. Then a darkroom to get me out of the bathroom. A better enlarger and other kit.

I went through various incarnations, landscape, motor racing, bands, but never really found the things I most liked to shoot until I started to travel.

I recall the first time I travelled to Cambodia, still shooting film, carrying 100 roles of Fuji and Kodak slide film and 50 rolls of Kodak Tri X or Ilford HP5, shooting in this exotic location I found what I most enjoy making pictures of. PEOPLE in their everyday lives or STREET PHOTOGRAPHY.

I had decided after my trip to Cambodia that as soon as I was able that I wanted to move and live in Asia, and use Phnom Penh as a base to travel from and start to develop my interest in picture stories. I had several years to work and wait, and prepare for.

My first major trip after moving to Cambodia in 2009 was a venture in Laos, taking a boat trip down the NAM OU river to Luang Prabang (now impossible due to damns on that river)

I actually bought a new camera just for that trip, a Canon 1D Mk IV and also a Canon 70-200mm f2.8L lens both of which got very well-used and to a degree paid for themselves and the trip. By this time I had stopped using film and most of my Nikon and Canon film cameras were sold on.

I have continued since then to document the street and work with agencies that try to make positive changes for those people who have a difficult life. Photography is my way of telling a story, in one image or many.

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