Looking back to days of SLR photography

Old Man - Cardiff Train early 1990's

This photo was a tricky one, before the days of mobile phones I had to try and take this using a Canon SLR without being seen. Would I have captured it in the same way on a phone now?

The day I found an old Olympus camera on the Brighton train and handed it into the police station (only to have it given to back to me months later due to not being claimed)  started my love for the 35mm SLR camera, black and white film and its magic.

JP - 1992

I was lucky to start a photography course at sixth form which gave me the chance to learn the basics as well as techniques used in the darkroom.
Unfortunately college wasn't for me, I wanted the wild life that Brighton offered a 17 year old and soon found myself having to work. Desperate for my own darkroom and to carry on with photography I spent  years working in camera shops and photo developing shops which allowed me to buy the equipment and spend my spare time stuck in a small dark bathroom playing!

Inder - 1996

Finding my old prints and negatives  as I was tiding up has stirred up not only memories, many (I was never without my Canon!) but that excited feeling, the smell of the chemicals, the noise as you wind the film on to the next shot, that one moment captured in a second, the image appearing before your eyes through a red haze... we forget these feelings and emotions that photography gave us as we press that button on a digital camera, those multiple shots on a phone. 

Left - Then       Right - Now

How many of us actually print any of our pictures now?
Do we write down the names people who appear, the place it was taken and date of a photograph?
How much thought do give when capturing that perfect scene?

These stirrings have certainly made me more aware of how I will capture a photo now and think of its value, to try and get images printed (Instajunction are great for those Instagram pics!) and spend time looking and sharing with friends and family.

Who knows, maybe the old darkroom will be brought down from the attic, brush off its 20 years worth of dust and used by the next generation, my sons.


Sue J said…
Your candid train passenger shot is beautiful. I love Black & White photography and there's definitely something wonderful about the grain of a photo taken on an SLR. I have to admit to preferring the convenience of modern technology; I remember only too well the disappointment of far too many blurry, headless torsos from my youth. Beloved would tell you I spend far too long trying to compose the perfect photo and my results are still very much pot luck! lol

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