I got a Mamiya FE SLR for my birthday 30 years ago. After all that time I can feel the tears pricking as I remember how it felt to hold that camera. Many years later I was sitting with a bed-ridden friend, in her 90s, who'd photographed and painted all over the world. The subject came up of my first Read more...

I got a Mamiya FE SLR for my birthday 30 years ago. After all that time I can feel the tears pricking as I remember how it felt to hold that camera. Many years later I was sitting with a bed-ridden friend, in her 90s, who'd photographed and painted all over the world. The subject came up of my first camera and then the tears. She asked me 'what was it about that camera?' the answer? 'it made me feel free'.

Update: Just passed my 50th blip (I celebrated despite no blip balloon!). That Mamiya was back in the days of film. I studied a degree in Photographic Sciences only to walk out the door in the mid-80s as the 'digital eye' (as they called it then) was invented.
A career in forensic photography beckoned - I was too busy reaching for the sick bag to stomach that.
In between times I worked in the camera department at Harrods (that was a gas) and demo-ing cameras for Nikon at trade fairs. I remember declaring "I'm not wearing yellow" my first attempt to 'stick it to the man' (failed - I was corporately branded). I delighted though in taking kit instead of wages (my pc shift lens is my pride and joy in a kind of 'I look at it but no longer use it' type way!).
I couldn't work out where next and spun my wheels - finally putting all that photographic learning to good use (!) and moving into sound at the BBC World Service. That kept me off the streets for the next 18 years one way and another. Then a chance to have a new life in the North and here we are - we happy three; Mr P, me and the dog.