I have had and used a camera for about 45 years, from my first Kodak Instamatic 25 (bought with my own savings), to my Dad's Kodak Retinette 1B. Then it got serious, when my parents gave me a Praktica LLC for my 21st birthday. There were introductory photography and b/w darkroom courses as part of s Read more...

I have had and used a camera for about 45 years, from my first Kodak Instamatic 25 (bought with my own savings), to my Dad's Kodak Retinette 1B. Then it got serious, when my parents gave me a Praktica LLC for my 21st birthday. There were introductory photography and b/w darkroom courses as part of studying architecture at Edinburgh, and pursuing black-and-white printing as a member of Edinburgh's Printmaker's Workshop (though the darkroom then was very near Waverley Station and the enlarger column used to shake when a train went past!).

The interest in printing led to an obsession about getting the negative right, so when Olympus "guaranteed" the density of the negatives with their OM2 and its then innovative real time through-the-lens-metering, I had to have one. It served me well for years and I still have it.

A succession of digital compacts led me to a Nikon D40X with a couple of zoom lenses. It produced great results, was a pleasure to hold and use, and didn't get in the way of taking pictures. The technology doesn't really interest me; the real challenge is pointing the damned thing in the right direction ......

Most useful accessory? That's easy - the tripod. It really slows you down and makes you think about precise composition, or, as I put it above, pointing the damned thing in the right direction....

I acquired a compact - a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ8 in May 2011. I am impressed - it is extremely versatile - the Intelligent Automatic Mode copes with most things admirably. Its pocket-size portability is its main virtue - especially for Blipfoto - I don't go anywhere without it.

I have a comprehensive collection of photographs on my website here

And on Flickr

In February 2013, the D40X, which had never failed me in five years, was relegated to second fiddle by a Nikon D800, which produces a wheelbarrow-full of beautiful pixels.... When I bought it, I got two zoom lenses. They are great, but I am learning that primes rule ok. The 50mm f1.8 is an astonishingly good lens.

The overweight camera backpack now consists of:
Nikon D800
Nikkor 24-85mm F/3.5-4.5G ED VR
Nikkor AF-S VR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED
Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G
Micro-Nikkor AF-S VR 105mm F/2.8G IF-ED
Cokin graduated, ND and polarising filters
Manfrotto 055CXPRO3 tripod and 410 junior geared head

In March 2014, I was fortunate to receive a Licentiate distinction from the Royal Photographic Society. An interesting process, which took just over a year, and my photography improved over that period.