I was given my first camera, a baby Brownie, from my parents on my 9th birthday. We lived on a farm some distance from the nearest small town and it was frustrating to have to wait around three weeks to see very small prints from your developed film after the town pharmacy sent it away for processing.
So, mum and dad bought the necessary kit and we taught ourselves to develop film in the bathroom and make contact prints using the sun as our light source. How cloudy is it today? So, how many seconds exposure might we need to make this print? My photography journey had begun. It has continued throughout my life – and I am now 76.
Along the way I have learned much about photography, including how to develop and print monochrome enlargements from my B&W negatives and Cibachrome colour prints from my colour transparencies. I made the switch to digital early and it came naturally. I have no difficulty understanding computer software because of undertaking the first ever computer programming course conducted by the Australian government in the early 1960s.
I’ve taught photography courses, given presentations at photography conventions, had numerous articles published in magazines, judged competitions, provided guidance to participants in photo tours, participated in many competitions and exhibitions, met and become friends with a number of famous photographers, and been actively involved with photo clubs, local photo galleries, and the Australian Photographic Society (APS) – holding numerous positions as well as pursuing my photography with them.
I currently Chair the Contemporary Group within the APS, edit its monthly online magazine “Free Expressions”, and administer its Facebook group. Two highlights of my journey: being selected as a finalist in the 2010 Art of Photography Show (110 finalists from 14000 entries internationally) and being selected for inclusion in an exhibition and high-quality book “100 Views of Canberra”, a Centenary project of 100 images by 100 photographers showing my home city of Canberra in all its guises.
My photography has evolved and improved over the years and the subject matter I have recorded is diverse. I continue to learn and hope to do so for the remainder of my life.
These days I mostly do street photography, shoot public and private events, create abstracts, and do contemporary photography. I also enjoy using a range of apps on my phone and tablet to create photo art. Occasionally, I get paid to do a particular shoot.
After my Baby Brownie, I moved through various cameras – compacts, SLRs, then DSLRs. Because I had developed a friendship with the distributor of Nikon gear in Australia, I opted for Nikon cameras when I could afford something decent and have stayed with them.
Nowadays the kit I use is primarily a Nikon D700. Just occasionally, I will use my older Nikon D200. I use a Tamron AF 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 (IF) Macro lens with the D700, and a Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 lens with the D200. I sometimes use a Nikon Speedlight SB-800 flash. I rarely use my tripod. I also use, more and more, the cameras in my iPhone X since it is always with me and produces great results.