My Dad was keen on photography and I think he used the excuse of his first son being born, me, for buying his first Rolleiflex camera, (which is still packed away in a cupboard somewhere). It must have been quite an outlay just after WW2, and the “brownie points” he must have gone into debt with my mum for were still probably been paid back when he died 60 years later!
He passed on the “bug” to me at the age of 11 when he gave me my first decent 35mm camera, with my first roll of Kodachrome 25 slide film and the following basic instructions:-
Keep your back to the sun and your shadow out of the photo.
Set the camera to a 1/50th of a second at f8 and work from there AND
Think about what photo you want to take, as film is expensive and you are going to have to buy it out of your pocket money!
Those were the days, but the advice was good and I still think about as I set my latest Canon digital to shoot 12 frames per second, something I do less and less now as I remember about the need to buy more storage space in the computer.
Of course those very basic rules restrict a lot of creative thoughts and should be ignored on many occasions, but nevertheless they still form a sensible approach when just trying to take an acceptable photograph.
I am still in the process of digitalising all my slides taken between 1958 and early 2000s, and my father's and his brother's there are about 20000 to do in total so there is a lot of work to do.
My film cameras and lenses were Minolta and apart from one camera and a macro lens they have all been sold for very little money. I am now left with my Canon digital devices which I have learnt to use reasonably well. I went down the Canon route as I had friends that were kind enough to let me try out their cameras and lenses. Once you have built up a collection of lenses, to change manufacturer is a big ask, and to be absolutely honest, probably a waste of money. The quality and performance of modern DSLRs from any manufacture is tremendously good, the limiting factor to taking a good photograph is the person holding it.
I have still plenty to learn, I take a lot of wildlife but really enjoy other “genres”. Trying new techniques keeps me on my toes and makes me think about what I want to take. My Dad's rule No. 3. is a good rule and I wish the photographers that sometimes swamp our local bird reserve applied themselves better, rather than having fun imitating machine guns!!!
I have set out a few photos under different headings for you to see and comment on. I am sure most of you out there can take better or say you can.
I will add or update them as times goes on but in the meantime let me know what you think.