All the way through my teens and early 20's I was forever armed with my camera, snapping away all over the dales, forests, fields, towns and cities. I was once part of the Barnard Castle Photography Club and made some great friends there, we also had full access to the awesome Darlington Media Workshop which is still run today by Paul Dillon, an all round good chap. What he and his posse don't know about photography isn't worth knowing! So I learned how to develop and process my own film and photographic prints, one thing lead to another and I ended up at the University of Northumbria studying for a Contemporary Photography Degree. Then I left education, struggled to find full time employment with photography (let's face it I was in the arse-end of the country as far as 'proper' work was concerned) and upped sticks to Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Once there I stumbled into the job I'm still (swearing and grudgingly) still doing ten years to the day, argh! Needless to say the cameras had been put down and left to gather dust. I know full well that I have completely and utterly let my family down by doing this, such was their support and encouragement for me over the previous years, and I'm very sorry.
I have found getting back into photography very, very, very intimidating, it's all down to technology you see, I never trained with digital. Ironically it came in just as I was leaving University, damn it! It actually scares me. Well until now, I really MUST do something, I'm bored to tears with the day job, sick of dealing with the same people's shit each and every day!
Being in London there is ample access to photography exhibition upon photography exhibition upon photography exhibition and these have re-ignited the old juices to get back into 'the death of a moment' again. So..... cue: signing up for adult education very soon, currently emailing back and forth to sort out my disability support, alas they can't afford a note-taker but I reckon with my implant assisting my lip-reading it will be fine. I need to reply to their latest email with regards to meeting the head of the course and discussing things face to face, which will be being done as soon as I finish this blog update!
I have been slowly re-arming myself with photography gear, at the moment it's all 35mm based around a Pentax ME Super. These cameras are built like tanks and give great pictures, I can't ever see me using a different type of 35mm camera. Lenses are being picked up for next to nothing now and again off eBay as was a Manfrotto tripod which I got for peanuts. As far as digital goes however the boat will be being pushed out as soon as funds allow for probably a Canon 7D, a rather pricey bit of kit (and again another reason why I am so intimidated by digital).
So this ball is now officially rolling, I've always been a creative, I inherited my father's genes (by the way, he'll deny he's a creative, yet he does carpentry, 'nuff said!). When you're in full time office based employment (or at least it seems in my case) you have your soul completely destroyed and everything goes stale. You need to wake yourself back up, rein yourself back in and take stock, i.e. kick yourself up the arse and tell yourself to stop moping, which is actually easier said than done I add!
On the look out for a good, higher end, Plustek film scanner at the moment, that way I can get my 'back catalogue' of negatives scanned properly ready for digital manipulation, and hoping that they haven't been too damaged over time..... *gulps*. The rest of the creative suite is a natural progression. Have wanted to learn to build websites (Dreamweaver) since goodness knows when, this will all tie in nicely with video editing (Premiere Pro) and graphic illustration (illustrator) ..... so here goes!
Will keep you all in the loop, Lee x