I’ve enjoyed taking photos since I was a kid – being a child of the 80s I grew up on 35mm fixed focus compacts which I’d use to take photos on school trips, days out and of my pets. In my late teens I had an APS camera, which at the time was the fanciest thing I’d ever shot, it could do multiple aspect ratios, had a zoom lens and was super easy to load.
Being a computer geek at heart I was of course an early adopter of digital photography, getting my first digital camera all the way back in the year 2000. From there I gradually progressed through zoom compacts to a bridge camera, to my first DSLR in 2008. That was my first (and last) Canon camera, a 350D. I then spent quite a few years shooting Nikons and buying and selling too many lenses to count. During this time I got fairly confident with the basics of photography and became a fairly competent ‘aperture priority’ kind of guy.
My love affair with Nikon came to an abrupt end when my D7000 started having all kinds of problems with oil on the sensor, followed by a slowly dying autofocus system. Thankfully while I’d been living in DSLR land, I’d been flirting with mirrorless camera systems on the side. Firstly with an Olympus E-PL1 and then with Fuji’s original X100.
The X100 completely stole my heart and I sold all my Nikon gear and went X100 only for nearly two years, before getting an X-E1 and entering into the X system proper. Since then I’ve been an enthusiastic Fuji user, upgrading through various bodies and lenses over the past few years. Shooting with the X100 as my only camera for so long definitely made me better at composing images and the separate physical dials for the shutter speed and aperture made me think a lot more about the settings I was using. It would also prepare me well for what was coming next in my photographic journey…
After getting increasingly curious about shooting film again through the end of 2016, I finally took the plunge in the following January. At first having a film camera in my gear bag was a novelty and it accompanied my digital kit when I went out shooting. But as the year wore on I found myself increasingly leaving the digital stuff at home and shooting almost exclusively on film for my personal work. I’m now shooting a mixture of 35mm and medium format with various cameras. I do my own development (colour and black and white) and I’ve grown to really appreciate analogue photography as the art of ‘picture making’, rather than just ‘taking’. I love being able to pick up just about any camera made in the last 80 or more years, have a fair idea of how to work it, be able to run a film through it and get it developed myself. This makes me feel like I can honestly call myself a photographer now.
You can see my current gear on this page if it’s of interest.
When I’m not taking photos I write software for Macs, iPhones and iPads which you can find over at my other site, ThinkMac Software.