Making photographs

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As long as I can remember, I've been taking pictures and making photographs. This picture is of me on a family visit to India at age 4, where I clearly have at least the box of a Halina Paulette. I can't remember ever having owned a camera like this, but I do remember having several 110 and 126 film cameras as a child, where you clicked, wound through and shot the photos. They just has a plastic viewfinder set to the side and I remember having to mentally correct for the parallax distortion if I was making a photo of something that was closer than usual. My mum would take the film cartridges for developing, and it was definitely a thing I loved as a child, and loved the process of getting the photos back from the lab. I graduated on to use an Olympus Trip 35 that my dad had around (this was a big deal - Olympus was considered a premium brand and this camera took pride of place on our mantelpiece above the non-functioning fireplace), and a Yashica SLR that I think my dad must have had in the house from an old photographer friend of his back in India. Once I got into my teenage years, I managed get hold of a second hand Praktica 35mm camera. I'm pretty certain it was a B100, where you couldn't set the shutter speed - this was set according the the aperture that you selected, and you couldn't alter it. So I learned to shoot according to that adaptation. It's interesting that I haven't changed. Ninety five per cent of the photos I take (outside of a cellphone) are in aperture-priority mode. Old habits die hard I guess.

Next was a Praktica BC1 which allowed full manual control. By this time I was 16 and managed to wangle my way into our school darkroom where a teacher gave me a crash course in darkroom work, and I started experimenting with my parent's old negatives from what looked like medium format cameras - I'm not sure - they're square and quite large though. Anyway, I had fun blowing these up to large prints and creating double exposed prints, creating scenes from their pasts that never actually existed or would have been possible.

At that point, I left school and went away to University, where photography took more of a back seat, and I moved into the world of point and shoots for a number of years. More about those later.