In the beginning …
… was my first ever camera. It was second-hand, manual, gifted to me by my grandad sometime in the late 80s, when I about 12 years old. I can’t remember the make; I want to say it was a Minolta, but I don’t think it was.
It completely stumped me with its manual focus, but that didn’t stop me. I have a whole collection of shaky, blurry, poorly exposed photos of pets, houses and plants, as well as my little sister dressed up and posed for the camera (for her dignity, I shan’t post any here). I just loved the whole taking-pictures thing.
The move to digital (sort of)
When I was about 15 years old, my parents bought me a new camera for my birthday (or perhaps it was a Christmas). It was much more automated than my first camera – as digital as a film camera could be – and this baby travelled with me through the fun that was my teens and early twenties.
It saw a lot. It saw school days and sixth-form trips, holidays abroad, home life and a lot of misspent youth. I was always the one with the camera, snapping people on nights out probably in fact best forgotten.
Unfortunately, I had to admit defeat with the camera after visiting Egypt in 2001. A mixture of years of pub visits and a good dose of Egyptian sand damaged the electronic lens cover, which would stick halfway through opening. I lost some good photos from Egypt to a partially opened lens cover. And at a good ten years old, it’d seen much better days.
Between 2001 and 2004 I was pretty much without photographic equipment.
The year 2003 saw the blossoming of phones containing camera technology, and I got my first such phone in 2004. Ah, it was amazing! No film to have to buy or pay to develop, and immediate sight of the photos you’d taken.
This photo was the first photo I ever took using a mobile phone. This is it at full size – the sum total of 320 x 240 pixels, and 13 kb in size.
I was back, baby!
I stuck with mobile photography until 2013, when I decided I wanted to up my game, and was intrigued by the ever-improving quality of digital cameras. I got the first ‘proper’ camera I’d had in 12 years – a Panasonic Lumix GF6.
It was great – the usability of a compact point-and-shoot, but with interchangeable lenses. It was a great way to get back into photography, gain new skills and start to take back more control of the pictures than I had with mobile phones.
Having spent two-and-a-half years carrying my GF6 everywhere with me, however, I started to become a little frustrated with the quality of photos I was getting in low-light conditions (photographing visits to museums being one of my favourite past-times) and the lack of a few other functions.
So, after many hours of research, I invested in a Fujifilm X-T1 – an utterly marvellous piece of kit. I’ve recently upgraded to the Fujifilm X-T2, and I couldn’t be happier with my baby.