About Me

Old photographers never dye - they just sepia away

Old photographers never dye - they just sepia away

Steve Blackbourn

Although I have never placed "Photographer" in any job description or CV, I have been interested in photography since I was given a Brownie box camera to use on my 8th birthday. I was lucky enough to have parents who supported my intense interest in chemistry (my father even built me a laboratory at the back of our garage). Both parents ensured that every Xmas or birthday was remembered for the range of chemicals and laboratory equipment that was provided in suitable gift wrapping. It didn't take long to combine my two interests and when I was 14 years old, a darkroom was built next to my lab - and from then the die was cast!

 

I bought myself a Yashica Electro 35 when I started University to undertake my first degree in analytical chemistry - Darkroom Chemistry was a subject in our Physics units and I had a ball photographing my first and second motor bikes in B&W, sepia, selenium prints etc. After qualifying, I worked as a shift chemist for an oil refinery whilst undertaking my second degree in Applied Science. Then the real world intervened with the Vietnam War and I voluntered to undertake National Service rather than accept the delayed intake. My trusty camera went to Scheyville, Puckapunyal, Holdsworthy and finally South Vietnam with me where it performed valiantly until the steady downpours and continuous humidity eventually took it out with terminal mould.

Yashica 35 GSN

Olympus OM-1

On return to Australia and University life (along with the social scene of the 70's!) I was probably more interested in other things for the first few years and photography took a back seat until I decided that teaching Pharmacy students for less money than they received in their first year out was lunacy! I undertook my Pharmacy degree and then completed a post-graduate degree in clinical pharmacy. During this period I was very interested in dermatology and managed to lecture in this area as well as attend daily clinics with the consultant dermatologists. Four of us decided to get photography gear to capture many of the clinical conditions observed and we purchased 4 complete kits of Olympus OM-1 setups with ring flash etc. This was a brilliant camera and I still have a huge collection of the slides that I used for lectures and training purposes.

 

This then became the digital era and I traded in my very expensive stamp collection to purchase one of the first Kodak digital cameras (it's embarrassing to look back at this now). Travels saw purchases of numerous Nikon Coolpix cameras (I still have my Coolpix 880 with all its glorious 3.34 Megapixels), until the travel bug bit big time and I bought my Nikon Pronea 6i to backpack through Africa, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Greece, Italy and England. It was the ideal travelling camera and the 400mm  lens ensured some great safari photos. Returning to Australia and the problems obtaining reliable film stock resulted in my purchase of my Nikon D70s - a fantastic little DX camera and partner in crime on many motor bike trips around Australia. I learnt my lesson with purchasing lenses and only bought glass suitable for DX or full frame bodies - even though I had no intention of upgrading immediately. 

Nikon-d70s

Nikon D700 plus battery grip

This paid off handsomely since my wife bought me one of my best birthday presents ever - a Nikon D700 with AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G lens. I absolutely love this combination and use it just about every day if possible. Technology again took the lead and although enjoying my Sony DCR-TRV10E Handycam for use on the motor bikes and 4WD trips, I hungered for the DSLR approach and when the opportunity arose I bought a second hand Nikon D800. This is a brilliant camera with over 36 megapixel full-frame capability, but I mainly purchased it for its ability to take fantastic video footage. I am only just learning the multimedia pathways and it is a new path that I am excited to follow. I am hoping to record my photographic journey which combines my love of photography with my fascination with gadgets and gizmos. Take a ticket, get seated and let the show begin!