06/12/09I have been photographing subjects ever since I was a child. My first camera was a cheap toy version bought with Green Shield stamps. You loaded in a cartridge and it took very poor quality black and white photos. I remember 'snapping off' a load of pictures of a Dalek at a local Dr Who exhibition. I eventually convinced my parents to process the film. The images were not great; the camera had no flash and the lens was very poor quality, but I was hooked by the experience.
A few years later as a teenager, I pleaded with my father to let me have a go with his camera, a Voigtlander Vito II. This was a German 35mm film camera with Focar lens. The answer was most likely 'NO', but I persisted, and eventually must have worn him down (see pester power does work!). This was my first go with a 'proper' camera. I felt very privileged at being allowed to use such a beautiful thing.
So one summer holiday I set off on the train from the North East of England to stay with friends in Somerset. I took the Voigtlander Vito II with me, together with a hand held light meter. I felt very lucky to be allowed to borrow it. The camera was loaded with Agfa slide film and I ended up photographing my stay with our friends.
When I got back the film was developed, and I was over awed with the beauty and saturation of the colours. They were simply amazing. I still have these slides today and it never ceases to amaze me how good they are.
Years later when I started working I saved for several months and bought my own Canon film camera, a Canon A1. However I feel very nostalgic and fond of my dad's Voigtlander Vito II.