About

I have been taking photographs for over four decades now (the shock of realising this damn nearly finished me off), using a variety of cameras including Voigtlander, Practika, Nikon and Canon.
During the early days I was shooting mostly in b&w and developing/printing in my darkroom, which my parents annoyingly also used as a bathroom.

My interest in panoramic photographs started circa 1965 BC (Before Computers), producing several multi-image overlapping panos, none of which blended seamlessly together despite my futile attempts with scalpel and glue to cut and join them. Only one set survives (Paragon Station, Hull) which I recently discovered and scanned as a pretty rough joiner (see it here).


Fast forward (mercifully) to 2002 and my first digital compact (did they REALLY cost that much in those days??!) which re-ignited my interest in photography, and I was able to stitch together some panos on the computer. This was also when I had my first formal training, studying for City & Guilds modules at night classes conducted by John McKay, a quiet, knowledgeable man who gave his time and expertise generously. The classes were conducted more like camera club evenings but sadly disintegrated after John died prematurely in 2006. He is still missed, but the evenings live on as many of us 'students' decided to form a photography club, the VPS.
Meanwhile, back at the panoramic ranch, the Holy Grail was beckoning, and after an outing with Mark Denton to the chilly North Sea coast at Sandsend in 2005 I took the plunge and bought a second hand (or 3rd or...) Fuji G617 Panoramic Beast, which produces negatives/transparencies measuring 6cmx17cm (2.1/4insx6.3/4ins), so the amount of detail is incredible. The downside is that you can only get four images to a roll of film, gulp! It certainly teaches you to slow down and think, to avoid making (too many) mistakes.

So, film to digi to film, full circle.

I traded up to the GX617 via eBay in 2007 and it is still going strong. However, as the full kit including tripod weighs in at a hefty 15kgs, and age is overtaking me faster than Usain Bolt's broadband speeds, I have 'wrinkle-proofed' my pano work by adding a Hasselblad Xpan plus lenses to my collection via that well-known internet shop beginning with e and ending in bay. The Xpan is a superb 35mm film camera which can switch at any time mid-film between the normal 35mm size of 24mmx36mm to a wider 24mmx65mm. The quality of the lenses is also superb, and the camera is almost as small as a compact - a real jewel.

For those interested in such geekery my current line-up can be seen here.