Photography and I go back just on forty years now, though for the last twenty I have done very little. That was when my beloved Mamiya MSX-500, along with three additional lenses, was stolen from Ross Street, Forest Lodge, where I was living at the time.
From around 1973 I became really interested in the whole photography thing, getting into printing and developing through Simon H and a number of his friends when I was teaching in Wollongong. At Wollongong High I went on in the mid 1970s to add Photography to my teaching subjects, and even ran a basic class for Dip Ed students at Sydney University in 1977-1978.
My more formal training came through a short course I did with leading Australian photographers John Williams and Ingeborg Tyssen in 1975, an experience I mention here.
In 1975 I was at Bathurst doing a photography course with John Williams and Ingeborg Tyssen*. Hill End/Sofala was one of our targets. I asked an old guy in the pub, after buying him a beer, if I could photograph him. “Guess so,” he said. “Snowdon did last week…” (John Williams told me I was a good second-rate photographer, which I found rather pleasing, coming from him.)
Photographs, John Williams told us, happen in the mind. The camera is merely an instrument. He had little time for camera buffs as such. It is fair to say that during the past twenty years or so my mind has been constantly taking photographs, but without the instrument there has been little to show for it.
Now, thanks to Sirdan, I am geared up again, but in a new mode which I am still getting used to. I am also getting used to colour rather than black and white, as black and white photography was what I was — and still am in a way — more interested in.
So yesterday I was down in Chinatown again, the Casio in my pocket. I wanted to realise some of those pictures that have been in my head all this time, but I am afraid I am still learning the rather different techniques needed with the new instrument.
As I used to do, though I would have been working on the gray scale balance on the right rather more. You can do that in the old silver film technology…
And that is what the Casio actually gave me.
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