in Staffordshire, halfway through the last century!
Dad has to take the blame for my interest in photography,
engineering, DIY and most things practical.
In the 1960s he tried to explain the effects of various camera settings,
such as ‘f’ stops, shutter speeds, film speeds etc.
It didn’t sink into the brain at the time, at 9 or 10 years old it wouldn’t.
But came through later on, I think. Make your own judgement if you would.
He was a pilot in WWII, and post war studied Aeronautical Engineering in Loughborough.
He continued to fly into the 70s.
Sadly he is no longer here, and greatly missed, but thanks Dad.
Box Camera and more
My first camera, in about 1960, was a Box Brownie and, living on a farm, it seemed like a good idea to take photos of wildlife. The results were, what wildlife? But nice scenery! Not much scope for his teaching on a box camera!
Via a 35mm Yashika 35ES which gave some very good results, and a chance to put into practice some of what he had told me.
Later, much later, Dad let me have his Petri FT SLR 35mm which I used extensively until 2008.
Now his teaching made sense.
We were married in 1972, just when I was in the closing stages of an apprenticeship at Lloyds of Stafford. In 1977 I started my own garage business which we sold in 1984 before moving to Devon.
We had 2 children by then.
Move to Devon
We bought a large house on Dartmoor which was on it’s knees and gradually over 12 years made something of it worth being proud of.
Lots of hard work and none of it could have been done without Jill solidly behind me, or the confidence Dad had given me with all things DIY.
We sold this house in 1996 and bought a large granite barn for renovation.
18 months in a Caravan on site before we could move in, but it’s a great place now.
Jill started Photography in about 1988 with a Canon EOS SLR and it wasn’t long before she had a request to do a wedding. We both went along and armed with everything I could think of made a respectable attempt at capturing their day. Jill is brilliant with people and has ‘the eye’ for a photograph and doesn’t worry too much about the camera settings. To be a “people person” at a wedding is a must, otherwise there is no control. More enquiries followed and we were soon out every weekend in the wedding season.
We stopped Wedding Photography in 2005. We both had Canon EOS cameras now but the Petri was never far away, and it captured indoor church shots brilliantly.
Switch to Digital
The switch to digital was making an impact, and along came a Canon Powershot G2 Digital camera which although is a compact camera is possibly one of the best compacts around.
And now (2008/9) we have splashed out on a Canon 40D each and a couple of nice f2.8L lenses and look forward to achieving some good shots.
Jill and I did Wedding photography for over 7 years which was great at the time, but wanting to stay with film made the process difficult.
Anyway after over 100 weddings we had been there and done that.
Jill would like to do more weddings but I’m not sure where she would get the energy from.
Jill had started www.dartmooraccommodation.co.uk in 1997 (sold in 2014), with an independent Tourist Information shop in Chagford. The shop had to go in 2000 to concentrate on weddings, but the website lived on for the benefit of the local B&Bs, Hotels, businesses etc. And is a thriving, growing wealth of information today.
The business was sold in 2014 and Lisa is making a fine job of it now.
With Jill taking all the photos for the website, and getting into commercial photography, meant the old film cameras were well out of date. And thanks to eBay they have all gone now.
I still had my own darkroom gear up to late 2010 and, given the time, achieved some good results from ‘old stock’ if needed.
This has gone the same way now as did the EOS1000s, on eBay.
Our children are both away from home now, and we are proud Grandparents to both Nancy and Elsie. Jennifer, Ben and children are in Exeter, but Elizabeth is in Norfolk running her own web design business called Lingo Design.
Just as busy as before! Still involved making things. See my AGA page.
Moved into Exeter in 2015 from Dartmoor, where we had spent over 30 years, which meant a huge downsize.
Bought our current Narrowboat “Chrissie”in 2016. And enjoy cruising the inland waterways with Jill when ever we can.