How did I get started with photograph?

Lock into River Avon from Severn 1969

As a youngster I was allowed to use the family Kodak Brownie before moving on to an ‘Instamatic’. On my first waterway holiday I took a black and white picture travelling into a lock that linked the River Severn with the River Avon. The picture, shown above, gained first prize in a local photographic competition for children. I was 11 years old and that was 1969 when waterways were only just beginning to be discovered for holiday use. At that time the River Avon was only navigable was far as Evesham.

Progression in photography

In my late teens I purchased a secondhand SLR Camera and two extra lenses. I was then introduced to dark room technics while a student at the London College of Furniture but found that did not really interest me. I was only really interested in taking pictures at that time. As a member of the Inland Waterways Association I was asked to do a few talks for the Chelmsford Branch and that gave me a great deal of enjoyment being able to share my pictures with other people.

The four pictures above were taken at Stoke Bruerne on the Grand Union Canal.

Digital photography

In more recent years I have moved into digital photography which has the great advantage of being able to see the results straight away but looses the excitement of waiting for the pictures to arrive.  Photography is one of those skills where you are never too old to learn and in recent years I have attended a number of evening classes and day workshops run by a professional photographer who lives close to me. I can thoroughly recommend his courses that can be found at ArtEscape Photography.

The pictures above were taken on the Epping and Ongar Railway.

Processing Pictures

Being able to manipulate pictures using computer software has enabled me to become involved in post production but  without taking too much away from the original image although in some cases it enables me to breath new life into a picture that would otherwise have been written off. A ‘crop’ or removal of unwanted items like a flag pole in the wrong place, helps get the most out of a picture. I would prefer to get the picture right ‘in camera’ but it’s easy to miss things or find the time and location just gives the wrong lighting effect and it’s not always possible to go back.

The picture below was taken after sunset at Braunston on the Grand Union canal and subsequently manipulated in Photoshop.

Same view, different times

My photography subjects

The photographic subjects I prefer are canals, railways, architecture, the countryside and more recently, animals.  I always loved travelling on trains as my parents never had a car and that seems to be where the interest in railways stemmed from. When introduced to canals as a teenager I became so fascinated by them I started reading everything I could. That led to an interest in ‘Industrial Archaeology’ and history of the Industrial Revolution.

After developing a talk for the Inland Waterways Association I produced a series of talks using my colour transparencies and slide projector. These talks are now being updated to digital presentations using some of the original slides with new digital images. The new talks cover many of my interests.

The pictures above are of our two Cockapoos.

The four pictures below were taken at Kamloops Station in Canada where they are more ‘laid-back’ about you walking across railway tracks!

Cards

Using your own photographs to produce a series of cards seems to give them new life, especially when you actually manage to sell one. It helps recoup the cost of the hobby. The ones shown below are all A5 size in either Landscape or Portrait. If you are interested in any of the following then please email me at canalartandphotography@outlook.com

Then and Now

I have now been taking pictures long enough that I can go back to create past and present images at the same location. The first pair pictures above were shot looking down a short link canal between Limehouse Cut to Limehouse Basin, also known as the Regent’s Canal Dock. The first image was taken in the 1970s and the second was taken in June 2019. The second pair were shoot looking into Regent’s Canal Dock from the first lock in the Regent’s Canal. The first image was taken in the 1990s and the second was taken in June 2019. The final two pictures are Gas Street Basin, Birmingham in 1971 and 1990