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stephen

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Sep 25, 2004
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I thought it was about time I sent in a "who and what am I", so here goes...

My first experience of using a camera was with a borrowed box camera. I took only one photo, but I was the only one in the family to manage to get a level horizon. A one-off fluke, as it turned out... I was then given a camera as a present that used the 828 film, as I think it was - unperforated 35mm. This was around 1955, when I was 6.

I began processing with contact prints around 1959, and got my first enlarger in 1961. My first "real" camera was a 35mm in the early 1960s, with an Exa IIB in 1965 and an Exakta in 1967. On the Exakta wearing out, I got an OM1 in 1974, OM2 in 1977, and OM4 in 1984. No new 35mm equipment since.

Medium format eventually beckoned, and 5x4 after that. I now shoot mainly 5x4, with 6x7 (Mamiya RZ) when I feel too weak to carry the 5x4. That said, my 5x4 weighs less than the RZ with a shift lens...

On going to university (chemistry degree) I lost touch with black and white processing due mainly to loss of my darkroom at home, and I switched to colour slides, home processed. The joys of the reversal exposure by waving photofloods around in the days before chemical reversal!

My return to B&W has only been in the last few years, and I am amazed at the changes! No more HP3, which I used alongside PanF (not the plus version). Adox KB14 gone (I liked that film - I have just bought some Efke 25). The worst shock was finding that Unitol developer had gone. I always was extremely conservative in films and processing.

For those interested in the hardware: I use a Durst 805 for 6x7 and an LPL for 5x4; Combi tanks for 5x4 and Paterson tanks for anything smaller (I have a few of the original Major II tanks and the System 4 tanks that replaced them, in all sizes). My developer is now Rodinal, as I feel that it will continue to be available and if not, there are published formulae (no comments on this please - I have seen too many discussions on the one true Rodinal).

My overall technical knowledge is more theoretical than practical, as I have never been greatly interested in chopping and changing - as my equipment list shows. I have always found something I got on with, for one reason or another, and stuck with it. I did investigate practically the different films available on returning to B&W, and am saddened that some I really liked are no more (Agfa 25). I admit to a preference for slow films, even though I cheerfully admit that I never regarded a shutter speed longer that 1/250 hand holdable by me. I use a tripod for everything these days, so leaves moving in the wind as the main problem.

One the rather more interesting side, I photograph mainly landscapes and
architecture, although I include close ups of trees etc under landscapes.

On the more personal level, and with regard to some of the recent APUG
discussions; I am an ex patriot Yorkshireman living in Hove, East Sussex; my
linguistic ability is limited, having studied French, German, Latin and NT
Greek. My Hebrew only got as far as being able to vocalise a text (i.e the
alphabet and vowel points) without actually learning any syntax or vocabulary.

Summary: unadventurous and able to write a lot without saying anything.

I enjoy APUG - what little I have seen so far - and the amazing technical
knowledge that you all seem to have.
 

roteague

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Jul 15, 2004
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Kaneohe, Haw
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Welcome to the forum from Hawaii. It is always good to have more input from the UK and I am looking forward to seeing some of your images posted in the gallery.
 

BWGirl

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May 15, 2004
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Wisconsin, U
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Welcome, Stephen!
Wow! That is some history! I look forward to your inpt & to your gallery posts!
 

Steve Roberts

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Joined
Oct 12, 2004
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Near Tavisto
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35mm
My return to B&W has only been in the last few years, and I am amazed at the changes! No more HP3, which I used alongside PanF (not the plus version). Adox KB14 gone (I liked that film - I have just bought some Efke 25). The worst shock was finding that Unitol developer had gone. I always was extremely conservative in films and processing.

My overall technical knowledge is more theoretical than practical, as I have never been greatly interested in chopping and changing - as my equipment list shows. I have always found something I got on with, for one reason or another, and stuck with it.


Hi Stephen,
Like you, I have recently returned to B & W and was surprised at the changes. I just made it to HP4 before the curtain came down on my previous darkroom (although I was still working my way through a 400' reel of HP3, some of which I still have, but which I keep for purely sentimental reasons!!) I also used Unitol, but totally by accident on my return kicked off with Jessops "Econotol", which I later read (on this forum, I think) is made to the same or similar formula as Unitol.
I also tend not to be as experimental as I would like to be, due partly to the fact that getting hold of anything but the basics in Plymouth is pretty difficult, but also to the fact that there are only so many hours in the day and there are also cars to mend, window frames to paint and other jobs that must be done to keep 'Er Indoors sweet.
Multigrade papers have been a voyage of discovery for me in the past year, and I can't say I'm totally "at one" with them. If paper was as cheap today as it was 25/30 years ago, I'd much prefer to stock up on various grades of Agfa Brovira and Kodak Bromesko. The RC papers are pretty amazing, with recommended wash times of only a few minutes, quick drying, flat drying and no squeegeeing on to polished plates to get a decent gloss (with the inevitable bubble that always necessitated another attempt).
I feel slightly saddened by the fact that I am getting back into B & W wet photography at a point when it is under threat from the D-word, but get great satisfaction from producing the type of prints which 25 years ago were considered "the norm" but are now seen as "artistic" or "quirky" by some, but are almost invariably well-received.
Best wishes,
Steve
 

roy

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Joined
Sep 7, 2002
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West Sussex
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Welcome from up the road !
 

Ailsa

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Joined
Feb 5, 2003
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244
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Southeast En
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Medium Format
Hi from next door! (Practically).

Given that you're originally from Yorkshire, would there be any mileage in me having a quick gloat about the Brighton & Hove Albion result at the weekend...?
 
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stephen

Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2004
Messages
56
Location
Sussex UK
Shooter
4x5 Format
Ailsa said:
Hi from next door! (Practically).

Given that you're originally from Yorkshire, would there be any mileage in me having a quick gloat about the Brighton & Hove Albion result at the weekend...?

I assume that a Yorkshire team defeated the Brighton side (or the other way about). I actually don't know anything about football, and didn't even know that they were playing. I have never even seen a game (live or on TV). Sorry - any gloat would be lost on me.
 
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