Hi! I’m Andy. I’m a child of the 60’s -just, actually I was born as man was on its way to land on the moon for the first time. You can work out my ever-increasing age! I was born in Dorset, down on the south coast of the UK, about halfway along. While I’ve been very lucky and travelled quite a bit in my time, Dorset has always been home.
At the age of around 6 or 7, I slowly took over the family camera, in those days it was an Ilford Sportsman 126. This was mainly as I seemed to take better pictures than my parents, or at least in my photo’s we had heads! In those days colour prints were very expensive, so if colour was indulged in, it was slides, if it was prints then it was usually black and white.
I quickly fell under the spell of photography and by the age of around 10, I had taken over the rather dilapidated wooden shed and the end of the garden, wood chipped wallpapered the inside, and painted it black, and changed it into a darkroom. I remember fondly my father buying me a simple darkroom outfit from a local lady who had put a “for sale” add in the local paper – yes folks this was long before the internet – never mind eBay!
Before long, I was developing film, printing, and sometimes, even made a decent print. Meanwhile colour was still slides, Kodachrome was king, (or there was a cheaper “Boots” alternative). For my American friends “Boots the Chemist” = CVS. I had however discovered that with the correct pen I could write on slides and make a title and a “The End” slide, I had also acquired an old ¼ inch tape recorder, so sound happened too!
Looking back, it’s funny how these early events can carry with you the rest of your life! Another was in 1982, I saw a movie, that changed my life – E.T. , it sounds corny but it’s true I came out of the cinema knowing I was going to make films – no idea how, it was simply going to happen. As this was long before home video, certainly that we could afford this meant super 8.. That’s a whole story by itself and a post by itself! Moving on, I got a job and could afford more than the three or four rolls of film a year, one slide projector became two, and two became three, I ended up with a digital dissolve unit to control projectors and suddenly I was doing AV too!
Back in the darkroom, I could afford more than 1 pack of 25 sheets of 5×7 a year, so my prints improved, and when I finally left school; my first job was in a film processing lab, again that’s for another post. As this is already longer than intended, I’ll speed up by saying that over the years, that beginning has led to working in photo retail, working in a pro-lab, owning a video production company, half owning a Kodak Express outlet for a few years, winning a couple of awards for my films, all the time my love for – what’s the right word… Simple? Traditional? Normal? Photography has always been with me, and I’m nearly full circle back to black and white, silver halide photography!
….. the story continues!