I must have been about eight years old when I got my first camera. It was a second hand Zeiss Ikon Colora film camera and I can remember picking it in the camera shop in Bridlington. Encouraged by my Dad's interest, photography grew as a hobby for me, and after a few years I'd graduated to Yashica SLR camera's, firstly an FX-3 and then an FX-D.
My subject matter was varied and I shot mostly colour slides. At the age of thirteen, my school had a darkroom and I spent many lunchtimes developing and printing my own black and white images. Ilford FP4 and HP5 were favoured films, printing on Multigrade. As I grew older I set-up my own darkroom at home and Agfapan APX100 was my favoured film stock, shooting on Contax SLR cameras. My favourite paper was Agfa's Record Rapid.
Work, marriage and family life took priority in my late twenties and thirties and time and space for my darkroom was limited. My interest in photography waned and the darkroom gear was first consigned to a cupboard, then the loft, then the garage and finally and regrettably the tip.
Over the last five years though, my interest has re-ignited in the digital era. Moving to Canon, my progression has been from a 20D, to a 5D and most recently a 6D. I struggled at first with digital conversion to monochrome and could not get the quality of prints that I had produced in the darkroom. Lately though, Photoshop and Nik Sliver Efex give me black and white images that match or surpass the traditional approach, and commercial printers such as Whitewall are now producing superb quality photographic prints.
My homage to the film days comes in the form of a collection of Contax SLR cameras that are displayed in a glass cabinet in our dining room. I do sometimes pine for the old darkroom days, and have sometimes thought about putting on a red light and opening a bottle of fixer whilst editing my images digitally, just to try and recreate the effect!
Some of the images on this site come from specific photography trips, some from family holidays and some from times when I was just passing by and a scene caught my eye. If you would like to publish any image that you see, or would like a copy to hang on a wall, please get in touch.
© Steve Cheetham Photography