My first camera was a pre-war Coronet Cub which my father passed on to me. He had no further use for it having acquired a Voigtländer square format camera by barter from a German civilian in the closing stages of the war. It cost him 20 cigarettes. The Coronet took Kodak 828 film which was the same size as 35mm but without sprocket holes. My local chemist had to get it in specially as I was one of approximately four people in England still using it. The camera could not be focussed or adjusted to the light; this is why those of my photos that were taken before December 1973 are not always of the best technical quality. Even so, many of my favourite pictures were taken with this camera.
My next was a Praktica LTL. It was a giant leap-forward after the Coronet, but it was exasperatingly prone to camera shake ...I think because of the heavy movement of the shutter and mirror. I also became dissatisfied with the quality of its lens.
Accordingly, in 1980, I bought a Chinon CM3 which I've still got. A very nice camera with a superb lens. I have not used it since buying a Sony DSC-P71 digital about four years ago. I like the pocket-sized convenience of the Sony, but Oh! how I miss the freedom to select shutter speed and aperture, to twiddle about with depth of field and to employ filters ...especially my beloved polariser.
I have always regarded photography as a useful means of recording appearances. When people start talking about the "art" of photography, my mouth turns down at the corners and I reach for a packet of acid drops. No less a photographer than Lord Snowdon said, in an interview I read somewhere, that photography is for people who can't draw. Well said ...and about right I think. So when I see all those would-be arty photos ...you know the sort of thing, a dead leaf on a drain cover or whatever... or all those digitally manipulated images with sunbursts and unnaturally coloured skies, I'm inclined to think, "So what?" and pass on to photographs that actually depict something.
Update, Christmas 2006: the Sony has been retired. Mrs Bentos has just bought me a posh new Fuji Finepix S9500.





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Photos of Fray Bentos (9)

  • Model Collection by PJ ( Andrea, Dee Dee, Lee & Mary Fan )
  • Silly Love by DH73.
  • other people's pictures by damiec
  • photo by Gavin Humphries
  • Runcorn Shopping City by Loafhead
  • What Gets Left Behind (teaser 1) by Mark West (strange tales)
  • Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service by readie1000
  • In connection to...... by Loafhead
  • Narroways - trainspotters, 1970s/1980s by emmdee
  • Mind how you go... by Fray Bentos
 

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    Rienk Mebius says:

    "I always wait for the new Bentos. Mr Fray Bentos seems to be a, well let me say, walking encyclopedia. I admire both his photos and his comments and his wit, my very special favourite being LHU982, the remnants of a bus, last used by a sausage works. My first reaction was: What has a bus to do with a sausage and meat pie manufactory? Mr Bentos seems to know everything about architecture, buses, locomotives, slagheaps, the influence of gaslight or the light of arc and glowlamps on the growth of adjoining paraheliotropic trees, industrial heritage, the art of smoking cigars, &c. Lovely!"

    May 19th, 2007

Name:
Stephen Dowle
Joined:
April 2006
Hometown:
Bristol
Currently:
Suffolk, England
I am:
Male and Taken
Occupation:
Warehouseman
Email:
sdowle [at] yahoo.co.uk