I was first introduced to SLR cameras by a friend who was staying in my flat at the time and attending a photography course at Norwich City College (he now works for the Guardian newspaper). This was 1978 and I bought a Praktica LTL3 in April of that year. After a few months of reading photographic magazines and trying out photos of anything and everything I decided to join a photographic club which was Norwich Photographic Workshop. At the club I was soon persuaded to buy a new Canon AE1 and I have stuck with Canon SLR's ever since. In fact I still have a Canon AE1 which I only use occasionally now.

The people at Norwich Photographic Workshop were very friendly and soon taught me how to use a darkroom and I set up my own darkroom after I moved flats in 1979. In those days the club used tungsten lights to photograph models from local agencies as well as the usual camera club programme. It was well attended with all types of cameras and tripods in use there including cameras like the old Pentacon Six.

Since those early days when I learned so much photography had to take a back seat to other priorities in my life but it remained an interest throughout all that time. The club moved on to studio flash lighting and after I left figure photography became a more popular concern.

I tried a new club, after some time away from club photography, in 1987 which was called the Wensum Camera Club and this club too specialised in studio work although the 'models' ranged from glamour, to Herbie Hide the boxer, to an owl and a tarantula with several goes at still life. I had an interesting time there for about 3 years.

In 1988 I bought a Yashicamat 124G and later some studio lighting equipment and set up a home studio for commercial purposes ( although I never did much commercial work). I did some paid photography work though with my 35mm Canon equipment for my employer mainly photographing people who had long service awards and retirement ceremonies. I liked doing this as people photography is my favourite kind.

Back in 1980 I used to photograph some local Young Socialists football matches so I was asked by the News Line to photograph professional football at Norwich City and Ipswich Town for the back pages of the paper. I only did this when Norwich and Ipswich were in the top division so 2005 (where I used a digital SLR to photograph football for the first time) was my most recent outings and I did 5 matches at Carrow Road.

I joined Norwich and District Photographic Society for the first time in the 1990s when it was still based at the old library but only for one year. I joined again in 2004 after I had bought a digital SLR but again only attended for a few months. I am currently a member again and have bought lots of new equipment for commercial use.

I also rejoined Norwich Photographic Workshop back in 1998 and was taught how to scan prints and put them on the internet and I used the Internet for the first time in 1998 and set up a personal website including photos in 1999 with free software. All the studio sessions were now figure work which was a little expensive but there were ordinary club nights as well at this time.

My main interest remains people photography but I do intend to try a different type of landscape photography in the near future. From time to time I get little photographic jobs from News Line such as strikes and demonstrations etc.

I have been divorced since 2001 and currently live on my own in a flat in central Norwich. I am currently trying to do more commercial work but it is a bit thin on the ground at the moment and i haven't done enough marketing as yet.

Photos of Roger Blackwell (3)

  • Self Portrait with reading glasses at full aperture by Roger Blackwell
  • The Old Revolution by Trojan_Llama
  • My eye by Roger Blackwell
  • Political Paper Seller by Colonel Blink

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Roger Blackwell
July 2007
Norwich, UK
I am:
Male and Single
Roger Blackwell
photos [at] rablackwell.co.uk