FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

One of us #66 - alanfrombangor

Page  12>
Author
mikey2000 View Drop Down
Moderator Group
Moderator Group
OoU coördinator

Joined: 10 January 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Posts: 11242
Post Options Post Options   Quote mikey2000 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: One of us #66 - alanfrombangor
    Posted: 05 February 2020 at 07:14
One of Us #66: alanfrombangor



Dyxum member alanfrombangor writes...

I was born in 1951 in a South Yorkshire (England) coal mining village. My father would probably have been digging coal underground but had lost a leg in a childhood accident so worked in the pay office while my mother was employed as a nursery school assistant. They’d both left school at 14 which was normal in working class districts but took evening classes to gain qualifications. In 1959 my father successfully applied for a job in York and we moved from our terraced house with tin bath and outside toilet to a house with a bathroom a few miles from the city. My mother qualified as a primary school teacher and they settled into a middle-class lifestyle.
With a mortgage to pay, money was still tight so in retrospect it was surprising that they gave me a Kodak Brownie Cresta 3 camera as a birthday present. I had to be very careful with film usage, taking family photos and railway scenes. The railways provided a free source of entertainment and most boys of my age were fascinated with them. My school had a railway society and this one was taken on a spotting trip to Crewe, the Cresta could produce passable images in good light albeit rather soft.
1.

After university I worked in York for a short time but yearned independence so moved from a beautiful city to the unlovely metropolis of Birmingham and met Christine, photographed here in a city park, aged 21
2.

By now I’d dumped the Kodak for a Ricoh 500G rangefinder and switched to slide film. Asking her to marry me was instinctive, I’d put more consideration into buying the Ricoh but she’s still with me while the camera is long gone. With only a handheld viewer for the slides, she persuaded me to revert to prints that we could look at together in an album, a pity because the few slides have scanned much better than the prints and I didn’t keep the negatives.
We spent most weekends escaping from the city so I took the opportunity of a rare software job in a small mid Wales town and we moved to Brecon. Out two children were born here and I recorded their early years with a Canon AV1, the Ricoh having failed. I liked the idea of a SLR and zoom lens but It wasn’t long in my possession, Christine left it in a park after photographing the children. Minolta now possessed a range with autofocus so I bought a 5000. I had no idea of lens quality, and with children and a bigger mortgage wiping out gains from pay rises my two zooms were at the bottom end of the budget range. The prints look even less sharp when scanned, here’s a typical example of a family shot, our daughter attending to her baby brother while their cousin sucks her thumb. When the 5000 ceased to function I bought a used 7000i.
3.)


A change of job took us up to northwest Wales, close to beaches and mountains but my photographic ambitions were limited to well composed family and holiday photos until I bought my first digital camera in 1997. Our son had also developed an interest in railways so I accompanied him on trips and contributed to a website documenting activity on our local line. The Olympus C-1000L boasted only 0.85Mp but was sufficient for transient web photos and the novelty of immediacy transcended any reservations about picture quality. In 2000 I upgraded to an Olympus C2100-UZ with a Leica lens, 10x zoom and 2Mp and began tentatively branching out from family and railway topics, such as this one from 2004. (4. 4.)

I rapidly tired of record shots of diesel locomotives and freed from the cost of film processing, tried more imaginative compositions. I still used film occasionally, the shutter lag on the C2100-UZ wasn’t conducive to action and the 7000i captured this one of our son watching a passing train while cycling on Anglesey.
5.

I learnt not to put my camera away too quickly after the obvious subject had departed, here two turn away after photographing a steam excursion but the steam billowing out of the tunnel and the diesel at the rear make a more satisfying image.
6.

DSLRs were dropping in price and I liked the image stabilisation of the Olympus, making the Konica Minolta 7D the obvious upgrade, bought with the mid-range 28-75/2.8. I still didn’t know much about lenses, finding Dyxum was educational and I bought a few used Minolta primes and zooms and participated in the forums, thrilled at my first weekly exhibition entry. I retained the C2100UZ and occasionally use it with a Hoya R72 filter, the camera doesn’t have an IR filter so it’s a cheap route into infra-red.
Here is Frank Santrian, still firing express steam excursions on the main line in his seventies.
7.

Platform staff welcome a Deltic on the preserved Great Central Railway, the telephoto end of the zoom was used here:
8.

and to compress perspective at Crewe to emphasise the density of the overhead wires and the points.
9.

The 7D was destroyed by a sudden cloudburst which drenched it before I had time to stow it away, an A200 followed, later augmented by an A700 bought from badlydrawnroy principally to avoid changing lenses when out photographing. Christine’s influence has honed my skill at rapidly assessing a composition since she considers a minute quite long enough to take a picture, changing lenses or using a tripod is out of the question. Apart from Dyxum challenges I don’t often venture out purely to take photographs, my landscapes are taken when out walking or cycling together.
Initially I shot jpg only, and then grauated to a simple workflow of developing raw files in DxO. I’m not obsessed with sharpness and apply minimal processing but I appreciate the possibility of recovering shadow detail and reducing haze.
I rarely plan a shot in advance but react to what’s around, such as this vicious seagull.
10..

I went through a bird phase but rarely photograph them now, these are turnstones
11.

and a lucky catch of a buzzard calling as it flew over our house
12.

My cycle commute to Bangor University took me past the port, sometimes I would linger for a while with my camera before a day in the office
13.

14.

The GPS modules of Sony’s next generation were exactly what I needed for our cycling holidays, where I could take several photographs during each day’s ride and have to document them when I returned home. I sold the A200 and bought an A55 for its lightness and an A77 for its stronger battery and extra features.
We are drawn to the mountains rather than the beaches, and my best images have been taken in autumn and winter.

16.

This is the Snowdon summit café, a tourist railway runs up here in the summer and you can just make out the rails in the snow.
17.

An hour’s bike ride takes me from home to a service road which ascends to a reservoir and a view across to Llyn Dwythwch.
18.

Another Snowdonian ridge
19.
I was travelling back on the ferry from Dublin with our son after an Irish railtour when I saw this interaction between sun and clouds developing and a cargo ship on the horizon so rushed out on deck.

20.
I retired in 2012 and treated myself to a guided photo holiday in Iceland with an A99 for wide angles.

21.

22.

We are not especially well travelled, the hassle of taking a bike by plane is a deterrent though we’ve flown to Spain a few times. Inspired by a cycling blog, in 2016 we rode from the Lofoten Islands to the North Cape
23.

24.

The following year we visited Patagonia
25.

26.

27.

28.

Apart from family group record shots, I rarely shoot people, and my stealth pictures work out better than posed portraits. This is Mick when a few friends from school met for a drink in York.

29.

Music venues can be awkward about big cameras so I bought a Pansonic micro four thirds model which the security men assume is a little point and shoot. Gail Greenwood of Belly on last year’s tour.
30.

I thought retiring from paid employment would afford more time for photography but it hasn’t worked out. We have a large house which we run as a vegetarian guest house, primarily my wife’s project but it occupies both of us. We’ve been doing this for thirty years but this year will be our last. Our son moved out into a home of his own and we’ve been helping him with alterations and improvements to his house and garden. Perhaps I’ll have more time next year.

Photographically I should really be making more use of my macro lens and some of the others that are rarely touched, it’s too easy to go out with my A77 and CZ16-80.

My final image is the one that achieved my holy grail of “Photo of the Week”.
31.
Want to know more about nandbytes? Just click!
 



Back to Top
bigsi View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 14 February 2010
Country: United Kingdom
Location: Cornwall
Status: Offline
Posts: 2383
Post Options Post Options   Quote bigsi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 February 2020 at 07:50
A very interesting read and a deserved one of us, some beautiful photos and its great to see how your photography developed, congrats!
You win or you learn....
Back to Top
Jozioau View Drop Down
Alpha Eyes group
Alpha Eyes group

Joined: 13 May 2007
Country: Australia
Location: Melbourne
Status: Offline
Posts: 5897
Post Options Post Options   Quote Jozioau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 February 2020 at 08:09
Alan,
A very interesting narrative accompanied by your wonderful images that show your broad interests as well as the evolution of your skillset.
Quite a few of them remembered from various Dyxum challenges, competitions and POTW exhibitions.
Whatever the subject matter, or locations, they are interesting to the viewer - a tribute to your eye as a photographer.
Love the photo of your then girlfriend aged 21, and your last image that deservedly won the Photo of the Week - a holy grail that very few accomplish.
Congratulations on joining the O.O.U. circle, and looking forward to lots more from you as your move towards your second retirement.
"Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst" - Henri Cartier-Bresson
My FlickrPro site
Back to Top
mambo View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 13 September 2009
Country: Canada
Location: Winnipeg
Status: Offline
Posts: 1584
Post Options Post Options   Quote mambo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 February 2020 at 12:17
Congrats on getting the recognition. It is very well deserved
Charles M

A99,A77ii, Minolta:|200f2.8HS|∑35f1.4Art|A6400|A7Riii| Viltrox 85f1.8|SEL200600G|Zeiss32f1.8|Sigma16f1.4|Samyang 45 f1.8; 35 f2.8; 24 f2.8|
Back to Top
Dopol View Drop Down
Alpha Eyes group
Alpha Eyes group

Joined: 17 May 2007
Country: Netherlands
Location: Amsterdam
Status: Online
Posts: 6851
Post Options Post Options   Quote Dopol Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 February 2020 at 13:11
I always 'envied' you for the location shots you always produces.
Be it odd trains, great mountain shots, beautiful slate mine shots, and more..
It's good to see this recognition of your skilfull photographic eye
Congratulations on a well deserved OoU title.
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken
Back to Top
skm.sa100 View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 08 January 2009
Country: United States
Location: Charlotte, NC
Status: Offline
Posts: 3613
Post Options Post Options   Quote skm.sa100 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 February 2020 at 15:25
Alan, it's good to be part of OOU. what I like about Dyxum is the amateur nature of the forum. Not in the "beginner" sense but in the "non-monetary sense".

I've enjoyed your pics for years and now I'm glad to get to know about you a bit better. Your narrative is a little similar to others who've shared their stories as OOU members.

Hope to keep seeing more of you work.

Regards
Sashi
More Dyxumer, less photographer.
 



Back to Top
RichardT View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 24 February 2010
Country: United Kingdom
Location: North West
Status: Offline
Posts: 941
Post Options Post Options   Quote RichardT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 February 2020 at 16:16
Alan, very well deserved OOU and interesting back story, great pics ! Jealous of your proximity to the mountains & your experience in going up in some tricky conditions, keep it up !
All the best
Richard
So many wines, so little time......
Back to Top
der dickgg View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 11 February 2009
Country: Netherlands
Location: Netherlands
Status: Offline
Posts: 625
Post Options Post Options   Quote der dickgg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 February 2020 at 19:06






(I'm speechless)
Quit a lot of ALPHA gear, a nice collection of Sigma lenses, Dynax and M42 stuff, NEX i.c.w. Sigma's, Gitzo's, Visico's and lots of video-equipment
Back to Top
Fred_S View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 12 January 2017
Country: Netherlands
Location: Noord Holland
Status: Offline
Posts: 7553
Post Options Post Options   Quote Fred_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 February 2020 at 20:42
Thanks for taking us with you in this reportage of your life and journey in photopgraphy Alan. Congrats with this well deserved OoU title. I love your pics of trains and the lovely landscapes in your region.Keep them coming please!
Back to Top
alanfrombangor View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 05 December 2007
Country: Wales
Location: Bangor
Status: Online
Posts: 4156
Post Options Post Options   Quote alanfrombangor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 February 2020 at 14:56
Thanke everyone, glad you enjoyed the journey. Another rail adventure tomorrow for some vintage traction at the East Lancashire railway diesel gala
Back to Top
Snegren View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 11 November 2011
Country: Netherlands
Location: Zuid Holland
Status: Online
Posts: 4715
Post Options Post Options   Quote Snegren Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 February 2020 at 17:21
Welcom to the club Alan. Well deserved!
Unspoken expectations are the foundation on which disappointment is built
My Flickr
Back to Top
Roger Rex View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 30 September 2005
Country: United States
Location: North Florida
Status: Offline
Posts: 7372
Post Options Post Options   Quote Roger Rex Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 February 2020 at 17:36
Alan,

I enjoyed this narrative and the images very much. What always fascinates me is that folks have so much in common, no matter their country of origin. Much of my photographic journey is similar to yours. Thanks for taking the time to offer such a complete history - enjoyable to read and get to know you a bit or, perhaps, a lot!

Roger
Hatred corrodes the container it is carried in. http://rogerrex.zenfolio.com/
Back to Top
waldo_posth View Drop Down
Alpha Eyes group
Alpha Eyes group

Joined: 01 August 2012
Country: Germany
Location: Potsdam
Status: Offline
Posts: 5110
Post Options Post Options   Quote waldo_posth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 February 2020 at 23:46
Congratulations, Alan, for that impressive account of your photographic work and for the story that accompanies it. I admire your take on nature, railways and, of course, biking! Please keep up that fabulous work!

It's great to have you as company here!
"Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long." (Walker Evans)   http://www.flickr.com/photos/waldo_posth/
Back to Top
luke View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 09 April 2013
Status: Offline
Posts: 892
Post Options Post Options   Quote luke Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 February 2020 at 08:09
Congratulations also from me! Enjoyed reading your story, please keep on going a long time with photographing!
Back to Top
Dyxum main page >  Forum Home > Dyxum Photographs > Dyxum Galleries > One of Us Page  12>

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down



This page was generated in 0.078 seconds.

Monitor calibration strip

Dyxum.com - Home of the alpha system photographer

In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania

Feel free to contact us if needed.