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My Granddad, Me and my Camera

I can still remember my Grandad 50 years ago with his camera, getting us to pose for a family photo.

He loved photography, and said it made time stand still.

Unfortunately I don’t have many of the 2×2 black and white images that he took.

Sadly when he passed, I was in India with the Army and couldn’t get back for his funeral.

My last memory of him with his camera was when he was in hospital. Lying in bed in bad health, he reached down and pulled out his little 35mm camera. “Gather round the end of the bed for a photo” he said.

He is always with me when I am out with my camera.

I carry a very old tripod he used for his photography work, and I use it for my compact camera, and for mounting my wildlife Trail Cam on.

I find it amazing that back in 1972 when I picked up my first camera I could only afford a roll of film with 12 exposures.

We talk today about ISO all the time – it is in every forum you look at about photography. Those were the days when I could only get ISO 100 or 200.

You had to work with what you had, and if you got it wrong that was that. Buy another film, plus development of the negatives.

The firm ‘Bonus Print’ developed my film, and back then they would develop out of focus negatives and still charge you.

My first camera – a Kodak Tele Instamatic

I traveled to Belize in 1979, spending 6 months 10 miles from Belize city.

On my weekends off I used to travel to small island and spend time chilling.

Arriving in Belize city, I would get a boat to the island.

On one particular boat journey I had my camera at hand.

Out of the sea a Dolphin leapt from the water.

You couldn’t check if it was in focus, but months later I got the film developed and it was a great shot as it was horizontal to the horizon. I have the picture somewhere and will post on here at a later date.

I got my second camera whilst I was in the Falklands.

My second camera in 1982 – a Praktica 35mm Ziess Lens

This is an image I got from the internet, and the one I owned had a Ziess Lens.

The camera was so sharp. I can’t remember what mode I used back then, all I know is the images this camera produced were excellent.

On my weekends off I walked for miles in uniform; just me and my camera, venturing to remote places that no one else had tread.

One afternoon as I rested below a small rock face, I looked up and halfway up was a Red Backed Hawk only 10 feet away from me.

It was looking straight at me, with a very disturbing posture.

It was only when I spoke to a local Falklander that they informed me the Hawk I encountered had a reputation for attacking people.

Another afternoon whilst walking I came to a place called Fox Bay. On a hillside, miles from anywhere, was a Wooden Cross with the name inscription Capt John Hamleton.

Please read this memorial to John.

Capt Gavin John Hamilton MC

The Memorial I came across stands on a exposed hill in Port Howard.

A Heroes Cross

Please read the article of this hero – he gave his life for his comrades and was awarded the Military Cross.

Sadly the word hero is taken lightly these days, but in my mind John was a true hero.

I am so glad I followed in my Granddad’s footsteps with my camera in hand – something incredibly valuable to pass on to my children and grandchildren.

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