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Canoe

The Best Job

I have the best job in the world. I realise that is quite a claim, but as far as I am concerned it is true. I work in outdoor education which means that I essentially get paid to play. My employer is a university and so I get to work with adults and children from a range of backgrounds. For a number of reasons, they come to us to learn a range of skills and to challenge themselves.

The reason I’m telling you all this is that nearly all the videos that I have created for my YouTube channel so far, have featured photography. So I have decided that this one should feature another passion of mine. For those of you that are only here for the cameras, don’t worry, they’ll be back.

I’m currently enjoying a Christmas break and so please enjoy this short look at a typical day for me. I will hopefully see you all shortly.

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Yashica Camera

Yashica FX-3

Back to basics with a camera that, apart from an exposure, check is mostly manual. However, the Yashica FX-3, launched in 1979, is a great camera to use and produces some lovely results. It’s a compact and light 35mm SLR. It was later replaced with similar models, but the basic FX-3 was very popular at the time.

My version of this camera was in a little bit of a poor state. The black leather was torn and was peeling away from the body. So I decided to reskin it with some fresh leather. I chose red, and although I didn’t make a perfect job of it, I am very pleased with how it looks now. Watch the video to find out more.

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Canoe

Fancy Paddle

If, like me, you paddle a canoe on a regular basis, at some point you’ll want to purchase your own paddle. But because I spent my hard earned money, I want to keep it in good condition. For a while at least. A common problem is that the paddle can scrape along the gunwale, causing scratches to the shaft. Many people therefore choose to protect their paddle by wrapping the shaft with something like paracord.

I decided to do the same and because I have training in “fancy” ropework, I thought why not make it look pretty whilst keeping it protected. I managed to track down some bright and reflective cord and used two colours to create the spiral grip. I then used some white cord to add a Turk’s Head knot, top & bottom, to finish it off. I’m really please with how it turned out.

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Pentax Camera

Pentax A3

Part of the joy of photography for me, is the ability to experiment with the exposure settings. To create something and to be artistic. This is why I usually stay clear of cameras that take that experimentation away from us. However, if I’m going to break that self-imposed rule, then the Pentax A3 is a fine camera to start with.

Not only can this SLR operate in Aperture Priority mode, but with the right type of lens, it can be fully automatic. Leaving the photographer to deal with composition and focus only. In addition, it even features a powered film wind. Despite all this, I actually think its a nice camera, but more for a collector than a photographer perhaps.

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Olympus Camera

Olympus XA2

This is my 1980 Olympus XA2 point & shoot 35mm camera. This type of camera is often dismissed as trivial. However, it is compact in size. It produces some great, pin sharp images. It is quite tough and long lasting. All in all, I think the XA2 is a great tool for the beginner, or the street photographer.

I use this one regularly and it is great for grabbing that quick shot. Where setup and preparation are not possible and it performs really well. In this video, I take you through its operation and features.

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Newspaper

Site Updates

Over the last few days I have been making some updates to the site. Some SEO stuff to keep up with Google’s policies. I have also added a new page that showcases my vintage camera collection. This in turn means I could remove some large photos off the home page, which were causing it to load a little slowly. Finally I have added some localisation information, again for the benefit of some search engines.

I’m afraid that a lot of this won’t be noticed by most of you, but hopefully it will help to make the site a bit more visible. In the meantime, I have about eight more YouTube videos in various stages of production, so look out for those soon. Please help me get to 100 subscribers if you haven’t already.

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X-300

Minolta X-300

The story of my Minolta X-300 SLR is a bit of a rollercoaster ride. This lovely 35mm caused me some headaches, but it all came good in the end. Made from 1984 until 1990, this was a lower priced sibling of the X-500. It was marketed in some places as the X-370. It was also copied many times in China, under various names, but all were identical.

I’m not done with this camera. I think it is well made and nice to use. I just hope that I can find another in great condition and at the right price.

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Ilford Delta 3200 Pro

Fast Film & Low Light

Shooting film photography at night or in low light can be a challenge. Flash is often not effective, or spoils the look that we are going for. One option is to use fast film with a high ISO or ASA. In this video I explain the exposure triangle and how using fast film is challenging, but also a lot of fun.

Using my Yashica TL Electro-X and some Ilford Delta 3200 Professional, I take to the streets at night. The film produces some lovely results which I have also included in my “Film” album.

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Spirit 600 CL

Polaroid Spirit 600 CL

I’m afraid that in the past I have been a photographic snob when it came to Polaroid. However, since I was gifted a Polaroid Spirit 600 CL, I am beginning to to rethink my position. Part of me thought that it wasn’t proper photography and that the quality wasn’t great. Perhaps I’m mellowing in my old age, but I can see the attraction these days, even with the costs that come with it.

In this video I explore the 600 CL, and discuss some of these factors. I also mention an offer from Analogue Wonderland that gives you a free 35mm film, with your first order, by using this link.

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Roll of Film

Scanning Negatives at Home

When it comes to film photography there are a number of options available for scanning or digitising our negatives. Flatbed scanners such as the Epson V800 are amazing, but expensive. What can we do if we are on a budget? In this video I make a suggestion that uses a dSLR and about £40 worth of accessories. All items were easy enough to assemble and even if you do not have a dSLR, a mobile phone will also work.

Leave a comment if you have any other suggestions or improvements we could make.

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