Who am I?

An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to see the natural world as a place for competition. I catch fish, watch birds, derive immense pleasure from simply looking at butterflies, moths, bumble-bees, etc - without the need for rules! I am Dylan and this is my blog - if my opinions offend? Don't bother logging on again - simple!


Sunday 1 May 2016

Photos - my legacy and archive

I am now in my forty-second year of full-time employment and, apart from a mistaken attempt at career building within The Medical Research Council, as a qualified scientific technician, my work has been factory/warehouse based. My introduction to this vocation being via the delights of Kodak Ltd's Distribution - Southern Region warehouse in Swallowdale Lane, Hemel Hempstead (1979 - 85)
Now I ask myself, "was this coincidence, or was it fate?"

I don't know how many times I've used this image? November 16th 1982
It was taken at stage when Kodak ruled the photographic empire - Ektachrome 200 1/125th sec - very blue biased?
Working for Kodak Ltd, during that time, meant that I was able to use the knowledge of some of the best photographic brains - remember this was pre-digital - as to how best to go about getting images of wet fish recorded onto negative and positive film mediums. I was in a unique position, within the speccy hunting fraternity, and as such, became an "expert" fish photographer without ever doing much more than walking up the stairs from the warehouse into our technical support office and asking my questions. Our cameras were relatively cheap Zenith, Olympus (OM 10's), Pentax and Canon (AE 1's) SLR's - the film used being either Ektachrome (ISO 100 or 200) or Kodachrome (ISO 64), hence the huge collection of slides amassed. Shutter speeds never exceeded 1/125th sec and all focussing was done manually using very basic, yet incredibly effective, split screen technology.

That original photo that Sye wanted to recapture - Loch Ascog May 1982
And so it is I have continued to use photography as a means of recording my adventures throughout my natural history journey. The advent of digital technology being a very timely occurrence. Again, I have made no serious effort to learn the skills required to master the technology - I remain blissfully ignorant of the finer points - I just want to get a record of what happens to be important at a particular moment. Digi-scoping was a godsend - a tiny Nikon Coolpix compact camera perched upon the eye-piece of a Kowa TSN 3, then a TSN 823, was my entry into this new world. Progression came via several "bridge cameras" before ending up with my current ensemble - a, now, very tired combination of an EOS 400d and a Sigma 170 - 500 mm. I am not a photographer - the capture of an image isn't anywhere close to the importance of  the actual experience of any encounter, but I do enjoy the ability to relive these moments at a later stage.  In an industrial parlance "They are a nice to have - not a must have!" The crazy fact that I now work for Fujifilm Speciality Ink Systems, within their digital ink manufacturing facility, is a weird one? I got there, via Brooke Bond PG Tips tea bags and Batchelor's "Cuppa - soups", and remain eternally grateful for that Unilever experience, but wouldn't change my present job for any other. I now find myself, once again, at the cutting edge of image capture - Fujifilm cameras are right up there with the very best, and our ink is capable of print quality that Kodak couldn't have envisaged when they dominated the photographic scene. Once again, all I have to do is walk into our R&D department in order to learn about the latest techniques to get the best from the digital image revolution. I might not be much cop - but I know a man who is!

For no other reason than the fact that my Grandchildren might never have the chance to see one of these
splendid birds in the UK - digital image capture has opened up a whole new world of opportunity to
everyone with a desire to open their eyes and look!
Benno took this superb panoramic image using a bloody i-phone! Where will it end?
Yes, that is a Bruce & Walker Mk IV in the centre of the picture!


  1. It is amazing what a phone camera can do

    1. An "oft quoted" statistic is that more images are taken using mobile phones, than cameras, today. It is just another symptom of the speed of technological advance, in this particular sector, which has seen this development in photographic methods. When I see some of the stuff that Benno & Sye have recorded, they are of staggeringly high quality. My slight reservation, for fish portrait-type imagery, is that the results appear (to me) a little flat. However, this slight criticism is far outweighed by the ease of use and lack of additional camera equipment to carry when going fishing - can't have it both ways? Are your own photos taken using a phone?
      Tight lines - Dyl

  2. I have a bog standard smart phone an the camerea is not much cop. I use a basic Nikon DSLR that is sufferimg from once going for a swim and my ham fisted sensor cleaning. I do want a better lens than my 18-55 kit lens but that woud probably mean a camera upgrade so it can wait a bit. It's that or a couple of pike rods and reels. Trouble is I now want a pair of Darent Vallley 0.75tc's for perch and chub. And a boat and trailer....