PEOPLE 391 – ME, A LONG TIME AGO …

 


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Well, OK, you want something different, you can have it … >>> this is me, I suppose around 1976 or so, when I was on geological fieldwork (aka birdwatching and photography) in Oman – and taken by an old friend, John, who was another of our team – and who kindly emailed it to me recently on my birthday.  The location is a place called Ras Sillan, which is on Oman’s Batinah coast, near Sohar.

So, after the initial shock / disbelief, what’s to see?  Well, let’s work down from the top.  Perched on my noble dome is the early incarnation of Photographic Hat, which I talked about and illustrated in a much later incarnation, in Kenya, here .  This hat, bought cheap in I think Millets and already faded by the really searing Arabian sun, drooped down nicely over the top of my glasses, and enabled me to look through my camera’s viewfinder no matter how bright the light – and hence its name.

Then quite a growth of beard: being outdoors engaged upon birdwatching and photography, I mean geological fieldwork, I probably never bothered cutting my beard at all – LOL! the beard I started growing the day I left school and still have!  I have never been able to comprehend the compulsion of many human males to remove their facial hair every day …

Then, around my neck, the pair of wonderful Zeiss Dialyt 10x40B binoculars that – breathtakingly – I paid £125 for, new, in about 1975, and which went on to accompany on all my birdwatching in Kenya, and which took a real battering when I worked as a bird/wildlife safari leader there.  I still have them, they are beside me as I type this, and they are still in full working order, albeit in urgent need of a full internal clean.

But what am I holding?  No, not some sort of rocket propelled grenade launcher >>> it is in fact a Pracktica MTL (I think!) single lens reflex film camera with a pretty dreadful 400mm telephoto lens, all mounted on a rifle stock – you wound your film on manually, fitted the rear end of the stock snugly into your shoulder, and pressed the trigger at the front end of the stock which was connected to the camera’s trigger by a cable >>> and achieved your single exposure! >>>  LOL! one exposure at a time, and certainly not the slightest hint of autofocus!  Not sure I ever took any decent photos with this contraption, although the telephoto achieved some better results later in Kenya, when mounted on a tripod.

And then, lower down again, my mum always said that I had lovely legs … but then, well, you know how mums can be …

And technique???  Well its an Agfa colour slide that has been scanned into digital, and massaged a little in Lightroom, and left uncropped at full frame.  But the really characterful thing about is all of the dust/dirt particles in the slide.  Given time, I could probably have removed all of these in Lightroom, but that would be to completely miss the point >>> here is a picture from the “old days of film” – this is the sort of thing that might gone into a slideshow – and we were working in a very sweaty, dusty and dirty environment, it was really a waste of time trying to keep clean, especially when water was in short supply during our expeditions into Oman’s only recently opened up interior – and to me this slide, just as it is, fluently brings all those long past days back to life.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window … but only if you are not of a nervous disposition …
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About Adrian Lewis
Photographer - using mono, colour and combinations of the two - many types of subject, including Minimalism, landscapes, abstracts, soft colour, people, movement, nature - I like to be adventurous, trying new ideas, working in multiple genres. And I've a weakness for Full English Breakfasts and Duvel golden ale, though not necessarily together.

40 Responses to PEOPLE 391 – ME, A LONG TIME AGO …

  1. Meanderer says:

    What a fab photo! How lovely that you received it recently from a friend. Did you remember the photo being taken or was it a surprise to see it?!

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      It was a GREAT surprise >>> LOL! and far too much Duvel has flowed under the bridge since then to remember it being taken!!! 🙂 And I still have the bins, but the camera is but a very distant memory >>> as is Photographic Hat!!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Andrew says:

    Great picture. I’ve never birded in Oman but used to watch the terns whilst being driven across the causeway from Bahrain to Saudi. I’ve always thought the ME had lots of promise. Your kit is superb. My first serious bins were Bausch & Lomb. Not even sure they make them any more but I too still have those. Happy days.

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Yes, happy days, days long ago. But times change and, in many cases, the world has become a more dangerous place – I understand that many northern and eastern areas of Kenya are now closed due to security concerns – LOL! and with birdwatchers, who are parties of foreigners with binoculars after all!!! being treated with some suspicion >>> birdwise, I’m very happy to have done what I did, when I did it! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. krikitarts says:

    Isn’t it great how an old photo (even one that we did not make) can yank us back in time to relive a specific memory? Love it!

    Like

  4. bluebrightly says:

    Another sheesh! I love it though. I admire you for digging these out and sort of dusting them off and getting them out there. And for holding on to anything so long – not the case for me! And now I can understand MORE FULLY the thrill you have when you hold these new, small cameras in your hand and get great images with them! 😉

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Haha the Good Old Days!!! – I was younger and stronger then, and so weighty camera gear was no problem. Not long ago, I used to use quite weighty Nikon cameras – the F6, D700 and D800, but it was the purchase of the 70-300 Nikkor lens that (a) showed me that I often “see” at 300mm ie x6, and (b) that telephotos need not be weighty – it was a revelation really. And now, combining the Z 6 with a more modern version of the 70-300 is another revelation. 🙂

      Like

  5. parkermccoy says:

    Haha. I also don’t understand the beard-removal compulsion. I love mine and won’t let it go. We’re pretty much married and that means until death. I may even be a bearded ghost one day. Haha. Great post, Adrian!

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Thank you, I’m very glad you’ve enjoyed it! Yes, a beard for life is the thing. Its interesting to stand back and look at humans, our ways and foibles, many of which go unquestioned or, indeed, unperceived. I’m very much into the stories that we tell in our minds too, the imagined realities and social constructs, that affect vast areas of our lives. Good to hear from you! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. A fun memory photo and commentary, Adrian!

    Like

  7. Sonali Dalal says:

    No hint of you becoming a FATMAN there!! Charming!

    Like

  8. I have just recently been able to get back into my scanning projects–some film from about ten years ago, as well as family stuff going back to the turn of the [previeous! (eek!)] century–and have come to the conclusion that I. Love. Dust. It’s part of the process. It’s part of the memory. I came across a couple of slides that very clearly have a hair in them and it’s a bit of a mystery at just what point in the image making process said hair entered……

    Liked by 1 person

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Yes, that’s a good point, where did that hair come from? Photographers often yearn after pristine perfection – clean, grainless images; absolute front to back sharpness; absolutely true colours etc, but this can be something of a sterile approach, and rather lacking in both imagination and humanity.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yes indeed–one of the cameras that I purchased a number of years ago when I began to get back into shooting film was/is a Holga, which is kind of purpose-built for (plastic) problems. If you don’t tape it up with electrical tape after loading film (120) you risk light leaks showing up on the film. The choice of taping up or not becomes an esthetic choice. Using one becomes an exercise in The Elevation of Crappiness. Tons of fun!

        Like

  9. Great shot showing your spirit, Adrian and great photographic memories! 🙂

    Like

  10. I just LOVE this photo!! What a fabulous shot and a wonderful capture of days gone by. You look wonderful, dahling! As you do even today. You know the drill. (I know you didn’t take this one but… I NEED this jpg to go with the others I have if you.) Please. 😬❤️

    XXXATPXXX

    Like

  11. What a wonderful pic and memory 😍😍

    Like

  12. Dave says:

    Brilliant!! Thank you for sharing 😀😀

    Like

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