I was born in 1957 in Gillingham, Kent, and took no interest in photography until my late teens when I went on a trip to Monaco to watch the 1976 Grand Prix. I was so envious of my mates who had Olympus, Practica and Pentax cameras. That was it after seeing their results, I wanted an SLR camera. My first SLR was a Zenit E, with a Helios 44 lens – it was all I could afford at the time – but I got great satisfaction from my first shots and subsequent darkroom efforts.
Since then I have had a range of Nikon cameras – the EM, FM2 (Oh I wish I still had that camera!), FE2, F501, F801 and generally keeping to Nikon lenses 16-85, 28-85 and 70-210mm zoom lenses and 35, 50mm primes, the only exception being a 300mm Sigma APO lens. My main stock of film was Kodak in the analogue days and I printed from Kodachrome 64 to Cibachromes. Then the digital age hit us! For a while all I used was a Nikon Coolpix 885 and switched back to film for a short time using a Voigtlander and a Fed 3 with a 35mm lens, just for a bit of fun!
Finally in 2006 realising the age of digital photography was in full swing, I made the decision to switch and sold all my 35mm film gear for the Nikon D50 with 17-55mm kit lens, a 28-100 and 70-300mm G lenses. Later a Nikon D200, 35mm and 50mm primes were added! But my love for Nikon changed in 2013 when I noticed something very important. With all the additional equipment I had bought all I had done really was create a very heavy bag to carry. My photography was getting better but not because of the equipment. If anything my photography was getting frustrating. What to take out and what to use? Also, Nikon to me weren’t moving forward with their innovations. The V1 and more 3 lenses had proved an interesting purchase but it struggled in low light and was too small in my hands.
So after very careful consideration I switched from Nikon to Fuji and the X-E1 with 18-55/2.8mm kit lens. I’m a ‘one camera one lens’ photographer now and photography has come back to me. Free, a great weight has been lifted off my shoulders – quite literally -and I’m seeing more.
All my post photograph (studio) work is done on an iMac Intel Core 2 Duo, using Adobe Lightroom 4, with Nik Software and On One Perfect Suite 7 plugins.
I have many favourite photographers – too many to mention, but Chris Joyce, Henri Lartigue, Trey Ratcliff, Joe Cornish, Michael Kenna and Sir Simon Marsden deserve a special mention.
Paul Griffiths (aka Artgriffo)