I am Steve from England. I live on the outskirts of London, on the edge of the beautiful county of Kent: the 'Garden of England'. I have a mild genetic disorder I was born with called Klinefelter syndrome* and have developed a growing number of impairments, unconnected with the syndrome, including chronic back pain and osteoarthritis.
I became interested in photography after getting my first camera aged around 7, a Kodak Instamatic. A few years ago I bought a large format camera. Various people told me that 'disabled people can't use cameras like that', often the same people who insisted that 'disabled people don't work'. I work part-time, 30 hours a week, five days a week.
I am a member of the UK based Royal Photographic Society, the Disabled Photographers Society and the UK Large Format Photographers Group.
I love classical music, cruising (on a ship that is! ) and all things Scandianvian. Before you ask, I'm actually Anglo-Italian.
Good morning, Steve;
I am still not sure about the source for your "official" name on APUG; Thingy.
While likely it is not really all that obvious, I really am qualified for membership in this group. Many years ago I had a problem with an obstetrician that resulted in my being monocular visioned all my life. While it has resulted in there being one or two things I could not do, such as not being qualified to be in our military here in the USA, and they would not give me a commercial pilot's license, that has not really stopped almost all of the things I wanted to do, including racing motorcycles and driving very large trucks requiring a CDL or Commercial Driver's License, but they would not let me receive a paycheck when flying an airplane.
The young man I refer to as "the closest thing I have to a kid brother" also drives a wheelchair. However, he does have that Part 135 commercial pilot's license. Yes, Virginia, they really do have adaptive control systems for airplanes, just as they do for cars and trucks.
The main annoyance I have encountered with photography and my particular physical characteristics is not really anything to do with monocular vision, but rather now with an excessive accumulation of years. Fortunately, most of the cameras I have do make available an accessory lens for the viewfinder that allows for eyesight correction that still promotes clearly viewing the viewfinder screen for critical focusing. This is not an unusual thing with many of us now. That is why those lenses are available easily.
Anyway, the listing under my name here on APUG does say that I do things "Multi Format." At this time, that means that I have cameras that range from 16mm through 35mm to 6 x 6 and 6 x 7, and on up to 5 by 4 (on this side of the pond, 4 by 5) view cameras. And, if the full truth is to be known, yes, there are things digital in the arsenal also.
If there is one thing photographic for which I am best known, it is probably my interest in Chiyoda Kogaku Seiki K. K. or Minolta cameras.
Latte Land, Washington
One of the things that can help with life is noticing things. The numbers for our membership here have ratcheted up a notch. Hopefully whlogan will also speak up and talk about his interests in photography. You know, what film format, equipment, type of subjects (landscape, portraits, macroscopic, "street shooting," astrophotography, et cetera).
Enjoy; Ralph, Latte Land, Washington
I have been trying for days to get some time to make my introduction here. I am
William H Logan a retired U.S. Navy Officer and yes, disabled. The peace loving, child-like natives of Viet nam took care of that. I can no longer walk, or have any balance, nor hear very well. Two years there messed me up very well, but it took many years for it to show up. I finished 26 years in the Navy which was very good to me. The Navy sent me to college and to graduate school and I will forever be in their debt for that. High school drop outs with Ph.D.'s are hard to find. But here's one. At any event I am disabled in a big way. I use two canes for very short distance walking and otherwise ride in one of my scooters. Due to my back condition I have to sleep in a recliner chair which I have learned to like pretty well, thought I long to sleep next to my beautiful wife. Long, mind you. LONG. Enough of that. At least I sleep now.
Photography. I prefer Large Format, but being unabe to stand, 4x5 is about as large as it can go. My dearesr buddy gave me a compete 5x7 system to see it it would work and then he ups and dies before we could test it. Never did. Gotta do that still. 4x5 if tough but I can do it. I really think I could do 5x7, too.
Medium format:I can do it and do do a lot of it.... I have my ice chest camera, a Fuji GX 680 with 5 lenses which is a job to take out on a scooter with new batteries and other equipment. 6x7 is easier. Bronica GS1 with 5 lenses; a Voitlander Bessa III; Pentax 67 with 5 lenses. For 6x6 my favorite is the Rolleiflex SL66 & 4 Lenses: Hasselblad 500CM & 3 Lenses; Bronica S2a & Bronica ECTL with 4 lenses; Mamiya C220 & 5 Lenses; Any one of my collection of 22 Rolleiflex TLR's. As you may discern here I am also something of a camera collector, too. I do love 'em. I would love to learn to work on them but my advanced arthritis prevents that and nobody wants to send an old Ph.D. in Math to school on anything these days.
Good morning, Bill Logan;
Well, the only thing left, I guess, is the following question: Brown shoe or Black shoe?
And, I am a little strange, being merely a Navy brat. 14 different schools to get through K-12 education, and I went to two of them twice. Yeah, the Navy moved us around a lot. But I did work in the US Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D. C. for ten years, mainly building satellites. A nice time period. I was able to play with a lot of neat toys in the Laboratory. Started working with photography there also. And it was the vision problem that kept me out of the Navy. That was sad, because I had grown up in it, and I had learned how to live and work in the Navy.
Father also had a problem in Viet Nam. Things were going pretty well for him until the intelligence group got the word that the Viet Nam Cong San had decided that they did not like him. He was told to bring back into Saigon all of the papers and documents he had, and just keep working copies of the documents that he needed just to do his work. He had delivered the documents to the office, and was leaving the building to go across the street to the local bar when a Honda 250 came blasting up the road aiming for him. The bike did hit him, and the bike and the driver kept on going. In a place where Honda 50 cc bikes where common, with the occasional 90 cc seen every once in a while, a 250 cc bike was something really special, and probably was associated with the Viet Nam Cong San. Anyway, it took two months before we even learned where he was and what condition he was in. When he did make it on a special flight back to the United States to Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego, he had improved a little, but it did have truly lasting effects on him. He had put in 24.5 years. A talented man, and very good in electronics. I probably got most of my own ability to work in electronics just by osmosis. I think he died in the Sailors Home in Alabama. Sad.
You still have good mobility. Assisted, yes, but you have it. Excellent. Enjoy taking the toys out and playing with them. I do.
Ralph, Latte Land, Washington
Black. 12.5 years in subs when I made Warrant. Then all sorts of stuff after that. 26 years total. Good years in retrospect. And a good life now. Sitting here looking at a 250mm Hasselblad lens delivered today from KEH. Pushed a button on the side and the shutter fired. gotta figure that one out. Yes it is a good life just to be alive after that life over there. And to think they still live it. Surely the Vietnamese don't like or wish the Communist life they a privileged to now live! Poor bastards. Well we tried, didn't we? We tried. How we tried.
I do take out the toys and play and I do enjoy it and I think oft en of those who cannot. Well, let me see what I can do about this 250. It will find some use on a scooter one day, Ralph. Perhaps we shall meet one day on some trail or the other. Best till then and we will trade tales and details here till then.
Hi, I don't really consider myself diabled but I am a below the knee amputee and that definitly messes thing up when I'm shooting. I've been shooting for over 40 years and would call myself a street photographer.
I worked as a custom printer in NYC for about 20 years. I still have a nice darkroom but haven't used it in awhile. I'm being taken over by that dark force "digital'', its just so damn easy My major problem is that I can only walk for 15 minutes
and then my stump becomes too painful to walk on. I also work as a dispatcher3-4 nights a week.
Enough babel, its nice to read your stories and it sounds like everyone has a good attitude. Keep working and shooting.
BTW if anyone needs any darkroom work done, get in touch. I'm not looking for money, just some new negs to print.
Good morning, CBlkDog;
First, welcome to the group.
Your comment about not really considering yourself disabled is fairly common in the community of people who have these quirks, or pieces missing. As mentioned, I have not really felt that I was "disabled." There were some things I had to do to get around some of the rules and policies that others imposed on me, but, other than the FAA absolutely refusing to budge on that "no commercial pilot's license" thing, I have done just about everything that I wanted to do, including having a CDL (Commercial Driver's License) and being qualified to drive anything and everything from 2 to 42 wheels. For about 15 years, I carried Number 97 under CMA, AAMRR, OMRRA, and WMRRA sanction for road racing motorcycles. And, I can actually appreciate the FAA position. There is not very much room for error if something goes wrong 10,000 feet Above Ground Level. The number of times that I have participated in going out to find an airplane that did not come home for dinner has emphasized this to me.
By the way, they do have adaptive control systems for airplanes, just like they do for cars and trucks. The young man who is the closest thing I have to a kid brother normally drives a wheel chair when he is on the ground. The Cessna C-172 has some extra control devices around the left front seat. Yup, he is the pilot, and he is fully Part 135 IFR certified in addition to being a Certified Flight Instructor.
While I have also found that shooting with a DSLR camera is "easy" (there are three main ones here, plus a few more "pocket P&S" that still amaze me), what follows taking a digital photograph is no less of a challenge than what can take place in a darkroom. Having such things as PhotoShop Creative Suite 4 seems to mean that you can spend HOURS sitting in front of a computer trying to get a JPEG or RAW image file adjusted and modified to what you want. There are many times when a darkroom seems to be so much simpler, and a less stressful way to make a print. Also, there is that magic that seems to happen when you can turn on the safelight and watch the image on the paper begin to appear in the tray.
While things digital are around here, and they do seem to be what meets the needs of the people who ask me to take photographs for them, I still like my cameras for things for me.
Again, welcome to the group, and Happy Holidays.
Enjoy; Ralph, Latte Land, Washington
The back continues its slide downhill. Seems to slip "out" more frequently these days and when it does it takes about 3 days of bed time to get it back "in" , followed by some "sore" time to get back to what I call normal. Then we wait for the next one. Had 3 in a row there in May, but so far none in June. And none I truly hope for. A month with none would be loverly indeed. I could take that. Going to break out the Bronica GS1. i have ordered up the 110mm Macro for it. A new toy to play with. I will post some here for your consideratiion, fellas.
Good morning, Logan;
You said that you were going to take the Bronica GS-1 out to play. How did it do?
I am still having fun with the Hasselbladskjis here. There is a Tair-33B 300mm f:4.5 telephoto lens for it also. Need to make up a lens shade for it. Odd filter ring size; 88mm by 0.75mm thread pitch. Thinking about a long 95mm lens shade with a step-up adapter ring. I have found one step-up ring, but it is expensive. Oh, well.
Yesterday was our final day of the official summer vacation period (not that vacations, weekends, and holidays mean all that much anymore, but I do still sort of miss them), and it was a nice day. I admit that I simply lazed about and enjoyed the day. I did not even take any camera out. I took the day off.
Enjoy; Ralph, Latte Land, Washington
Please excuse my tardiness in making an answer. Yes I drug the GS-1 out for a few forays into the outer world for a few shots. It is much like shooting with holding a concrete cider block up to your face, but the smoothness of its opeartion makes up for that assuming you hold it long enough to make the exposure. The results are just staggering... really, they are. The negatives are so sharp and clear it is amazing and so rewarding to look at them. I loaded a 6x4.5 backand shot the whole role as portraits of a very lovely lady friend of ours. While the ex-pressions were not exactly what I had hoped for since she is a nurse and was talking animatedly with my wife who is also a nurse and they were off in medical-speak land that may not be precisly what is best to get the best facial expressions for portraits, they came out pretty good, but holding the GS-1 for 15 exposures was truly a trial. I did show them to her. She is also an excellent photographer and does some exquisite work and would not be pleased with these, I am sure.... too much movement and all that stuff.... any way it was fun...
Have we drifted too far afield here fellas? Our main job seems oughts be photography..... hands not working well here.... need to keep our focus (so to speak) on that.... I just got a Rolleiflex SL66E.... really nice box.... smooth as silk. Costly bugger, but really nice. Must be made of gold to be that heavy !!!! Haven't seen any negs yet, but will post some scans here when I do. Shoot some stuff fellas.... get to work. Make a dent...
Good morning, Bill Logan;
So the Bronica GS-1 did get to go out for a romp and got to play in the daylight. Nice. I do remember the early Bronicas well. I remember being really impressed when a guy who had one said to me; "Hey. Watch this." And he took the lens off, took the pentaprism off, set it on the table, put a cable release on it, wound it as if advancing the film, and set it off. That downward traveling mirror had enough momentum so that the bare body did lift off the table just a bit. Yes, it jumped. That did make an impression on me. Perhaps that is why when it is fully equipped and ready to take a photograph, it weighs so much; to minimize what that mirror does.
So you have a nurse in your life. Having a measure of experience in that very realm also, tell me, have you also noticed that when the woman in your life is a nurse, you can't get away with anything !!!
As for the photographs of the other lady who is also a nurse, the kinds of photographs you were taking of her and the expressions she had at that time, will fall into that category that they call "candid." There is nothing wrong with that, and often it will show even more of the character of the person. Do not get rid of those negatives. For that problem with "too much movement," I find that a good electronic flash bounced off the ceiling gives me more natural looking light, and the very short duration helps with things moving at slower speeds.
Speaking of negatives, you mentioned scanning and posting some things here. I finally did get a Nikon CoolScan LS-9000-ED Film Scanner, but after the latest hard disk crash, I have not yet got it to work in the way that I want. It looks like that will take more work and more time. That last one is hard to find. Also I still need to get an ANR glass negative carrier for it to go with the 120 roll film negatives. Time being hard to find for a guy who is retired? Yeah, no longer having a useful purpose in life and being paid to stay at home does not automatically translate to having an abundance of empty hours. They are keeping me going. Now I am approaching 359,000 miles on the Subaru.
And, congratulations on the Rollei SL66E.
And, yes, sir, I am indeed using some 120 roll film, and the stuff is getting dunked in the Nikor tanks here. Right now I am still dunking with XTOL, or an equivalent, for most of my film, except where there is a proprietary developer for some special purpose film, such as the ADOX CMS-20.
Enjoy; Ralph, Latte Land, Washington
Silly old me has not developed a SL66E negative even yet. I got my plain old vanilla SL66 back from the shop for an expanded amount and very glad to have it back. It has been a real horse of a camera going through sand storms, rain, snow, cold, heat.... really about all one might imagine. Sadly as time wanders on these superior cameras are less and less likely to be able to be fixed. My shop man in Asheville had to manufacture a part out of stainless steel himself which he was happily able to do for me. He is one of these guys who is thrilled to see a high quality mechinical camera instead of a pile of chips and wires as most cameras are nowadays. And he loves Rolleis. Lucky for me he does, too.... so do I and I love working Rolleis... mainly. So I have been using the old SL66 mostly now. Still am at some odds with SL66E Meter system for some reason. Well, on to other things. All stay well and do as best we can, fellas.