Almost Weekly Photo
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Great Landscapes
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The Ideas Library
BETTER PHOTOGRAPHY MAGAZINE

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I've had this 'proof' of a magazine cover in a desk drawer for, well, nearly 40 years! You can do the maths if you're so inclined. We were pushing out over 50 magazines a year back then, so why did I keep this cover?

Because it's a table top of my camera equipment and associated paraphernalia - or at least some of it. 

In the middle is a Minolta XM Motor, the pride of my 35mm camera equipment for many years. A professional model and costing a small fortune, my friends all clubbed together for my 21st birthday and bought me a waterproof camera housing for it so I could shoot surf photography. It was a big beast to lug out in the water! And top right under the 'A' is an interchangeable waist-level finder which I could attach. My thought was that by looking down into the camera with the waist-level finder, I wouldn't be noticed by people as a candid photographer, forgetting of course that the camera itself was incredibly large!

The focus of the issue was outdoor photography and what did people use? Well, back then a monopod was lighter than a tripod, one always had a small compact camera like the Olympus XA (whereas now we take our phones), and coloured filters were needed for black and white photography. There's a smattering of slides (Kodachrome), some film boxes, and I was a member of the Royal Photographic Society back then (and also a member of the Royal Hedgehog Preservation Society, but I was excommunicated because I had the temerity to write about echidnas in their newsletter, a thorny situation) and the SIEP card is for the Sydney International Exhibition of Photography I think. 

And it's quaint to think back then, a 4x-magnification plastic loupe was all that we needed to view our images, using a light box or holding them up to the window and a blue sky (which did wonders for colour balance). However, I do feel a little embarrassed about sharing this image - look at the Eveready batteries... they are the cheapest you could buy and I doubt they would have lasted long. And I can't remember what they powered, but I don't think it was either of the cameras. Must have been a colour accent for the composition!

Finally, depending on how big you're seeing this, there's a photo of me and a mate with our skis (above the Olympus camera). I think it is in Austria and I reckon my kids would think my ski jacket is way cool today. But unlike fashions that come around every few decades, the glory days of the Minolta XM Motor will not be repeated.

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