#FlashBackImages from the days of my Mamiya Medium Format Film Cameras Days

July 25, 2017

One of the beauties of using medium format cameras was about producing images with a tool in your hands that was built like a tank with high-quality lenses, along with quality images.


In my case, I had the privilege of using a Canon 35m cameras but more importantly, I use to use nearly every day as a working Photographer the Mamiya C330S, C330F and the Mamiya RB67 with a 120 film back or a 35m bulk film canister.


Hard to believe that I use take a complete studios into a client's homes and then to go back with printed 5" by 5" photo images and then use a  Braun Paxiscope 650 Projector Episcope to project an image onto a wall, with view to encouraging a clients to buy a large framed print on canvas or canvas textured looking images.


My first photography job was with Frazer Studio, based in Poole, Dorset, a photography job that came with a company Bedford van and separate studio setups for Boots, Mothercare, and British Home Store.  


It was a great job that would set me up for working with kids, families, especially sick babies since I can remember doing a number of sick babies in my time in some interesting parts of the country.


Driving from my base in Rotherham, South Yorkshire to Scotland or to support jobs anywhere in the country, living out of various bed & breakfast establishments.  


In those days as a Black Photographer, my company was very conscious of sending me to stores in a town or city that took issues to someone looking like me.


I can remember one incident in Doncaster, British Home Store when the store manager had to take issue with a mother who did not want her kids pictures taken by someone who looks like me, again back then it was just part of life.


Something I accepted out of ignorance, I guess because I needed a job being married with a young child and a mortgage.


Working for myself I had my Canon 35m and Mamiya bodies with various lenses, Jessop PR200 & PR400 studio lights and backdrops, some of which I hand painted myself along with my trusted Metz hammer head flash units.


As a Social Photographer using film, life was not easy but nevertheless, jobs would still come my way by word of mouth, or in my case leaflet dropping, vouchers, exhibition stands, and going from door to door with a laminated A4 card with various images on the back of the card, that was sometimes supported by national promotions by Kodak, Fuji, Konica film companies,  since they use to support social photographs in those days.


My days as a photographer using film came to end in 2002 when I started my transformation from film to digital with my first digital camera setup of a Canon 20D, since then the world of photography has changed.


So much so,  that many film processing labs and photographers around the world went out of business since not everyone was ready or prepared to take on the new digital generation of photography including its learning curve to be a digital photographer.


And yet today after all these years we see a renewed interest in film photography, with companies like Kodak bringing certain films back to the marketplace, to satisfy the growing demand for film, along with film cameras becoming more of an interest to many digital photographers who have never had any experience of using film.


Because, I intend to do another blog, about how I use to market myself in those days of film photography, for now, please note a selection #FlashBackImages I was able to find in my garage and scanned in to support the type of work I use to do with the film.


Along with some images I did nearly 30 years ago, that I had to get reprinted from 120 negs for a young lady whose father died while she was a few month old, I hope she and her family will appreciate images that I have brought back to life again after all these years, packed away every time I moved from address to address, which means I have lost a number of negatives over the years.

Walter James Photography

Walter JamesWalter JamesWalter James Photography

Walter James Photography Walter JamesWalter JamesWalter James Photography

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