Taking photos was the last thing on my mind when i first picked up a camera .
It was to connect with my grandad who had died a year earlier.
It arrived and I stared at the faded, rectangle bag for hours, its scuffed edges and bulging pockets tempting me. I eventually opened the bag and the memories shook my senses like a squall hitting a ship. I was knocked flat and left reeling momentarily.
It smelled of so many of the happiest times in my life. It smelled of him.
On family holidays he would always have it in his hands and be constantly stopping to look down the waist level viewfinder of his medium format camera, his hair waving in the wind and his brow clenched in pure concentration.
He loved it, and so did I. In the earlier days he would develop the images himself from his kitchen darkroom, then later on would send them to the lab.
I remember the little square images (usually of steam trains) placed in their albums, his beautiful handwriting beneath.
i eventually started using the camera. It bucked and barked in my hand like a pistol from its tremendous 'mirrorslap' and mechanisms moving.
I developed the first roll of film and bought ten more. A week after that, another ten.
I was hooked. Hooked on the methods and alchemy of photography. I'm now lucky enough to take photos to earn a living from people and clients from all over the world.
All I could wish for is my grandad to tell all about it.