By way of introduction my name is Geoff Roughton and to get it out of the way, 4 years ago I had a stroke…..well actually a series of mini-strokes followed by something more major. I don’t tell you this because I want sympathy but merely to let you know where I’m coming from, as I’ve made a pretty good recovery. Lucy over on the Colour Film Photography group on Facebook encouraged me to pen this and I’m glad I have.
I had for many years been a pro snapper, nothing great just bread and butter stuff, weddings, sports and suchlike and my only claim to fame is to be, at one time, The Ring magazine’s “man in the UK”. Anyways enough of that.
Since my stroke, every year I’ve said to myself, “this is the year I’m going to get back into my photography.” Its always been a passion of mine but I’d go out with my old film cameras and something would happen that would knock me back. Forgetting to do something, camera shake, poor results from poor labs and a whole multitude of other sins. It got me, well, depression. People often speak about the physical loses a stroke imposes but rarely about the mental issues, loss of cognitive skills and the melancholy mood the recognition of this brings.
So, this year, I decided it really was going to be my year: start with a clean sheet. I dove in.
I’d promised young Sam Lyon a photo shoot a year ago, she’s a local musician I shot years ago when she was starting out. I arranged a test shoot and the weather, much as it was everywhere, was cold, dark and grey. I used my Canon EOS 33 and 50mm f/1.8 STM lens, and decided to underexpose and then push process the film. I was hoping that would be enough to give me faster shutter speeds to avoid handshake and something told me it would bump the contrast.
I’d learnt the hard way that if you want good results from film and can’t do it yourself, you should send it to a good lab. My lab of choice is Canadian Film Lab, I’ve known Christian and Erica a long time and only ever had excellent results from them when I got it right.
So, I sent my film off to them with a certain amount of trepidation – I hadn’t underexposed and had film pushed in years. I was over the moon with what I got back and for me, it’s a great start to the year. These frames are five of my favorites from the roll I got back.
I have loads of projects planned and hope I can take you along on my journey. I have a website planned and a decent Instagram feed as well for a web presence. See you all soon.
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This series is produced in conjunction with Hamish Gill's excellent 35mmc.com. Head on over to read the other half of these stories there.
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