JMB Photography

award winning professional photography

An unexpected find

I was helping my dad clear out his loft last week, and we came across a small treasure trove of cameras.  In amongst a few worthless compact bits of plastic (though maybe the Canon IXUS APS will be a museum piece one day) we found his old Adox camera which he bought in Malta whilst in national service there in the 1950s.

I remember this camera well from my childhood.  Maybe this intriguing bit of equipment, with its folding front door and collapsing bellows, helped generate my own interest in photography.  I even remember the first picture I took on this camera (possibly also my last, as 35mm was the way forward and this camera was on its way out – or at least to the loft).  Maybe one day I’ll have a look and see if I can find that photo.  For now, I’ll just say it wasn’t very good.

The unexpected find was a camera bought by my grandmother in the 1920s.  The camera wasn’t unexpected – I remember seeing it before, and maybe even playing with it when I was young.  The unexpected part was that I’d never realised the grandmother who bought it was on my mother’s side.

My mother was a painter.  She started painting late in life, but progressed at a surprising rate.  I’d always hoped that I might achieve some balance between the artistic merit on my mother’s side of the family and the technical nous on my father’s.  Finding this nice Kodak on my mother’s side tilts my preconceptions a little!  I can now claim a long family history in photography- a fine pedigree.  All I need to do now is get out there and take some fine photos to match…

  1. Nikhil

    24th Jan 2011

    >It was the same kind of thing for me, except that it was my grandfather. All his cameras are now probably slowly being recycled in a dump somewhere (most likely because I broke it while experimenting) but I do sometimes wish I'd accidentally come across that old TLR that he had (it was probably Russian knock off of a Rollei).

    I hope my children or their children will be similarly inspired by my old cameras, even if my photography never goes anywhere.

    Don't suppose that you've put your hand on an old view camera that you don't want? :)

  2. Michael C. Lam

    25th Jan 2011

    >Lovely find James, I like the photos of the cameras, very studio-like :-)
    I can't claim too much pedigree in photography, my father was a fair photographer in his day, even sued someone over illegal reproduction of one he had of Princess Anne (I think)

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