How It All Started With My Journey Into The Photography World

Halina Tele Flash 110 Film Camera

My name is Adrian McMaster the author and founder of I started my journey into the photography world in 1991 at the age of 19 I knew nothing about how a camera worked but used to play about with an old vintage camera when I was given one when I was a child at the age of seven. There was no film so I just pretended there was a film. It was a camera you looked down into. I did not understand what numbers and letters meant at the age of seven.  It was not until 1991 that I won a camera in a competition and it was a Halina Tele Flash 110 Film Camera like the one shown below. It was easy to use and you just placed the film in and shot away.

Halina Tele Flash 110 Film Camera

Old Stone And Ironworks 1991
There were about 30 shots in total. When the film was used up you, had to take it to a film processing shop.  The ISO on the film was about 100 and very grainy as the image below shows the results. The photograph was taken at a place called Parksite located in Silverdale in North Staffordshire, United Kingdom. The photographs show the remains of an old Stone and Ironworks. It’s an area that I and my friends used to play in as kids because I was brought up in the Silverdale area.

Remains of an old Stone and Ironworks in Silverdale, Newcastle Under Lyme: 1991

Premier PC-845
The next camera I had was a Premier PC-845 purchased in July 1993. I still have that camera to the present day kept in the original box with the original receipt showing the date and time I bought it on 29/6/93 at 13:47 from a store called Argos in a town called Hanley of Stoke-on-Trent. I was limited to what I could do with the camera and it had auto rewind once you used up all the film.

Premier PC-845

View From My Bedroom Window 1993
The image below was taken in 1993 with my Premier PC-845 and I took the photograph looking out of my bedroom window at Bath Road, Silverdale in North Staffordshire looking towards an opencast and Furnace Pool in the centre of the photo. You can just see what is called a Footrail as they are called in North Staffordse or better known as Mini Pits. The open cast opened around 1989 and closed in the late 1990s. The area is all grown over now and used as a nature reserve.

View From Bath Road, Parksite, Newcastle Under Lyme: 1993

Olympus OM-10 35mm

I bought my first SLR camera in 1997 which was an Olympus OM-10 35mm Film Camera with F/1.8 50mm Lens that was manually controlled. It did have one or two automatic functions aperture priority and automatic exposure. The film had to be moved manually for each shot and you had to be very careful not to double-expose a shot if you forgot to wind the film on to the next shot. Then you had to manually rewind the film as well so if something good was happening you might have missed it when changing the films over? I enjoyed using the camera for a few years.

Olympus OM-10 35mm Film Camera

Holditch Colliery And Old Stone And Ironworks 1997

The two photographs below was taken in 1997 with the Olympus OM-10 35mm camera. The Photograph on the left is where Holditch Colliery stood before being demolished and you can see the land just on the left before it was prepared for development as an industrial estate now called Lymedale Industrial Estate with a few big named distribution centres build on the land like New Look, T.k.Maxx and Asda. The photograph on the right is of the remains of the old Stone and Ironworks after it was struck by lightning and lucky no one was near it at the time.

Site in the distance on the left of the former Holditch Colliery site: 1997

Half of an old stone and ironworks after the remains broke apart: 1997

Canon EOS 30 35mm SLR
Once I had the money I sold the Olympus OM-10 35mm camera at a place called Crewe Camera exchange and put that money towards a modern Canon EOS 30 35mm SLR camera in 2001 like the one in the image below. Digital Cameras had started to arrive on the market but were very expensive costing well over £1300 even for a budget camera. The Canon EOS 35mm SLR camera did everything I needed it to do but if you made a mistake you could not delete and retake you just retook and hoped it would be as good as the first when you the films developed and more often than not I forget to alter the aperture and speed resulting under exposed photographs and that would be annoying. I had not got a computer until 2005 and that was a laptop seen in the next section about my first digital camera.

Canon EOS 30 35mm SLR

Experimenting With The Canon EOS 30 35mm 
The two photographs below were taken with the Canon EOS 30 35mm SLR Camera and I was experimenting with it in different lighting conditions. The images were taken at about 7 o’clock in the evening and before 8 o’clock in the evening around May 2001 so for me living in the northern hemisphere would be early summer and the sun starting to set. I experimented with the speed setting to see how things would look frozen like the water of fountains. The image with a green metal fence went wrong because I had the autofocus on and it focused on the near part of the fence. But it was all about learning from your mistakes and you would not find out until the films got developed and you saw the prints. This is where my next camera came as a big advantage for me so keep reading on.

Orme Road, Newcastle Under Lyme: 2001

Nelson Place, Newcastle Under Lyme: 2001

EOS 350D Digital SLR Camera
It was around 2005 when I had my very first DSLR. It was the Canon EOS 350D Digital SLR Camera and a 55mm EF-s Zoom Lens with a Silver body. It was my baby as I called it. It did everything I needed it to do for me and if you messed your shot up you could just delete it and take the shot again. It was not until late 2005 that I bought a cheap laptop just for photo editing. please visit my website and go to the Computers and Servers page and you will see the laptop I owned in 2005. Those of you who will have bought a Canon camera will know you have the editing and other software on a DVD ROM disc in the box with your camera back in those days. You have to go to the Canon website and use the Support page now and download the software.

Canon EOS 350D Digital SLR Camera

Jubilee Swimming Baths And St George’s School
The two images were taken with my Canon EOS 350D Digital SLR Camera. One image is looking toward the old Jubilee Swimming Baths a few years before it was demolished and new swimming baths built just a few yards up the road. A few years later the old building was demolished to make way for apartments in Newcastle Under Lyme. The other image shows the Queen’s Gardens in Newcastle Under Lyme with the old St George’s School just before it closed in 2005 and was demolished in 2012 to make way for the new hub for the Council offices, Library and Police station to be all in one building.

Jubilee Bath, Newcastle Under Lyme: 2005

Queen’s Gardens and St George’s School Newcastle Under Lyme: 2005

Canon EOS 450D SLR Camera
In 2009 I replaced the Canon EOS 350D SLR with the Canon EOS 450D SLR Camera because the technology was improved by then. I had a new and faster laptop for editing my photos and was able to do everything I wanted but I had no internet and that would not be until one year later in 2010. One of the things I noticed was how much sharper the images were and how much more colour there was. It was a lot faster at taking the shots. The 350D had a slight delay were the 450D was an improvement even with the LCD being bigger and sharper. It made a big difference being a touch screen as well.

Canon EOS 450D SLR Camera

Experimenting Wth The  Canon EOS 450D SLR
I was experimenting with the  Canon EOS 450D SLR by taking photos of flowers and anything I saw interesting like birds. The two photographs were taken with my Canon EOS 450D SLR showing one with a bird in a bush and the other with a flowers.

House Sparrow: 2009

Thalictrum: 2009

Canon EOS 750D Camera
The Canon EOS 750D Camera is a big improvement in technology allowing both still photography and videography. The LCD display flips out to allow easy viewing when filming or if you’re having to use an awkward angle to take a photograph. I did a little filming with the camera and did well with it. It saves carrying that extra camcorder that you need two pairs of hands for. Now it is just one pair of hands because that’s all I have. I experimented a lot with my pet cat trying to take photographs of her and like all of you cat owners know they never sit still for a minute. It’s like no camera and they sit looking at you and then you point the camera at them and they decide to move or go to another room with a look of don’t you point that camera at me.

 Canon EOS 750D Camera

Daisy The Female Cat
The two images below were taken with my Canon EOS 750D. One is of my pet cat taken in 2022 looking like she looking around the corner into my kitchen because they seem to have that extra vision to see around corners but we all know it is just them and their sharp hearing and sense of smell with the cat thinking I wonder what food he going to share with me. The other image is my cat doing what they always do if they see something like a camera bag and have to sit in it like a cardboard box looking at you like they saying its mine now you are just using it.

Daisy the cat: 2022

Daisy the cat in my camera bag: 2022

Canon Powershot SX170 IS

There are two other cameras I own one is the Canon Powershot SX170 IS  I purchased back in 2014 to use when I was unable to use my SLR camera. It had all the functions of an SLR except being able to change the lens because that was built into it. The camera could be controlled with manual or automatic modes. The only problem was the low light. It would capture the images but you needed a very low-speed setting and a big aperture setting not so easy with this camera. But when used in the daytime or with the flash indoors it was ok for general use like an older 35mm point-and-shoot camera. The images were sharper than a 33mm point and shoot and it had a good LCD screen at the back of the camera so you could see the final results. I still preferred to use my SLR camera for a better experience and image quality. I still have the camera to the present day but it does not get used as much.

Canon Powershot SX170 IS

Torquay Harbour Inner Dock

Below are two images I took with the Canon Powershot SX170 IS while on holiday at Torquay located in Deven in the United Kingdom. Both photographs were taken at night time around Torquay Harbour Inner Dock and I was experimenting with the camera to see how the camera would capture the light at night time. The camera is not all that bad if you know how to use the camera properly. I had no tripod so had to hold the camera very still at low speed. I was able to use 1/80 of a second for the shutter speed but any slower and the photographs might turn out blurry due to camera shake. The only problem I find with the is the battery life does not last as long as a Digital SLR Camera. You can control the camera just like an SLR with manual settings but you cannot change the lens because that is a fixed zoom lens. It is good enough for general photography but will never be the same as a Digital SLR. 

Torquay Harbour Inner Dock: 2015

Torquay Harbour Inner Dock: 2015

Canon EOS M50 Mark II

Another camera I own is the Canon EOS M50 Mark II purchased in 2022 and has been used for online streaming and photography as well. The camera cost a little more and came with other items like a microphone, a Small tripod and a remote. It is my first mirrorless camera that you can change the lens. I have only the standard lens that came with the camera at the moment. I have used the camera for indoor and outdoor photography. The results are very good with a higher pixel rate. It can be used to film in 4K. I used the camera for filming when I built my new computer. The camera was mounted on a homemade wall bracket for when I did live streams on YouTube. The only problem I had was setting it up because it required software so the computer would receive the live image from the camera. The software would sometimes fail resulting in the camera disconnecting and that was annoying when doing a live stream and your viewers wondering what as happened and there was no way to get the image back without a complete reboot. Not something you want to do during a live stream because that will end the live stream. So in the end I decided to go back to using a Ausdom AF640 Full HD Auto Focus 1080P Webcam and use the Canon EOS M50 for normal photography. The camera does a fantastic job but you do not see directly throw the lens like a normal Digital SLR. My Canon 750D has a prism that allows you to see what the lens sees and when you take the shot. The mirror then flips up exposing light to the sensor. The problem I found with the Canon EOS M50 is a delay when you take a shot. The camera does not have a prism so is a mirrorless camera. When you look through the viewfinder you view everything on a tiny Colour LCD Display Screen. The problem I found is that there was a one-second delay when taking any shots. It can result in you not getting the shot correct if you move and you see it a second later. It is not bad for the price and you soon get used to it. 

Canon EOS M50 Mark II

Outdoors In March 2023

Below are two recent outdoor photographs I took with the Canon EOS M50 Mark II taken in March 2023. It was a dull day and had been raining so not very sunny being March is also very cold and heading into the end of winter and spring is just around the corner with the days getting longer. The two photographs were taken at random areas of Newcastle Under Lyme town centre. The photograph on the left was taken looking towards Merrial Street with the old police station on the left. The other photo is the new Hub located by the queen’s gardens and houses the new Civic offices, Library and Police Station where the old St George’s School once stood until it closed in 2005.

Former Police Station, Merrial Street, Newcastle Under Lyme: 2023

Castle House and Queen’s Gardens Newcastle Under Lyme: 2023

Samsung S10 Plus Mobile Phone

I also use my Samsung S10 Plus Mobile Phone when out on my bike because I cannot carry all my camera equipment on my back due to it being too heavy. So the mobile phone always comes in handy if you need to take a photograph of something. I also use the mobile for taking photographs indoors of my cat now and again. All of us cat owners know what cats are like to get up to mischief. My cat can be one of them at times. The built-in camera will never be the same as a Digital SLR because the camera lacks depth in the images and there is no proper control over what you can do. Below are two photographs I took. The photograph on the left is of my cat sitting on my coffee table looking at me like she was supervising me when I was fixing a laptop. Cat are very good supervises watching everything you do and making sure it is all done correctly.  The photograph on the right is looking towards the Queen’s Gardens in Newcastle Under Lyme the the new Hub on the right and the unfinish apartments where the Jubilee Bast once stood looking from the Iron Market in Newcastle Under Lyme.

Daisy the supervising cat: 2024

Queen’s Gardens, Newcastle Under Lyme: 2024

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