Finchley Thompson | Fifty Fifty Fifty

Fifty Fifty Fifty

May 02, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Fifty Fifty Fifty

I made a self-portrait to celebrate a kind of goal. The print you can see below is one I made at school back in the day when I used to develop my own film and do my own printing too. I went to boarding school in Kent and there was a darkroom which had been set up by one of the biology teachers. For my 14th birthday my mum took me to Canterbury where the man in the little camera shop showed us the shiny new Canon AE-1 Program. Only recently introduced to the world, it came with a 50mm f1.8 lens and thus my passion for photography was born.

Back at school many late nights were spent sneaking out of the dormitory after "lights-out" to head to the darkroom. My friend Adam & I would borrow the key from the biology teacher who was also a House Master in a different building to do printing in the gaps between prep sessions. Of course with a little planning we wouldn't always have time to return the key to the House Master so we would ask to return it at breakfast in the morning. And so for a few hours when the rest of the boarding community slept we would be printing while drinking tea and listening to music on a mono tape deck. I recall a lot of it was The Dead Kennedys listened to at low volume.

All these years later and I still have an AE-1 Program and I still shoot with Canon using a 5DMkIV and my favourite lens is still a 50mm though now it's the f1.2 L. The size of my negatives is the same as is the angle of view that I see the world. And I still listen to the Dead Kennedys.

As I began my photographic journey with 50mm here I now am at 50 years of age still shooting with 50mm. It's my Fifty-Fifty-Fifty day.


The original selfie was shot in a mirror which is why the text is all reversed. Nowadays I have a spare body to take a selfie from another tripod and camera setup.



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