Hi :-)

My interest in Railways - (obsession if you ask my wife!) - started in the summer of 1977 at the tender age of nine years old when my parents took me and my kid brother to the NRM at York. When returning to the car I remember asking my parents what everybody was doing with notebooks and pencils and after receiving the explanation with promises not to leave the NRM Car Park (Oh how times have changed!) I decided it would be a far more pleasurable activity than shopping and the rest as you say is history. In the first few years I was nothing more than a “spotter”, though by the very early 1980’s I had developed an interest in “bashing” and loco haulage and for most of my early teenage Saturdays (especially in the Summer) it was a good bet I’d be on a West Yorkshire Day Rover bashing the “Pennines”, Leeds to Carlisle’s, Loco Hauled NE/SW etc often extending the boundaries to York Skipton, Sheffield Doncaster etc.

I received my first camera proper (other than a pocket 110/127!) Christmas 1982, when Santa brought me a second hand fixed lens Yashica SLR and I started taking 35mm slides, though my early efforts where definitely very much “point and shoot” (no change there then some would say) and were normally platform shots of my “bashing conquests”. In the early 1990s I upgraded my camera to Practika 35mm equipment, firstly an MTL-5 M42 screw thread with a Practika 50mm lens, then a BCA bayonet body with the 50mm kit lens and a 28-70mm Sigma lens, though it was not until the advent of digital photography that my photography stated to metamorphosis into anything other that point and shoot record shots of locomotives. I jumped onto the digital bandwagon very early and from the onset favoured Olympus equipment as they seemed to put image quality above all else and I upgraded as frequently as funds allowed. Starting with a C-420 “point and shoot” I soon upgraded to a C-1000L SLR, though at just under a megapixel the results where nothing spectacular. The first digi-cam I owned that gave anywhere near acceptable (i.e. printable) results was a C-2000zoom. From this I went through a C-2020z, C-3000z, C-4040z and C-5050z before making the leap to a Canon EOS in the form of an EOS300D. From this I progressed to an EOS20D, 30D, 40D and a full frame EOS5D. I upgraded the EOS40D very briefly to an EOS 7D but was not 100% happy so I returned that and upgraded to an EOS5DmkII around 12 months ago. I now use the two 5D’s with canon 50mm f1.4, 17-40L, 28-105 IS L, and a 70-200 L series lenses. My previous web adventure by way of eight years with now defunct Fotopic featured images from most of the above cameras and totalled 3500+ images. My smugmug adventure so far only contains canon images with the odd image from the Olympus 5050zoom though time and wife permitting some of the older stuff may see the light of day

MA April 2011