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I have a rather embarrassing photograph taken when I was about 18 months old with a nappy poking out under my clothes but in my hand is a Brownie Box Camera, which I still have and over the next 65 years there have been very few times when I have not had a camera with me .
Back in the early sixties whilst still at school I trained in the art of photography with a well known portrait photographer Percy Finch Inkster, he taught me classic posing and lighting techniques that are current today.
On leaving school I spent the next few years taking photographs of bands and groups emerging from the strong midlands music scene they included The Spencer Davis Group, The Move, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and many others including the Ian Campbell Folk Group whose bass player was a very young Dave Pegg who photographed 50 years later here in Banbury.
My favourites though were the legendary Edgar Broughton Band, still playing together, however to move on it was necessary to move down to London where the swinging sixties were coming to an end but was still the place to be in the world of photography.
My father forbid the move which is why I walked away from a life of sex,drugs and rock and roll and arrived here in Banbury with a suit and a briefcase in my new exciting role as a building society manager.
But the photography continued , indeed I hadn’t been here 5 minutes and was taking many of the house photographs for local estates for use in the Banbury Guardian.
These days I am back in the world of photography allied to travel wring, I contribute on a regular basis to Banburys Four Shires magazine, a couple of Airlines in-flight magazines and a French based expat journal.
Chatting with Ian over a coffee we agreed that I write a regular piece on photography as these days we all have cameras and even the simplest mobile phone packs a powerful camera, memory cards enable us to take hundreds of pictures though back in the sixties it all depended on how much film you could afford to buy.
I have no intention of teaching the technical side of photography, as far as I am concerned an f-stop is the bay down at the bus station where the bus to Fenny Compton stops.
As with most things these days there are rules in the world of photography, do as I do ignore them, all you really need is light and with some of the very latest cameras you can get way with very little of that.
But what I would like to share is what to take photos of , those of you that read my walks in The Four Shires you will know that we try to find the unusual or those bits that don’t appear in the guide books, after 45 years in North Oxfordshire I have discovered that there is more than Broughton Castle, Banbury Cross and The Fyne Lady to photograph.
As you approach Salisbury from any direction the Cathedral dominate the sky line, the same applies in Norwich and the Rotunda in Birmingham here we have the coffee plant.
You may snigger but the Cathedral of St Alfred Bird as I call it dominates the Banbury skyline from all four points of the compass and is a very photogenic building, the sun rising or setting on it gives for dramatic pictures, give it a go.
Next time we will look at windmills and my old friend the Oxford Canal, all 77 miles of it.
Peter Evan Jones
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