I picked up a camera at 7 years of age, my father was an amateur photographer and was keen to share his passion for photography. He showed me how to shoot some trick photo’s and from that moment I knew that photography was something I wanted to pursue.

I was lucky enough to have a darkroom in our family home at Geebung {Northside of Brisbane} in the mid-sixties, this meant I was able to shoot, process and print my own photos in about an hour {with some help from my father}, which was great at a time when most people took a roll of film to the local chemist and they were lucky if they got it back in a week or so. 
Doing my own processing was helpful in understanding what I was doing wrong, when a photo didn't turn out i could go back and shoot again. I loved the result and just had to experiment.

Photography has been a part of my life for nearly 50 years, and in that time I have owned a lot of different cameras; shooting with 126, 127, 110, and 35mm film {I have been collecting cameras for three decades now and i'm always adding to the collection}. The first digital camera that I have ever took a photograph with was loaned to me {back in the mid-nineties}. I simply fell in love with the fact that you could shoot and view instantly as well as print any time you like - this technology took me back to my early days in the darkroom; shoot & print .

 I experimented with digital for many years but still shot using film and slide film in 35mm format , until five years ago my wife surprised me by giving me a Canon 450D with twin lens kit, this was the first DSLR I had owned. I loved it from day one , mostly because I didn't have to give it back. I still use it today with a 50mm prime lens, its a bit like shooting with one of my older Canon AV1 bodies. From there I bought a Canon 500D,{this also shot HD video}

August/September 2011 saw me on a month long road trip through the USA which I used both the 450D & 500D, the 450 with 18-55mm and the 500 with 28-135mm which both worked well for documenting my trip.
Christmas of 2011 saw another surprise from my wife; a Canon 5D Mark 2; this is an outstanding camera going full frame was leap forward and in 2014 upgraded to 5DMk3 this camera I choose to shoot with most of the time. You will often find it close by my side as it goes everywhere, to say I love this camera would be spot on.

Over the many years of my photographic endeavors I have shot thousands of images on film, thousands on 35mm Slides, and since getting the 450D over 200,000 digital images {on a variety of Canon Cameras}. One thing I do which is very different, which I learnt from my film days and the importance of negatives - I have kept all my SD and CF cards. Each card I use, I never delete photos, I only use each card once as they are my negatives. If I ever feel the need to reprint or my computer crashes, i still have all my 'negatives'. I don't store them just anywhere, they are kept in a fireproof safe to ensure they are something that can be passed down the family for many years to come. Even to this day, i still have a few negatives from my childhood.

My thoughts on photography; it’s only the last 4 years I have begun to call myself a photographer and I now realise I have been one most of my life. To be a photographer you do need to be creative and have a passion to create; it is an art form and I think photographers are artists and story tellers, for me it’s not about the equipment you use but how you use it.
Your camera is a tool, like a paintbrush is to a painter.

Stephen Finkel 2017