My name is Ronnie West and, although I now live in South Wales (UK), I was actually born in London, at the beginning of the second world war. From the age of 10 to 15, I attended a Boarding School in Lancashire and it was here that I had my very first insight into photography. My first camera was a Kodak Brownie, one of the good old box type cameras that yielded surprisingly good results. I soon upgraded to a super folding type camera called a 'Penguin' made by the Kershaw Photographic Company. This camera used 120 roll film but produced images that were only just a little better than the Brownie.
I spent much of my spare time in the school darkroom, developing the film and then making black and white contact prints. I remember that I used to squeegee my finished prints onto a sheet of clear smooth glass in order to get a high gloss finish.
After leaving school in 1955, I did not continue much with my photography until 1963, after serving 5 years in the Royal Air Force. My equipment today, does not include any roll film cameras because I am now a convert to the digital age.
Over the past few years I have owned a few different cameras and I can't really remember all of them but, since converting to digital, I remember the Olympus E20, Nikon 990, Canon 10D, Canon 1Ds Mark II, Nikon D2xs. In 2012, I downgraded my camera to a Canon 5D Mark II because I needed a camera that was 'Full Frame' and not as bulky and heavy as my previous models had been.
Before moving over to the more modern digital age, I had accumulated a really large collection of film transparencies in 35mm and also in the larger format as produced by my Medium Format Bronica camera. I purchased a digital slide converter, that now sits unused, in its box under the stairs. I spent simply ages converting the very best transparencies into digital. It was fun doing this but it took a great deal of time.
I now appreciate the benefit of being able to capture my images with a digital SLR.
If you are wondering what I look like, that's me on the left but, back in the day when I was in my prime, I was a keen 'CB Radio' fanatic and that's me, with my wife and children, over on the right.