Martin Hickling

The Early Years (1972-1985)

I started my interest in photography at the tender age of seventeen. I attended North Cestrian Grammar School in Altrincham, Cheshire. I was in the lower sixth form and we had a common room in the upper echelons of the old house that was the main school. We discovered a small room that had been used for photography but was now covered in dust. We asked permission, which was granted, and a small group of us duly cleand the room and set it to working order.

We spent most lunchtimes and even stayed after school on some occasions. We learnt to process our own Black and White films and develop the images to paper. I bought my first camera a Zenit-B (without the light meter) and started taking photographs.

Strangely I have non of the black and white negatives from the early years. I have no idea what happened to them.

Shortly after leaving school I progressed to C6 slide film doing all my own processing. There was something about spending the day photographing images and then being able to view them the same evening (wow). I also started colour prints using the CIBA chrome process from slides. As I had started work I now had some spare cash and purchased a Carena SLR camera with 42mm Pentax mount. I ended up with a large selection of lenses for this camera. Sadly the camera died shortly after I got married in 1985 and I did not the funds to replace it.

First Digital (2002-2007)

I 2002 I managed to buy my first digital camera. A Samsung Digimax 350SE. This was one of the best cameras around at that time and took some good photographs, mainly due to the fitted Schneider lens. This was a 3.2 megapixel camera that gave better results than the Sony 5.0 megapixel camera that was around at the time.

Digital SLR (2007-2016)

I kept the Samsung camera until my 52nd birthday in 2007 when I purchased my first Digital SLR. An Olympus E400. There were good write-ups for this camera and I had always wanted an Olympus. I progressed to an Olympus E520 in July 2009. I kept his camera until 2014 when I upgraded to an Olympus E30. This was a secondhand camera from the States and had to be repaired as soon as it arrived. With hindsite the images from this camera never seemed quite right. Ther were often slightly out of focus and looking back at my records I seemed to take less images over the next couple of years.

During the summer of 2015 I decided that have a E520 stuck in a cupboard doing nothing seen a waste. I made the bold plunge of have the camera converted to Infra Red. I had a 580nm filter installed and spent some time experimenting. Water and old buildings gave the best results. There are a small selection of images here.

Mirrorless Compact (2016- )

In July 2016 I took advantage of an Olympus offer to try before you buy, and immediatly borrowed an Olympus OMD E-M1 mirriorless camera with a12-42mm lens and an extra 75-300mm telephoto. The results from this trial were realy impressive adn I realised how bad the E30 had been. I had a small problem, as there was a rumer of a new version just around the corner but this left me a camera taking inferior images that I felt I could not use.