No photograph that is displayed and posted on this blog may be reproduced, copied, stored, manipulated or used in whole or in part of a derivative work without the prior written permission of the Copyright (c) Owner & Photographer: Trevor David Betts BA (Hons). All rights reserved.


If you want to use any of my photographs displayed upon this blog, for inclusion in an essay, presentation, talk, or for posting on your blog or web site. Or for use in any other way or means. Then it would be very much appreciated if you could contact me first (as a matter of courtesy and decency) to seek my permission to use any of my photographs. Failure to do so is breach of my copyright and rights.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013


Dust off your old film cameras and starting creating 'real' images

Some 15 years ago I changed careers from a budding semi-professional photographer to that of another profession. During this period I have kept a loose interest in photography, but it is only within the past year that I have decided to attempt to become a professional photographer once again. Oh, how things have changed - and for the worse!

Having been taught photography using film, 35mm to 10 x 8 cameras and darkrooms. I am used to pressing the shutter release when I am confident I have the shot I want, processing the film carefully and methodically, and then, if the image is to be printed, spending time in the darkroom or lab producing a quality print. All-in-all, it was a well-thought-out, well-prepared exercise that filtered out the technically good and artistically gifted photographer who would go onto forge a successful career.

Nowadays, well, where do I begin? Many of today's breed of photographer (amateur or professional) do not deserve the title of photographer, in my opinion - a more accurate description would be 'graphic designer with a camera person'.
I am astounded at how often I hear, or read, about how much a modern image is Photoshopped: to hear a 'photographer' say he is not concerned what the shot will come out like because he can fix it with his computer - or to have my photographer friend tell me of a conversation he had at the Olympics where a young student was filming the event with his DSLR and intended to obtain his photograph from a video still - is shocking!

Where is the skill in today's photography? Worse is the fact that I no longer know if what I am looking at is actually real, because the vast proportion of images have had varying degrees of cosmetic surgery. If I were to give a roll of Fujichrome Velvia 50 and my Nikon 50 and my Nikon F5 to many of the new breed of photographer, they would not be able to draw with light, hence they would not be a photographer.

I think now is the time for the industry to start publishing 'real' images (images that could be created in a darkroom is the limit) and to label them as authentic, so we can see what can be produced in the camera and not in the computer.

As for me, I can assure you that while I am in Katmandu, Nepal for a few weeks, I will have my light meter with me and I will press that shutter when I think I have a shot - and the resulting images will not be booked in for a nip and tuck.

From an article in the Back Chat section of the Amateur Photographer magazine 9th March 2013 issue. By AP Reader Ian Shore.

An edited version appears here.

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To my Photo Blog,

All my monochrome photography is darkroom produced. This portfolio consists of photographs from several of my projects, assignments, personal and course related work. Some of these monochrome photographic prints are then selectively toned.

Take a look at the slide show, or the popular posts. Click onto some of the many excellent blogs that I have listed in my blog roll. I welcome constructive feedback (post a comment).

Click onto the links in some of my posts which will then take you to the relevant website link where you will be able to find out more about that location, charity or organisation etc featured in the post and which is relevant to that specific image.

Also please click onto my links. Join my blog and my Google + followers. If you would like to know more about any particular photograph or project then please send me an email. My email address is at the foot of this page.

Also from time to time I will post videos that are of interest to me, mainly from my military background.

Yours sincerely

Trevor David Betts BA (Hons)




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All the photographs featured on this blog spot were taken on Canon analog 35mm SLR cameras which included: Canon A1, Canon AE1 (non-programme) and Canon T90. The Canon A1 was rendered useless after prolonged exposure to salt spray residue, and the AE1 suffered a malfunction, and one of my T90s just packed up on me during a photographic shoot.

Most of my camera equipment was initially purchased brand new, then as the years have past I have purchased second-hand equipment. But the vast majority of equipment I currently possess is well over twenty years old.

Canon FD lenses used were: 28, and 35mm wide angle, 50mm standard, 35-105mm short telephoto zoom and a 70-210mm large telephoto zoom lenses. Also used was a loaned Mamiya 645 with 50 and 80mm lenses. My favourite combination is a T90 fitted with the 35-105mm lens with an Hoya orange filter. I use Hoya orange, red, neutral density, and skylight filters. Hoya and Canon lens hoods. A Canon remote cable. I have used a great Metz 45 CT-4 flashgun for many years. I used this for the bounced and fill-in flash for some of the documentary and portraiture work.

Studio flash used was Courtenay brolly flash (just two heads fitted with soft boxes) at Hull Community Artworks studio (sadly this excellent local arts facility closed in 2001). Billingham and Tamrac camera bags (the Billingham is a old model that I have had for years - wonderful bags). The Tamrac one is a medium sized back pack type bag. Slik Black Diamond 88, and 500 DX Pro tripods. A Cullmann touring set (which consists of a light tripod, ball and swivel head, all-purpose clamp, suction cap, and a ground spike). I presently have three Canon T90 and one A1 SLR cameras.

Film used was mainly 35mm (with some 120mm). Ilford Delta monochrome negative print film, 100 asa (a few rolls of 400 asa as well). Ilford HP5 and FP4 (400 and 125 asa respectively). Fuji Neopan 400 asa. Various Fuji colour film. Photographic chemicals: Ilford ID-11 and Microphen film developers. Agfa Rodinal fine grain film developer, and Ilford Hypam fixer.

Photographic paper: Ilford Multigrade IV VC paper, Fibre based VC paper including warm and cool tone. Kentmere Velvet Stipple and Art Document papers. Kodak selenium toner. Barclay and Fotospeed sepia toners, and Colorvir blue toner. Durst M60 and Meopta 5 enlargers fitted with 50 and 80mm Schneider lenses. Kenro negative sheets and Jessops negative folders.

Most of my photography involves the use of the camera being securely mounted onto the tripod, with the shutter set to the 10 second delay. I bracket my exposures (relying on the excellent Canon in-camera meter). My aperture settings are usually between F5.6 and F22. In the vast majority of cases the very first exposure I take is usually the correctly exposed one.

Finished photographic prints (spotted if needed). At the 10 x 8 inch size are then scanned on an Epsom 1660 photo perfection scanner using Adope Photoshop CS2 at the 5.5 x 3.5 inch image or canvas size, 150 dpi and at the 750 x 550 pixels size, and saved as for the web. The only thing that is manipulated is the brightness balance and contrast levels.


"It is the soldier, not the minister, who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the soldier, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to fair protest.

It is the soldier, not the politician, who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the soldier, whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag."

From: "Fighting for Queen and Country,
by Nigel 'Spud' Ely. Blake Publishing London, 2007.