Caught in the lens

Storm is where ?

My love affair with Photography, bore a striking resemblance to my parents marriage, while we are on that subject, it is a matter of conjecture and heated debate as to whether I would have been several years older ,had my mother not insisted on a wedding ring before anything remotely of a licentious or for that matter lascivious nature was even thought of let alone contemplated.
In point of fact I’m still largely in the dark as to how the human race has been kept going. My lecture vis-a-vis the personal and private comings and goings of the vast majority of our Birds and Bees has yet to be delivered and thus procreation still remains a mystery. It is some 47 years after what should have been a reasonable date for shedding light on this unspeakable subject. Please forward your unwanted copy of “ The Dummy’s Guide to Copulation for the Infirm and /or Incontinent” The one offering a special on Oxygen Tents preferably.
What’s this got to do with Photography ? Nothing.
My Dad ,Bless his soul , brought home a Yashica Pentamatic35mm SLR Camera on my 13th Birthday this was the single most incredible thing to happen to me in 13 years. Bless Mom for her and I quote :
“ What did you bring that home for ? John’s not interested in that , I’ve got plans for him.” Please note at absolutely no time did Mother remotely consider that I might ,could have or perhaps should have , a valid opinion on the matter. The idea was laughable. So yet again Pop was shot down,this time, for realizing that his love of photography and 8mm movie making had kindled a flame in my heart. Never saw that camera again, at least I held it for 1minute 3.47 seconds.
So fast forward to overseas trip. “The going to be in Formula One by the end of next week type trip. “ As the family bade a fond farewell on the deck of the SA Vaal , Pop stuck a carrier bag into my hands.” Open later !” he mumbled. Later ……. there it was a brand new ,what is now called entry level Nikon ED plus several rolls of 35mm film. A tear ran down my cheek, why ‘cos I rubbed my eye with a finger covered in salt from the peanuts on the bar counter, that’s why.
The trip passed in a blur of experiences and new adventures and I was soon to discover that raw talent alone would be no guarantee of success in motor racing. What a difference it could have made if I had the raw talent !I wasn’t that bad ,but people like Micheal Schumacher , Ayrton Senna and Fangio were never rated as “not that bad “
Back in South Africa , with untold numbers of award winning pics, the process of day time job and any spare time used to develop and expand the photo collection , now and again fitting in a local car event was the modus operandi. At this time the opportunity to move in with two good friends at a Clifton Beach bungalow arose. To explain Clifton consists of four beaches , sea water ,sand a few rocks and not much else other than every single award winning, hormonal regression inducing , mind boggling young lady in the surrounding five countries. I couldn’t see what the other two were so excited about. (refer 2nd paragraph) The house was 39 steps down from the road and only 30 from the house to the beach.
The point is, three months later I invited some of my friends to come around to our “Paradise Pad”
after we had a great evening at Forries a haunt from student days. “Guess you’ll be not too shy with the Irish Coffees ?” was their plea. We saw the Fire Engine when we stopped, we saw the hoses going down , we understood Irish Coffees would be difficult. Perhaps it was the number of firemen in what was left of the kitchen , or for that matter what remained of the house……nothing. All I had left was the clothes I stood in, biggest loss every single photo, camera filters you name it ..gone.
So what now ? Wait for the insurance to pay out and then start from scratch, simple ! So that’s almost what happened, just that the camera was replaced only some time later. So many years later we are ready to once again indulge myself and hope that those,with whom, I share these images will enjoy it half as much as I do.
So you see the photography mimicked my parents life together, in the beginning , doubt ,frustration,tears , brief joy , huge loss,followed by years of inactivity and a final effort perhaps too little too late , to matter !
So I hope you enjoy the pics and see you soon ,
John

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