Yep… is that long ago


Way back in September 1964

Just for a laugh…..

Came across this 35mm Kodachrome  slide that one of my friends took of me when on location.  Kodak’s date on the mount is September of 1964 but may have been a few months earlier.  Anyway, for a laugh I thought I would do a quick scan of the transparency.  Time has flown bye since then and lots of shutter buttons have been pressed since then.

I was a very lucky individual.  I had just secured a job with a Travel Related Organisation. The brief was to cover the UK and secure ‘Colour‘ images of the Beauty spots, Holiday resorts and Historic buildings.  Hard to think back to that era for  Colour Photography was just coming into its stride.  The change started with Sunday Supplements suddenly appearing with colour images, everything from then on changed.  The demand  from both Publishers and Tourist Organisations was for Colour images.  Photo libraries as they existed back then had built up collections that were mainly B&W, most coloured illustrations for travel guides were Artists paintings.

So I had the dream job. A Car, great Photo Gear, expenses and monthly salary and a very wide brief and the freedom to travel the seasons and the country.

Colour Photography had its challenges.  Large format was preferred by publishers, so a 5×4 Technical Camera was the prime tool, a heavy tripod essential.  Film….well that is another story.  Initially the Ektachrome Sheet film was slow……10asa (ISO) but within two years speeds had increased in small leaps to  24asa then a heady 50asa. Also the film varied in colour balance.  Ektachrome was bright and brash great for Interiors, Towns and Seaside shots. Agfachrome was more subtle  but overall warmer and much more sympathetic for Landscapes and Gardens…..add to the equation the need for different film stock for Daylight shots to Flash and Artificial light work, no adjustable white balance buttons on these cameras.

I eventually moved onto the Marketing side of the industry and remained in Publishing, Marketing and the commissioning and use of photographic images for 30 years.

Eventually moving back to Photography as an Independent Freelance.  Again perhaps it was the right time as Stock Photography was much in demand so I built my own Stock Library. Working on commissioned assignments from various Publishing Houses also enable me to build up my library stock.

Then along came Digital and everything changed again. For commission work that was great, but I resisted the temptation to try and compete in what was becoming a restricted Stock Image market were prices were being driven down ( and the increased demand for free usage).

So now my Photography is selfishly….   all for fun.

AND it has been fun and a was a great way to earn a living.  Oh! by the way…..  I haven’t changed at all ( honest!)

15th April

(C) David Oakes 2017


21 thoughts on “Yep… is that long ago

  1. Wow, memories are such an amazing feeling- Great pic and just loved everything about this post!- I often look back at images and my work for way back and they always bring Nostalgia to my SOUL-…

    • I think that like most folk….I wish I knew then what I know now. For a start I would perhaps have appreciated the lucky break, the faith and confidence an employer placed in me and perhaps would have approached it just a little more seriously… the time it was just fun and freedom. But that is hindsight.

  2. As if I should have told the story myself, only – i never worked professionally within photography.
    Only a very dear hobby from day 1. Now I understand how you seem to have beautiful pictures from most any old church throughout the UK?! And – you have been paid to do the job I set out to do here in Norway tht nobody wanted to pay for at all 🙂

  3. Great photo – looks like from a movie… 1964 I started school and everything was very exciting. Wish I had some photos from the days…but we did not have a camera.

  4. In 1966, I was 17 when I received my very first camera a Kodak Instamatic. It opened up the world for me. Thank you for sharing your history with us, David. As always, I’m totally impressed!!!

    • I got my first camera at (I think 10). An Uncle watched me trying to draw and getting more and more frustrated trying to get the pencil to do what I wanted it to do. So he gave me an old box camera, took me out for a walk, took some pictures then back to the darkroom to process them. That was it…..hooked. Still cannot draw and hand writing getting worse 🙂

  5. Looks like you were living the dream back in 1964. About 2 years later than that, my parents bought me my first camera – a Polaroid Swinger. And I’ve enjoyed taking pictures ever since although I am just an amateur not a seasoned veteran like you. But I find it absolutely wonderful that you still enjoy your chosen profession as your fun hobby now. Not everyone can claim that!

  6. In 1964 I was a freshman at university and that summer I went on my first world adventure. I was a tenor in our best college choir and we went to the Orient for 8 weeks. I took a Kodak Brownie camera with me but bought an Olympus Pen-D half-frame camera in Tokyo (it made 72 photos on a 36-exposure roll of 35mm film) and I was hooked. If only I’d known what a single-lens reflex camera was, I would have bought the Pen-F and an extra lens or two. But it got me started. What memories!

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