24 February 2014
All images © Grahame Soden ARPS
Grahame achieved his ARPS in the Contemporary section with a photobook. This week, he'll be blogging about his path to Associateship.
Hi – I’m Grahame and I make photographs. I learned the art of b&w processing at school and continued my interest whilst serving in the Royal Air Force. Cameras were much cheaper abroad so, whilst serving in Germany in the 1970s, I bought a Pentax Spotmatic and a Yashica-Mat 124g and joined the camera club on whichever base I was on. Some successes were achieved with pictures published in RAF magazines and the odd club competition won.
These are a couple of shots from the 1970s in Scotland, taken on the Yashica:
Later on, life rather got in the way and photography was an expensive luxury. The cameras were sold and I was just a “holiday snapper” with whatever camera was to hand. By the late 1990s finances had improved a little so, again, I bought a Pentax Spotmatic & a Yashica-Mat 124g! They’ve travelled with me to Lapland, along with a developing tank, a Zeiss Ikon ½ frame and a Linhof Technika that is in need of some TLC.
During my RAF service, I did a tour of duty in Germany (more of which in a later post) and always knew that I would return there to visit the places denied to me during the Cold War. By 2006 I was a free agent so left the UK and moved initially to Hamburg, moving again in 2007, to Potsdam. In the former Prussian capital, the dark history of WWII and the subsequent occupation by the Russians was everywhere and, having acquired my first reasonable digital camera, I began taking an interest in the continuing struggles that mark our history. We’re always fighting something, be it Fascism, Communism, Capitalism or whatever – there’s always an “ism” to conquer.
In 2008, I joined the Royal Photographic Society and began to think seriously about applying for my “L”. There were plenty of subjects to hand and I had just about mastered digital printing but it was a lonely process. I had no access to advisory days, no colleagues to bounce ideas off or to share knowledge with.
Still, I put a panel together and in November 2009 I got my “L”.
So, onward & upward – let’s think about the “A” ….
For more about Grahame and his current work, visit his website.