On September 21st the QE2 (Queen Elizabeth 2) Ocean Liner visited Liverpool on her 40th anniversary tour. The day started with torrential rain. The rain stopped, the clouds parted and I was on a ferry for what was the best light all day. I am incredibly happy with this photo for many reasons, but mainly because I feel that I’ve come full circle. Back in 1990 I was 11 years old. I had spent 1 day that summer, I memory serves, on a photography day trip. I used a film slr and we wandered around Birkenhead. We got to process our photos in a darkroom, which was pretty cool. The photo appeared by magic. It was my first real taste of photography. I took a photo, that I wish I could find, of Birkenhead Docks in black and white. The guy running the course said it was one of the best he’d seen, though I imagine he was simply being kind to a kid. That same summer the QE2 visited Liverpool for her first time. It was an incredible sight. I’d never seen a ship that size before. My parents and I were down at Wallesey watching it all with some photographer friends. I remember hearing their stories and wanting to be a photographer. They told me of the fabled 500mm lens that could look across the Mersey with such zoom that you could see the individual pieces of the Liver Buildings clock face. I didn’t know till then that it was actually a mosaic. I wanted a 500mm zoom lens from that day on. They told me of the guy panning with planes who fell backwards over his camera bag as they passed overhead. I remember seeing their giant steel cases packed full of gear. Most of all that day stuck in my mind all my life, till I got distracted by computers. Looking back now if there was any one single event that inspired me to be a photographer it was that day.
Over the past few years people have asked me how I got into photography and I’ve said its just been a hobby over the past 4 years that grew. Its always been something I’ve wanted to do all my life as I remember playing with cameras as a kid. My Dad was into photography as well so I’ve always been around them. I miss using my Dad’s Topcon SLR, the thumb action winding the film on, the feel of the lenses. It reminds of me being a kid and I don’t get that from my current DSLR’s. The QE2 visiting has reminded me of all this. I don’t often remember being a kid that much, but this visit has brought it all out. I’ve realised that I’ve always wanted to be a photographer but I got distracted along the way. Now I am a photographer and yesterday I knew I had to get the best ever photo of the QE2 that I could. This is why I am so happy with this photo. It was also taken on my 10D, not my 30D. Totally by accident but quite nice that it was taken on my first DSLR.