Hi, I’m Ken the owner of this website and all of its contents but before talking about it would like to provide a little information about myself to illustrate how similarities and then divergences can take people along different paths. Please bear with me, this will not take long and its purpose will soon become clear.
I was born and grew up in London and wanted a camera so I got a newspaper round and saved up enough to buy my first camera which was a Brownie 127 which only took black and white photos, the used film spool needed to be developed at the chemists shop. You had to pay the developing costs and then for the actual printed pictures so it was quite a costly process. Because of this I spent little on photography until at the age of 18 I was fortunate enough to sail from Portsmouth to Gibraltar then on to Malta and from there to Cyprus, a trip of about three weeks going ashore for a day at each place before berthing at Famagusta and then settling in Nicosia; this being all directly related to my work at that time. Still cameras had advanced greatly, my income had risen and being abroad I found that these much newer cameras were far cheaper than in England. Someone in Cyprus introduced me to an 8mm cine camera, which I hadn’t even known existed. Over the years in my work and travel to places as far-flung as Thailand, Hong Kong, South Yemen, Malaysia, and Singapore, I had updated my cine 8mm cameras to 16mm and then to super eight cine cameras and of course once camcorders appeared, I upgraded accordingly. My path was set upon video filming. There will be more later.
Fletcher, a professional photographer and the owner of K2 Photographic, also grew up in London, although he was actually born in Singapore since that is where I was then working. He also got a newspaper round, the proceeds of which enabled him to buy his first ever camera, his interest in photography having sprung from pictures in magazines like National Geographic and the Sunday Times Magazine. The price of film and development costs likewise prevented him from really progressing as a photographer. When photography entered the digital age the cost and quality of DSLR cameras renewed his interest in photography and when he was invited to go kayaking in the Alps he invested in a Pentax K 10 and that took him on the path into digital photography. As his skill developed apace he increased the complexity (and of course the price) of the equipment he used, and has become a fully fledged professional. Both he and his wife are accomplished photographers and his wife has won international prizes for some of her work. Some of his photos can be seen on his website. He had chosen the path to photography, especially Lifestyle and Equine Photography.
I have featured him here because I wanted to show how we had independently entered into a completely similar field and by a similar route, but had subsequently gone on to extremely divergent filming paths. Now it’s time for a bit of information with regard to the content of this my website.
Another turn in my film work came a few years later. Visiting a gymkhana show with friends one weekend, I was asked by a complete stranger if I would film his daughter in the next event as a matter of importance and we could arrange a fee afterward, he gave me a card with his name and address. Unable to find him later I simply transferred the film onto a CD and posted it to him enclosing my name and address but without anticipation of getting any response. He sent me a cheque by return and I realised that here was a potential way of earning some money. I obtained a list of gymkhana’s, took a gamble and simply turned up at a few where I found no shortage of people wanting my filming services for either themselves or their children in various events. I would transcribe the requested films onto disk or tape and send to the addresses provided; initially, I would put the video exactly as filmed but then began to put a slow motion version of the same piece of film backed by copyright free pieces of music, which I thought might entertain the recipients. Although this had been primarily for my own experimental development in editing techniques, I was informed confidentially by a couple of my clients that this slow motion filming was invaluable to gymkhana entrants as they could use it to detect faults in their riding techniques. Effectively this was like free training sessions which they could use repeatedly to improve performances. This resulted in my client list tripling over the next couple of weeks since no other videographers offered this service. I continued to do this without extra cost unless I was asked to make additional modifications. I then made a couple of films for different companies as well as filming a four-day International horse show in Liverpool, followed by a film for “Save the Children” to be put on television and a couple of social events for people who approached me through other contacts. I was only doing any of this for self improvement purposes however and once I had upgraded my filming and editing equipment, was happy to call it a day. I wanted to take my wife and daughter to places around the world where I had lived and so my filming became purely personal as a record of my earlier travels. We journeyed to France and to Germany and later to Belgium and Holland then onto Malta before we crossed the Mediterranean to Tunisia and down to the Sahara desert as well as sailing along the Tunisian coastline on a sailing ship. When our daughter grew older I took her back to Malta from where we sailed to Sicily to see Mount Etna which obligingly erupted the day after we flew back home after our four-day stay there. We also journeyed to Italy and went from Pisa down to Florence and up to Luca as well as Montecatini Terme and Alto as well as Vinci where Leonardo had once lived. I of course was all the while filming.
Although we still travel the world quite extensively, my enjoyment in the UK has been based around caving, mountaineering, coast walking and visiting archaeological sites from Hadrian’s Wall or Scara Brae to Kents Cavern or Caerleon and from ancient castles to places like Eyam Plague Village or Grimes Graves, the Norfolk Flint mines. When our daughter was successful in securing a place to read Law at Aberystwyth University, we purchased a large static caravan along the coast at nearby Ponterwyd so that one or other of us could be near enough for her to see us as she wanted but removed enough to not be an embarrassment. This opened a new avenue for me in the filming not only of the Welsh countryside, but also especially of Red Kites, also renewing my old interest in still photography.