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Bob's Journey Into Photography
My journey into the world of photography started at Marsden High School in 1959.The new co-ed high school had a darkroom & we soon had regular visits from the Kodak lecture service. We were taught the basics of photography, how to develop black & white film and making contact prints.

I was on my way...with a Kodak Box Brownie which took 620 black & white roll film. I photographed everything from school sports days & swimming carnivals.

After leaving high school I started work with Kodak, in their black & white processing labs on Riley street east Sydney. In 1962 I was transferred to the head office in George street Sydney. This was when I progressed to a Kodak Retina Reflex camera.  My first SLR, I was able to buy it by paying so much a week out of my pay. It cost £80 ($160.00) a lot of money when I was getting about $16.00 per week.

Around this time I joined the YMCA junior camera club. It was the “swinging”60’s and along with two friends, Glenn Ritchie & Philip Morris we went to many concerts and took photos of the shows. We were usually the only ones taking photos except for the newspaper photographer who would take a few photos with his 4x5 Graflex camera and run out of the venue holding his ears. I was often asked why I was taking photos of the concerts. Today it is a different matter with the wide use of camera phones & digital cameras, everyone wants to photograph the show.

We went to many concerts, The Beatles, Rolling Stones...In these days it was just a hobby as there was not a big demand for rock photos. This was soon to change...

It was in the early 1970’s that I started to take my rock photography more seriously. Two music magazines had appeared on the scene. JUKE magazine in Melbourne & Rock Australia Magazine (RAM) in Sydney. They were wanting photos of both Australian & overseas bands in concert & along with Rolling Stone magazine I submitted many images.. I also met Daryl Braithwaite from Sherbet, after photographing some of their Hordern shows, their manager wanted to purchase some shots, this gave me a start to photographing more shows.

Over the years I have covered most of the Australian & overseas bands touring Australia. I have been tour photographer for AC/DC, BON JOVI, BARBRA STRIESAND, NEIL DIAMOND, MICK JAGGER to name a few and I have been event photographer for TANELORN 1981, NARARA 1983 & 1984 & AUSTRALIAN MADE  1987. Now also event photographer for the TAMWORTH COUNTRY MUSIC FESTIVAL in 2007, 08, 09. As well as covering all the major record industry award nights, as well as the APRA & ARIA AWARDS. Also the major one day events such as the BIG DAY OUT, HOMEBAKE, THE CONCERT FOR LIFE, NEWCASTLE EARTHQAKE CONCERT, WAVE AID &  THE SOUND RELIEF CONCERT.

The camera equipment I have used since 1968 has been NIKON after purchasing my first NIKON F camera in Singapore while I was on leave from VIETNAM  (I was called up for National Service in 1967). Over the years progressing to NIKON FE, FM then NIKON F90 & F100.then in 1999 to my first digital camera the NIKON D1 then D2X and currently the NIKON D3. The lenses used over the years have been 20, 21, 35, 50, 200, 300, 24-50, 80-200mm.Currently I have 10.5mm fisheye, 60mm macro, 24-70mm & 70-200mm f2.8 lenses.

The film I have used over the early years was black & white 400ASA, KODAK & ILFORD. Then KODAK & FUJI colour transparency film 400ASA, both b&w  & colour films were exposed at 800ASA and “push” processed to the higher speed. The last film I used before going digital was the FUJI press 800 film, the film was a colour negative film made for scanning to digital files.

Digital photography has changed how I shoot concerts as much as autofocus did when it appeared some time ago. Now with a limit usually of three songs you shoot very quickly to get as many good pictures as you can. In the film days all you could shoot was about three or four films (around 140 shots) now with digital I can shoot about 500 or more shots, also the new NIKON D3 has a useable ISO up to 4000 with no “noise” so it is much easier to get the low light shots.

To this day I am still shooting and enjoying the music.

I hope you enjoy viewing the images on my website.

Rock On...

Bob King.2009.

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