forty-something Fifty-something year old Registered Nurse with a passion for art, music and photography. I am fortunate enough to be married to a beautiful woman and am also blessed to be father to two lovely children. I have mixed feelings about also sharing responsibility for a little Australian terrier cross-breed, fluffy, woofing-thang, several chickens (& one rooster), two budgies & three guinea pigs. I’m always learning and am always happy to be surprised and amazed by the world around me. I believe most people are intrinsically good (with the possible exception of some politicians and despots)
My predominant musical education came from listening to the likes of Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart from the age of 11 years onwards thanks to my older brother’s eclectic tastes. I also liked E.L.P, E.L.O, Genesis (before Peter Gabriel left), Eno, Gabriel, Return to Forever, Gentle Giant, Mannheim Steamroller (and many other artists & groups most of my friends had never heard of)…lots of bands and artists, really, because, well…”Music is the Best”. I experiment and try and create music and other interesting sounds using a variety of musical instruments including analogue synthesisers. I am also learning (slowly) to play the guitar. I ‘circuit bend’ and try and make my own noise making devices, sometimes even getting noise out of said attempts! I read lots (mainly science fiction) and I like Sushi & Thai food. I can never get my hair right.
About this site:
Originally I registered the domain name ‘theplasticlens.com’ as a testament to my fondness for photography with plastic and toy cameras. The site has since delved into other areas analogue (or analog, depending on where you are from) including discussions ‘not photographic’ in nature, such as my interests in music.
I had been given a taste of plastic cameras with the 35mm ‘supersampler’ & ‘fisheye’ from the lomography crew before moving to the larger, medium format film cameras. In many ways these first cameras showed me that traditional composition and ways of photographing the world could be approached in such different and fun ways and brought me back to shooting with film a LOT, ironically just when digital cameras were beginning to take off in a big way.
So I started collecting and shooting with plastic cameras like the Diana & Holga and delighting in their unique results and thought I would share my personal musings and photographs from my experiences using low-fi cameras. As my camera collection expanded and varied however, I began taking photographs with other types of cameras such as professional medium format single lens reflex cameras like the Bronica SQ-A and Mamiya RB67 as well as twin Lens Reflex cameras and other flavours of image capturing devices such as pinhole cameras and Polaroid cameras. These are not so ‘plastic’ but I wanted to share my photos and what I was learning of photography with these as well. So the theme of ‘theplasticlens’ has morphed over it’s existence and the term ‘the plastic lens’ should not be taken in a simple literal sense.
In many ways photography and what it shows us about the world and ourselves really is plastic; what is captured by the camera is very often not exactly what we thought we saw or what we think reality looks like. In the way that Magritte’s Pipe is not a Pipe, photography is not reality but a certain perspective on reality and a slice of time from our individual realities as photographers as viewed in the light of the beholder of the photograph, if that makes any sense.
More cameras than most people have comprise my collection, but many of them are over 30 years old. The cameras I use in the photographs for The Plastic Lens were initially for the most part, plastic lensed and pretty low-tech as far as options re: aperture and shutter speed are concerned. They have what I have determined to be a very plastic feel, both literally and in the photographic results they give. Lately I have included many ‘high end’ cameras in my tool-kit and have begun showing the images produced by these cameras made with metal and multi-element glass lenses. Different cameras can give you different photographic ambience of the final image but all cameras are tools to be used to tell a story, capture a feeling, snatch a certain moment and take us on a journey. I feel it’s about the journey, not the method of transportation (although the method of transportation undeniably adds flavour to the journey and can influence the time & effort you need to expend to take it).
About the site:
Both The Words & The Photos part of this site are managed in WordPress, currently using the veryplaintxt theme, © 2006–2008 Scott Allan Wallick that I have modified slighty for the purposes of this site.
Like many people on the web, I have some of my work elsewhere, some sites I have probably forgotten about.
Feel free to contact me by clicking this: e-mail link if you would like to give feedback, bug reports or enquire about purchasing prints of the work on this site. Any contact (apart from spam) is most welcome.
All photographs on this site are copyright Cameron Stephen, but if you want to use the images for non-profit, charity or personal use, please feel free to contact me.
About purchasing any of the photographs you like on this site: I can offer most images on this site for sale if you think you would like one (or more!) hanging on your wall. I can provide enlargements in most sizes up to 30″ x 30″ printed on whatever archival quality paper you prefer (note that the results on metallic paper are beautiful). Feel free to use this e-mail address to contact me for more information. You can also purchase some of my photos and artwork in different formats (including T-shirts!) at redbubble.