A part of me is gone

On Saturday morning I developed 6 sheets of film that I had taken over the previous week. Little did I know that over the weekend my treasured Toyo-View 45CF, tripod and most of my large format lenses would be stolen. These are probably the last photos I will ever have taken with “Toyo” unless it is recovered.

I am distraught that the camera I have learned large format photography with, and the lenses I had so carefully pursued and collected are gone.

During the last 18 months “Toyo” has been my life’s blood whilst I have been recovering from operations and major illnesses caused by cancer. I loved this camera so much simply because it helped me to see the world a little differently, and to get up and about into our great National Parks along the coast, escarpments and mountains near where I live. Many days were spent carrying “Toyo” and my favourite lenses through the bush, along rivers and down beaches. I have been fortunate that my partner Melody, and my children too, have been supportive, helping me at every step. Everyone has shared in carrying “Toyo” sometimes, when I got too tired or the pain was a bit much.

It has been a strange spring with seemingly never ending storms and rain, and sometimes foggy mornings on the escarpment and inland. The weekend before last Melody and I went to Currarong where I took photos of clouds and seascapes using my now gone Nikkor-SW 90mm f/8 lens. It was one of my favourites.

Sept 2014 Toyo Fomapan200 Xtol(1.2)+RO9(1.200) 1

North from Currarong

Abrahams Bosom Creek

Abrahams Bosom Creek

Whale Point

Whale Point

Driving to work last Wednesday or Thursday, I stopped in the fog taking a photo of a dead tree with my now gone Nikkor-W 180mm. I particularly liked the way the fog blocked out the surrounding countryside and houses.

Morning fog at Orchard Hills

Morning fog at Orchard Hills

On Friday we went to Barren Grounds Nature Reserve because I wanted to see if the wildflowers had started to blossom. This is one of the last photos I took with “Toyo” using my now gone Nikkor-W 135mm. I took several more exposures of a group of flannel flowers but these might never be seen as they were still in the camera bag with the rest of my gear which was stolen. On Sunday I had planned to go back with colour sheets of film as there were so many flowers coming out.

Bronzy boronia - who said the bush doesn't have colour!

Bronzy boronia

All photos were taken with “Toyo” on Fomapan 200 which was developed in Xtol(1.200)+RO9(1:200) for 9:30 minutes.

Today as I was driving home I saw the light falling on the mountains and wanted to take “Toyo” out for a photograph. Instead there was only absence and grieving. I feel that a part of me is gone.

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35 thoughts on “A part of me is gone

  1. Peter, i am so sorry to hear about what happened. Pardon the French, but I know karma will catch up with the thieving bastards.

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  2. Peter, I am so sorry to read this. And so sorry this happened to you. I greatly admired your “Toyo” made images and always looked forward to them. Hoping that your camera and lenses find a way back to you.

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  3. I really feel for you. Of all the things i would miss it would be my camera gear. Its part of you, and you look at the world together….lenses and all. I would be devistated too. I hope you find it or other friens find you to look at the world together again.

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  4. Hello Peter; I am a complete newbie at the other end of the spectrum from you. Today, at a photographic market in Melbourne, I purchased a Toyo View 45C with a Nikon 210mm 5.6 lens. Then looking and researching my ‘Toyo’ and seeing your beautiful shots makes me guilty almost for having this one. I do hope yours finds it’s way back home. I look at this amazing machine with awe and wonder ever since I bought it. So, I have a glimmer of understanding to how you must be feeling. If you live anywhere near Melbourne you are welcome to borrow this one anytime!

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  5. Thanks Peter; I bought this camera for my retirement which will happen at some stage sooner than later. Until that day arrives when I can dedicate myself to making friends with it, I am happy for Large Format enthusiast to use it in exchange for some tips :). All the best!

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  6. Peter…that sucks! If you’re in The Netherlands, I have any number of cameras that you are welcome to use until you replace this camera, including a spare Crown Graphic. Just let me know…not shooting because of this is not an option!

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  7. I am so sorry your gear got stolen. People can be so cruel. I am also wishing you good luck on your fight for good health again. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

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