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.
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.
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.
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.