About Me

Practising for 40 years...

Camargue Chris-2-webIt is amazing to consider that I have been seriously taking pictures for over 40 years! I started in my postgraduate year at college whilst I gained my teaching qualification. Practika cameras were hitting the shops and I started with one plus a standard lens & a cassette of B&W film.

I moved out into the big world & joined Hertford & District Camera Club. This was a source of many good friends, guidance & support. I progressed into colour transparencies and added B&W prints to my portfolio. Thanks to the innovations of John Sandell, a member at Hertford C. C., who invented the ‘Diafade’ system of controlling cross-fading between 2 projectors and recording the instructions to tape, I became an audiovisual photographer. This became an audiovisual entertainer when I signed up as a lecturer with the EAF (East Anglian Federation of Photographic Societies) and started to show my sequences at camera clubs (The Chris Cross Show). 

Prints moved to the background but I did try home processing of colour prints in rotating drums with varied success. At the same time I started to develop my own transparencies in ‘E3’ kits. I then moved on to making up all my own processing solutions for both Ferrania CR50 and Ektachrome slide films in chemicals made up from the basic formulae gleaned from the back of annual issues of the ‘British Journal of Photography’. I was able to increase the speed & contrast of the films by altering the times in the different chemical baths!

Starting with teaching...

ACB AV in actionTeachers usually have the gift of the gab so I used it to become a judge alongside my audiovisual lecturing. The idea being, that by analysing other peoples’ images, I would improve the perception & success of mine. I think that it has worked but didn’t it take time! I successfully completed a one-day judging course organised by the EAF. I did so well that I got 2 camera club bookings at the event! John Sandell then developed a system to control 4 projectors simultaneously called a Diafade 4. Well, I had 2 projectors and my dear friend, Alan Crick, at the Hertford club also went around the camera clubs with his 2 projectors. The end result was we combined to produce and deliver the 4 projector ‘A. C. B.'  A. V. Show – can you work out the title? (Answer at the end.)

It all collapsed when the private girls’ boarding school, that I was Head of Science at, closed down and merged with its brother school, the Haberdashers’ boys’ school – Christ’s Hospital at Horsham. I wasn’t wanted nor did I want their terms of employment so I headed for Marlow and the Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School. I soon picked up again on the judging, once I found a house in High Wycombe, but the days of A-V were over! I joined Marlow Camera Club and enjoyed the company and competition that it provided. I met my wife Dawn through a local singles club and within a year we were married at High Wycombe Registry Office. The ‘Dawn’ package included my lovely step-daughter, Wendy. I must have been good to her as she has rewarded me with two gorgeous granddaughters, Parris-Louise and Sydney-Dawn plus a drinking companion son-in-law, Andy! Wendy is now a true daughter and dear friend. Dawn and I have celebrated 26 years of marriage and she has threatened to stay with me until I die!

Wendy-at-Robbie-Williams-webParris-Cheer-001Andy D-J ing-web

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next move was to Monmouth Boys School where, after living 8 months in school accommodation, Dawn, and I found a cosy, little cottage in the Forest of Dean. Nine years of bliss followed, exploring the trails, becoming a ‘Forester' and breeding Weimeraner puppies. I had turned from physics to become Head of Information Technology. Unfortunately 9 years later, after I had introduced and developed the subject on the curriculum plus overseen the installation of a school-wide network linking all the school departments and the boarding houses, I was made redundant. There wasn’t enough I. T. teaching for the two of us that the department had grown to; and I was the one selected to go.

Ill health...

After a struggle, I found a job in Daventry at Danetre School as Director of I. T., using antiquated and slow Windows 3 machines but with the promise of a substantial upgrade. This happened but alongside it came a growing struggle against extreme pain in the right side of my face. The stress over the previous years had caused trigeminal neuralgia to develop!!! The medication that I was put on for the pain gradually took over my life and personality until, after an emotional breakdown at work, I took sick leave. An operation to ‘freeze’ the offending nerve seemed initially to work and give me a second lease of teaching life. Unfortunately, gradually the stress of the job brought back the agony of the trigeminal pain and specialists declined to operate on the arteries in my brain! I was then off work another year and finally accepted dismissal on the ground of ill-health. Teaching, sadly, had come to an end after 34 years.

Driving around....

I spent the years until my teaching pension ‘kicked-in’ doing part-time (as and when) chauffeuring. It was mainly transporting businessmen to and from airports but I really enjoyed it. It was interspersed by ferrying senior employees to conferences; I was paid to wait (and often take photographs) and then take the people back home. Interspersed with this I helped to develop a teacher, and support teacher, set of training courses. I delivered these with my friend and ex-colleague: Alan Standish. They were usually great fun; especially the ones with the ‘Dinner Ladies’.

At last retirement....

Retirement has enabled me to concentrate on photography. I still do judging, having been promoted to the ‘A’ judging list by the MCPF (The Midland Counties Photographic Federation). This means I travel further and I am starting to do exhibitions and more inter-club battles as well as normal internal club events.  I became the Mace Bearer to Daventry Town Council and enjoy the ceremony and occasions that this entails.  I have been as far away as Montana, in the U.S.A, plus into Europe to take photographs.  Add to this many great sites and events around the British Isles and you can see that I am keeping busy - hope you enjoy the images.

 

(Answer: The initial title was ACCB AV for Alan Crick Chris Baldwin Audio Visual but we then combined the two letter 'C's & pushed the AV to another line and we had an anagram of A-B-C, seemed to trip off the tongue better.)