Brendan Gara Photography

march of the robots

Littledale Woods

I took this photograph sometime in 1987 or 1988, and shot it with some kind of Fuji slide film and a Praktica BC1 camera with a 50mm “standard” lens, a few miles from home.  The camera, the lens and the film were all bought from G.L. Robertson, an independent camera shop in Lancaster.

At the end of January this year the present owner Reg Stodden retired and the shop closed.  It’s possible that the shop has the longest connection with photography in the world, having been set up originally as a chemist (Vince & Co.) in 1796 and embracing photography as it developed in later years.

It’s sad that the shop has closed, it was a place you could go when you were young, and look at equipment both new and second hand.  You could try it out and talk to somebody who was actually using it and could both recommend and advise, not just read a “review” or wade through a “forum”.  My first camera (a Zenit EM), second (Praktica) and then a few other cameras came from that shop.

I’d like to thank Reg for all his good advice and enthusiasm, and wish him the best for his retirement.



  1. Yes, the last of the mohicans…it is sad and it shows that we all should keep on supporting those stores instead of turning to the big industry. It is in those stores where something magical can start! Nice post

    • Thanks Belinda, I tend to think that all independent shops are on a short stay of execution. The demographic who remember them and still want to use them is declining in favour of “convenience”. There’s a happy medium for some shops, but it takes a lot of online advertisement for them to stay open.

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