My name is C. Mark Tomlin and Black Rocket Photography is the latest home for one of my life long passions, photography.  I have been taking pictures for over 40 years. I started out using my fathers Kodak Pony 135. I had always wanted a good SLR camera and when a fellow in my college dorm needed to settle a debt to the bookstore, I got my chance.  I remember I paid him $50 for all his camera gear and became the proud owner of a Ricoh TLS-401.  The Ricoh had a light meter built into the camera.  That was a big step up for me and about as automated as it got in cameras of that era.  After graduating and getting a real job, I decided to upgrade to new Olympus omPC to be used on a European vacation.   

For more on my old film cameras and a stroll through my personal photography backstory, check out my Old Cameras I Have Loved page.

My three "besties".  A Kodak Pony 135 Model C, a Ricoh TLS-401 and an Olympus omPC.

My three "besties". A Kodak Pony 135 Model C, a Ricoh TLS-401 and an Olympus omPC.

A lot has changed in the world of photography since then.  First came program cameras that did a lot of the exposure thinking for you.  Then auto focus cameras.  But you still had to be on your game, because that roll of film only had 36 exposures and you never knew what you had until it came back from the lab.  The advent of digital photography changed all of that.  Now you can see the shot the instant you take it.  

Even so all those years with a completely manual camera taught me the foundational elements of good photography.  Things like lighting, composition, depth of field, and more. You be the judge, but I'd like to believe that experience shows in what I do.

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Why the name Black Rocket?  That is a nod to one of my other favorite past times, Model Rocketry.  The shot on the left is the business end of a model rocket that had just returned from a 14,400 ft, mach 1.1 flight.  I've been flying rockets longer than I've been taking pictures.  I started with simple kits made of cardboard tubes and balsa wood fins.  Those early rockets taught me the principles of rocketry.  Things like drag coefficients, how to determine the rockets center of gravity and center of pressure and why such things were important.   Building something capable of breaking mach requires that you understand and apply the fundamentals.

Its the same with photography.

Feel free to have a look around and thanks for stopping by !


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