A man with a goatee standing in front of a camera shop.

West Yorkshire Cameras Staff Interviews: Steve Boylin

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Steve, 26. I was born in Birkenhead. I came to Leeds to study at the Leeds Arts University (back then, it was called the Leeds College of Art). I then moved home and came back to work here. I’m now a dad to a baby boy called Oliver.

A man standing next to a broken down plane in a field in black-and-white.

Hasselblad 500C/M with 80mm f/2.8 - Ilford HP5.


How did you first get into photography?

I went on an outing with my friend Andy once, who was shooting a Canon EOS 6D. He had a spare Canon EOS 1300D, which he lent to me for that outing and since then, I’ve been obsessed with photography. Funnily enough, I later ended up buying that camera from him.

After a while, I got into film photography and bought a Pentax Spotmatic F and a Pentax MX, alongside a lot of darkroom paper - I didn’t even know what darkroom paper was at the time! The Spotmatic F came with a third-party 28mm lens and a 50mm f/1.8 lens. I didn’t keep the MX, and regrettably sold the Spotmatic F a few years later. It’s still one of my favourite cameras. 

A foggy forest, with two tall trees in the centre.

Mamiya 6 with 50mm f/4 - Fujifilm Pro 400H pushed to 800.

What drew you to film specifically?

After shooting digital for a while, I found it to be quite boring. The ‘click, click, click’ of shooting digital meant I couldn’t slow down and focus. When I discovered film, I enjoyed the process of stepping back and slowing down. I was also a student at the time, so I didn’t have the money to be splashing on film. It also taught me to enjoy the editing process once getting my scans back, looking through my images and colour correcting them.

Another process I enjoyed was being in the darkroom. I had access to the darkroom through my university, which was great, but I found that it was easy to get lost in it. I would go in at 9am, leave at 5pm and wonder where my day went!

A large tree in the centre of an open, foggy field.

Mamiya 6 with 50mm f/4 - Fujifilm Pro 400H pushed to 800.

Tell us a bit about your style of photography, processes etc. 

My style of photography has changed a lot over the years. I learnt a lot from my colleague Adam, specifically about pushing and pulling film. At the beginning, I would develop my film according to the box instructions, but I later found it more entertaining to experiment with developing, like agitation time, different developers, etc. To this day, I thank Adam for that, because despite having university tutors, experimenting with Adam’s advice taught me a lot more than any of my classes ever did, especially because he’s into all of these varied processes.

A large valley, with a big, clear sky.

Mamiya 6 with 50mm f/4 - Fujifilm Pro 400H pushed to 800.


I have a Leica IIIF with a Jupiter 8, a Coronet Ambassador, Rolleiflex 3.5A, Rolleicord II (Ratrod) to name a few. I don’t necessarily have a preference on which camera I want to use, I simply grab a camera and go out, I tend not to think about the camera I choose before heading off on a grand adventure to Morrisons. That said, I have recently found myself picking up my Rolleiflex more and more.

A person holding a vintage, battered old twin-lens-reflex camera.

Rolleicord II Camera.


Honestly, it pains me to say this, because it no longer exists, but Fuji Pro 400H. I stocked up on it when they announced they were discontinuing it, but I can’t bring myself to use it. I’d love to shoot it and process it, but I don’t want to lose it! So I’ve found myself shooting more black and white recently, like Ilford HP5 or Ilford FP4 pushed to 400.

A single boat in the middle of the ocean, with a bright blue sky.

Fujica GW690 - Fujifilm Provia 100.



There’s a few things I enjoy, but similar to the others, it’s the oddities that come in. For example, we’ve had a Konica Aerial G - a medium format aerial camera, or even the insane variety of folding cameras that come in. You’re learning something new every day. Alongside that, I enjoy the social aspect of it, such as meeting new people. Despite being classed as retail, this job feels different.


I think a lot of people in this community have placed too much importance on the gear they use for their photography, when, in reality, there is no need. There are a lot of people gushing over expensive cameras on social media, but the janky Spotmatic with a dent in the prism is still going to produce the same images as your mate’s Canon AE-1 Program. It’s all about knowing how to use your camera. 
Another thing I want to mention is, don’t be afraid to try new things! I have been shooting film for 6-7 years now and I’m still learning new things about this process. Such as, which camera works best with which film? Switching lenses and film and processes, the list goes on. This experimentation is what makes this hobby so enjoyable.

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