Rare accolade for Norwich photographer

Derek James meets Mike Trendell, who has been made a fellow of the Royal Photographic Society

His first photographs were taken on a basic Kodak Box Brownie. Seventy years later Mike Trendell of Norwich records the beauty of the country's buildings with a state-of-the-art digital Olympus DSLR.

While the technology might be wildly different, his passion for photography is unchanged.

Mike, 85, who lives on the outskirts of Norwich, has been awarded a rare accolade for a photographer – he has been made a fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, an educational charity which promotes the art and science of capturing images.

He spent two years putting together a stunning portfolio of pictures of English parish church architecture spanning hundreds of years, from the Anglo-Saxons right up to the 20th century.

It was a real labour of love for the former agricultural adviser, whose odyssey took him to places including Yorkshire, London, Hampshire and Wiltshire.

And, of course, he found many fantastic subjects right here in Norfolk which is famed for its magnificent collection of places of worship. Walpole St Peter and West Walton are two places that spring to mind.

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'I really enjoy photographing places,' says Mike. 'Not only churches, but old buildings. Using the light and bringing them to life in the photograph.'

What does Mike, who is a member of the Norwich and District Photographic Society, think of the huge advances that have been made in photographic technology?

'A Kodak Box Brownie was my first camera, a long time ago,' he says.

'I used to do colour and mono developing and printing for many years. Now it's all done on the computer, but it can be a great help and you can get comparable results just as you would get with film.'

And do members of his family share his passion?

'My wife enjoyed looking round the churches with me, but she's not so interested in photography. My daughter who lives in Hampshire does quite a lot on her travels and my granddaughter is an art student and she also does quite a bit. And my father did a bit.

'It does seem to run in the family,' he says.