Looking Back - 1939 to 2011 - the Autobiography of Robert V. J. Padula, OAM

1951 - Photography

1941 - Bikes and Cars
1943 - Hiking - Hills and Coasts
1944 - Growing up in the War Years - Part 1
1944 - Growing up in the War Years - Part 2
1944 - Growing up in the War Years - Part 3
1945 - Auburn schooldays - Part One
1945 - Auburn Schooldays - Part Two
1945 - Auburn Schooldays - Part Three
1945 - Upwey and the Puffing Billy
1945 - Gramaphones and Record Players
1946 - Flinders St Station
1946 - Astronomy
1946 - Beach and Swimming Adventures
1946 - Going to the Pictures
1947 - Adventures at the Altona Bungalow
1947 -The Listener-In Magazine
1947 - Balwyn WIldlife Sanctuary
1948 - Fishermen's Bend Aerodrome
1948 - Radio Australia QSL cards
1948 - Excursions
1949 - Australian Rules Football
1949 - Radio Monitoring at Auburn
1950 -Trains and Ships
1950 - Radios for Communications
1950 - Radio Listening Clubs in Australia
1950 - World Radio TV Handbook
1950 - Shortwave Radio Propagation Research
1950 - Medium Wave Radio Propagation Research
1950 - Radio and Hobbies Magazines
1950 - Discovering shortwave radio at Auburn
1951 - Photography
1951 - Competitions on local radio stations
1952 - Camp Buxton - YMCA Shoreham
1952 Tennis and Ten Pin Bowling
1953 - Stamp Collectiong
1953 Camberwell High School
1954 - Royal Visit to Melbourne
1954 - Shortwave Radio reception at Auburn
1956 - Melbourne's Olympic Games
1956 - Trainee Telecommunications' Technician
1957 - Trainee Technician - field work
1957 - National Service Registration
1958 - Laverton Air Show
1958 - MOOMBA Parade
1958 - Trainee Technician - field work
1959 - The move to Mont Albert
1960 - Working at Deepdene Telephone Exchange
1963 - Trade Unions, Staff Associations, Industrial Relations
1964 - Senior Technician work in the Melbourne CBD
1964 - Project support for Radio Australia
1964 - Project support for Radio Australia
1964 - Amateur Radio
1964 - Media Writing
1964 -Travels
1964 - Engineering Support for International Broadcasters
1965 - Professional Employment with PMG/Telstra
1967 - Professional Qualifications - Institution of Engineers Australia
1967 - Australian Radio DX Club Photo Gallery (to 1979)
1972 - Wireless Institute of Australia
1972 - Natural disasters in Melbourne
1980 - Australian Radio DX Club Gallery (to 1995)
1981 - Award of the Medal of the Order of Australia
1995 - Padula Books
SPECIAL CHAPTER - Oldtime Australian Radio Drama from the 1930s
SPECIAL CHAPTER - Radio Monitoring Clubs in Australia - 1920 to 1949
SPECIAL CHAPTER - Melbourne Picture Theatres - History - 1906 to 1970

620 Box Brownie poster of 1950s

This Chapter of our Journey brings together some forays into Photography, which survive today!

August 1951 - the author's first picture from the Box Brownie - Mt Donna Buang

2011 - the authors's orginal Box Brownie and its case!

August 1951 - second pic on Box Brownie - the author's choolfriend Andrew at Warburton

The first camera I owned was a Kodak 620 Box Brownie, which I bought in 1951 from my meagre earnings from my Chemist Round, in Auburn.
The first pictures I took on this were in August 1951 on a YMCA bus trip to Mt Donna Buang, to see the snow!
I still have this camera, and its carrying case, and it works perfectly, even though 620 film costs about $12 a roll!
In 1956, I had started a small "business", where I did developing, printing and enlarging of black/white films for a small fee. My customers were my mates from the Techncians' Training School! My laboratory was our bathroom, lit by red globes!
In the same year , I did a 3 month evening course in Photography at the Swinburne Technical College, Hawthorn.

1956 - Vito B

I used my Box Brownie until 1956 when I bought a beautiful German-made 35 mm camera known as the Vito-B, from Myers' stores, in the city. I had this camera for many years until about 1970. Sadly, I had dropped this camera in the sea on a trip to the beach and it became unusable, despite attempts to repair it at a camera shop. I used this camera for the 1956 Melboune Olympic Games in November!
The first use of this camera for color was in October 1957 when I took some slides on a bike trip to Warrandyte with a mate.

Canon Sure Shot OWL

After the Viti-B expired, I bought a replacement 35 mm compact Canon SureShot camera. I took this on many trips but it failed, and I bought another one in 1995. This gave good service, and is still in excellent working order! In 2005 I decided to move into the digital camera age and bought a Canon compact digital camera. .
This failed due to mechanical problems, and I bought a replacement, which was destroyed when I dropped it down a cliff in the Grampians in Western Victoria!
After that I had a succession of compact digital cameras,.all of which were given seriousj workouts, and all failed. The main problem was lenses/irises getting stuck and not opening or closing, or flimsy power switches breaking. Not worth repairing.
In 2011, I bought two cheap compact digital cameras through eBay from China and these are going well, even though they don't have viewfinders!.
I bought a Canon MV920 Movie Camera in the late 1990s and this works very well, even though it uses casette storage tapes.
Every 620 or 35 mm photo/slide  I have taken since 1951 is archived and filed ihn albums.

Since moving to digital, I have thousands of stlll and video images stored on-line, memory sticks and DVDs!

1957 - second 35mm color slide on Vito-B, Healesville, mate Graeme

1957 - first color slide on Vito, Warrandyte Bridge

Most of the images in this site are thumbnails. Click on any image to see a full size verson in a new window

If you would like to contact me about my Autobiography, you can do this at