Although Robin Macey has played many roles in the BOS, including organising facilities at two Nottingham Conventions, nevertheless he will probably always be associated in people’s minds with the group photograph. After all, he has been herding members into the open twice a year for the past ten years in order to take their picture, come rain, come shine, come snow once at Cambridge.
Yet he is not a photographer by profession even though photos taken by him have appeared in a great many publications aside from the BOS Magazine. In fact he earns his living as a computer programmer for the Nottingham City Treasury where he went following a degree in mathematics at Nottingham University. In the little time that’s left after photography and origami he goes hot-air ballooning, plays table tennis and works out on the trampoline. He does community work, too, such as taking a weekly class in paperfolding at a detention centre for 14-16 years olds. Clearly a very active individual, so what does he find in origami, a sedentary, solitary occupation much of the time? Chiefly the challenge of a difficult fold, which explains his admiration for the work of Max Hulme, Neal Elias, Paul Jackson and Martin Wall. His all-time favourite fold is Max’s Jack-in-the-Box. As to creating his own originals, this he rarely does, preferring to highlight the skills of others through the camera’s eye.
Robin’s introduction to origami came in 1971 at the age of ten via a book by A. Van Breda called Paper Folding and Modelling. First folds he ever did were the traditional Salt Cellar and Flapping Bird. He was an avid viewer of Robert Harbin’s origami programmes on TV in the seventies. All the while he was also doing photography, having begun at the age of eight with a box camera graduating to a 35 mm Agfa-Silette in 1974. These days he uses a variety of Canon equipment with standard 50 mm lens. For group photographs he uses a Bronica ETRS large format camera and in addition owns a very old 5×4 in. plate camera which may be slow but gives superb quality pictures. Needless to say he does his own black and white processing. (Editors note – Robin’s equipment has probably changed since then!)
Best origami pictures? Possibly those of the A.Yoshizawa folds at the ’83 convention. Most spectacular? Undoubtedly the cover of BOS mag.109 which showed a large folded bird being launched from a top floor hotel balcony. To get the angle right he had to climb over the rail and lie on a nearby roof. A dangerous occupation sometimes this photogami.