Being the first blog post this is as much for you the reader, as it is me the author, to better fully understand the thoughts, feelings and approach to my creative practise.
I work with film - most of the time.
Part of the reason is that the outcome is more to my satisfaction. The grain has a certain quality and the way light reacts to it is different (more human, maybe) to the sterility of digital.
Now, by no means is this a declaration of an analogue versus digital war. Rather they are two sides of a coin, two similar tools used for different jobs. The old adage that you should never work with children or animals is certainly true but the 'safety net' of digital means that although you might not take take better photos, you'll cover your arse encase of any f*ck ups - as my uni lecturer would put it.
Despite all this, analogue methods are my chosen creative tool.
But why go to the hassle when five minutes on photoshop will yield the same effect?
One reason is that it changes the photographer's approach to image making. The number of available exposures forces the mind to step in and analyse the scene. The photographer appreciates his exposures for their scarcity and thus only shoots what is necessary. This slow down helps to focus and sharpen the mind of the photographer and avoid digital's tendency for unconscious rapid fire
There is mystery too with film’s unpredictability, a very natural and human attribute, the philosophy of accepting what serendipity presents to the lens.
Of course there are many different fields in photography and I am referring to my own methods, you don't want any nasty surprises photographing someone's big wedding day, for example.
This safety net of a CCD is very attractive however, when creating images that need to go beyond, as Duchamp would refer to as purely ‘retinal art’, film suits the process better than digital.
The idea of creating not simply images, but different methods of expression
One of the beautiful aspects of photography is that an image can have a strong narrative, or multiple narratives, all channelled through one image.
Being purely visual it can transcend language and often cultural barriers too. The story being told can grow broader and gain depth via a series of carefully selected images collected into a whole. The addition of context can amaze and/or shock the viewer as well as completely metamorphosise the meaning and the impression it leaves. This goes for any type of image making and really what is shown as the finished piece is all that really matters.
What I choose to represent of is what I find.
A frozen instant of the indefinite flow of time sectioned in to a rectangle or a square. Initially my film will be scanned into digital and minimal adjustments will be made. Photoshop is an amazing tool but it is a craft all of its own and I certainly make no claim to be a master.
When displaying in a gallery setting a print made from the original negative is preferred to that of a high quality digital scan.
The images displayed on this site are not the typical, crisp, sharp or clean images that would usually frequent a photographer’s website. Rather, it is the images and their stories that I want to showcase. These are visual documents of an individual’s interpretation of their surroundings and experiences.
In conclusion, the analogue tool is what I choose to use as a starting point. Lots of other tools enter into creating the final outcome, it is the beginning that sets the tone for ending.
For it was Ansel Adams said that "the negative is the sheet music, the print the score".