Just a thought..

The artists makes a body of work. This body of work is always in flux to certain point as everyone who accounts to seeing the body of work has a much different reaction to it. These reactions in their early part, give the artist a place to assume change to the work or fine the space and place where the work exists in this mortal coil. We play with ideas trying to find something a little more cohesive to tie all the loose strands together so the piece presented has as much of the artists and their intent as possible showing through. The the artist releases the project for all to see and judge, and is no longer tethered to the work so it can exist free from judgment as art.

So in a brutal, judgemental, accessory way I have to ask photography WHAT THE FUCK?

When we transformed from an analogue process to a digital process in photography a lot seemed to change. The way photography records was questioned and its validity as an ‘art’ became very different. The computer became a tool to ‘lie’ from as images over and over again could be changed and manipulated without showing the scars. Everyone became a photographer and in turned to something that took skill, finesse, knowledge, and time and turned it into a free for all. The camera stopped being limited to 24-36 frames and having to take time and decide on the content and exposure to the ‘spray and pray’ 3k images on a single little card thats uploaded in 1’s and 0’s to an artificial world and left there till they rot into corrupted digital compost.

A lot can be said for the instantaneous feel of modern digital photography. It’s ability to be shared to millions in a nanosecond is truly impressive. Like many photographers in the digital age I sit watching my phone over a coffee and something tasty tick over the importance I think I have in this digital place seeing the names of my Instagram follows flash for a mere second on my device of choice. This instant gratification and placement of the importance of my artistic self really still just hides the fact of the inadequacy of my own short comings as an artist that chose and works in a medium that is still considered by many as not art at all.

The photographer is bound by the rules of ‘recorder’ and this seems to change the definition of what the photograph can do, or where its placement in the art world really is. These restrictive shackles seem very hard to break within the confines of the institution and institutional learning.

So i sit in the institution. This institution that reveals photography to be a subset of art and calling it a ‘recorder’ and not giving it the mantel to sit on titled ‘art’. I sit in this institution chipping away slowly at the walls like a convict hoping for escape, forcing them to accept my practice as art, and not a subset.

 

 

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A small change in direction..

Things have been afoot for a little while now in my world and I have been making some decisions about directions I should take. Photography is my love and I will continue on, but as its quite competitive and painful to try and make a proper living from it.

I have been thinking of ways to improve not only my shooting profile, but ways of improving my own knowledge of the photographic process. So I have planned on trying to make a few more photobooks, learn much more about the printing process (both digital and wet) and in turn try and create a place where photographers can gather as much information as possible to make their own photobooks.

There is defiantly a void in the world where we don’t have a knowledge bank of where and who people can contact in relation to making and designing a photobook. So if you know a designer, publisher, printer or a place that does all that kind of stuff at once please put me in contact so we can create something GRAND!

Time to get back to it.

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I have been pretty quiet as of late with University, getting back into the real world, and now back to University. I have made myself a little promise that I need to sit down a little more regularly and make notes, write this blog, and generally talk about random photographic stuff with the world as I have been feeling quite alone.

The image above is titled ‘A Study of Study’. A collection of the books and documents I have been reading as of late to improve my idea and research skills about my own photographic practice. I made the image in hopes it would convey the power of importance of learning and reading, as well as give a representation of the amount of work people don’t realise goes into making a photographic series and body of work. It’s almost impossible just to point a camera at anything anymore and call it ‘Art’ or even try to pass it of as ‘Narrative’ unless you can truly identify and show a process of understanding the reasons you pressed the button in the first place.

Knowledge is Power

Has it really been that long?

Well I just got the shock of my life when I read it’s been 2 years since I last posted well anything. I have been around and posting to other places and seem to have forgotten what I was doing here and what I was using it for.

So I need some help to rethink what this site is going to be about.

I will think big and deep and come up with some ideas for keeping this place going. It may just end up a blog of my ramblings about photography and all it’s ephemera. 

Let’s see where it goes, and sorry it’s taken my so long to get back to you all.

Pink Lake

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This is a shot I took at a rather lovely Melbourne iconic place.

Under the Westgate Bridge in Melbourne is one of the last natural flood plains of the Yarra River that ultimately has fallen into a polluted mess due to diversions and the lack of water flow. The lake in the marsh lands is now pink due to its super high salinity and the pink comes from a microbiological algae bloom in the water.

Super pretty though.

Sebastemulsion Snail ISO6 Black and White Film

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity from the wonderful crew at Sebastemulsion and Film Never Die to shoot and review a small batch of Snail film the had rolled onto spools for the adventures of slowness. When I collected it, what threw me at the start is that the film is white! After a lot of reading and research, the film has no anti halation cover which makes it super sensitive in light, and as a film its very sensitive to blue light.

When I sat and thought about it for a while, I was wondering how was going to work with this at such slow speeds as a number one, but as number two what was I going to shoot to do the film justice and give a definite change and run through different conditions? So I decided to load it into the trusty old Nikon F4S and see where it takes us.

Nikon F4S 50mm f1.8 Lens shooting Sebastemulsion Sanil ISO6 film with ghetto red filter.

Nikon F4S 50mm f1.8 Lens shooting Sebastemulsion Sanil ISO6 film with ghetto red filter.

Searching around my office I managed to come across a few scraps of old lighting gels in different colours, so not having my 55mm Red filter handy, I was able to cut an small round of red gel and fit it under the lens hood. This was never ever going to be a great filter, but it would help and make something a little more ‘Interesting’ or as some would say ‘Artistic’ or even ‘Low Tech’.

By looking at the results, I am fairly amazed not only how the ‘Low Tech’ option faired, but how the images actually look. Nice and dreamy with lovely deep blacks and a fairly crisp white without being overly blown away to nothing.

Nikon F4S 50mm f1.8 Lens shooting Sebastemulsion Sanil ISO6 film with Orange Glass filter.

Nikon F4S 50mm f1.8 Lens shooting Sebastemulsion Sanil ISO6 film with Orange Glass filter.

This was when I had switched to an Orange Glass filter, and I think i like these a little more. The tones seem to have more graduation and slide in-between each other a little more than just big clumps.

Close Crop section of image to see tonal graduation. Nikon F4S and Orange Glass Filter.

Close Crop section of image to see tonal graduation. Nikon F4S and Orange Glass Filter.

Even looking at the above crop in section, the tones are amazingly smooth with such definition between them all. With such a fine grain, the film shows great hard edges with almost no loss of detail cropped in this close. This section was taken at just under 500 pixels and expanded to 1200 pixels. Gives us all a great idea how ‘crisp’ this film can be.

Nikon F4S 50mm f1.8 Lens shooting Sebastemulsion Sanil ISO6 film with Orange Glass filter.

Nikon F4S 50mm f1.8 Lens shooting Sebastemulsion Sanil ISO6 film with Orange Glass filter.

I have talked it up, and I am pretty happy to do so to be honest. Was there any to report on the bad sides.. Yeah there was, but I am really of the opinion the downs weren’t that down. Sure I had to carry a tripod almost every as it was almost near impossible to shoot this film hand held unless you were wide open at f1.8 so you could get 80th sec, but that didn’t really get to me that much as I don’t mind using a tripod, but it was fogging.

Nikon F4S 50mm f1.8 Lens shooting Sebastemulsion Sanil ISO6 film with Orange Glass filter.

Nikon F4S 50mm f1.8 Lens shooting Sebastemulsion Sanil ISO6 film with Orange Glass filter.

Nikon F4S 50mm f1.8 Lens shooting Sebastemulsion Sanil ISO6 film with ghetto red filter.

Nikon F4S 50mm f1.8 Lens shooting Sebastemulsion Sanil ISO6 film with ghetto red filter.

Nikon F4S 50mm f1.8 Lens shooting Sebastemulsion Sanil ISO6 film with ghetto red filter.

Nikon F4S 50mm f1.8 Lens shooting Sebastemulsion Sanil ISO6 film with ghetto red filter.

After reading many many reports on Flickr it turns out this is a pretty normal occurrence with films using Kodak 5302. The film is so thin that even the light traps on conventional 35mm film rolls may let some light in and fog a few of the frames. Again yes I would say it’s a negative, but is it a deal breaker from buying this film? Definitely Not!! Yes I maybe should have placed the film into a tube to keep it out of the light, and I should have loaded it into the camera in subdued light, and I should have bathed in unicorn tears to make sure blah blah blah……… All I want to see is performance and quality. The fogging didn’t effect the quality of performance of the film or subject matter I was shooting, it enhanced it in may ways.

I would defiantly buy more of this film. It has a special place in where I would love to do a little more night shooting of even very late afternoon and really string out the exposures to 10-30 seconds. It was great fun to use and I highly recommend it.