Photography Stuck In A Loop ?


I read an article this morning…We may be stuck in a loop, but as a photojournalist I am still going out to make images; to document history, to tell the story and to bear witness to the event.

That said, I will use digital for my stock and news work, for my personal projects its film all the way baby. I will use my vintage gear and medium format film. I will create nice photographs.

I would love it if people hung it on their walls as art; if they don’t, that’s ok too, the photographs will be on my walls and people will have had their eyeballs on it whether its hanging in a gallery, a coffee shop, or glued to a street pole.

I want to create art you can hold in your hands, hang on your walls or read in a magazine. Technology has opened up so many more venues for us to self publish our work when the gate keepers say NO !

So go ahead and publish your work on an online outlet, or self publish a book. I love seeing images captured minutes ago across the world from a land I will never be able to get to!

What’s not to love about being able to snap an image on a cell phone and zoom it around the world in the blink of an eye?

This generation has so many images to document life. It is mind boggling to me, the technological advances in digital photography. along with that comes the downfall of digital manipulation. did what I see in that photo really happen? I question so many things now; was that image real, did it happen, was it photoshopped? I don’t know, who does? Hence one of the reasons I love film and analog photography.

“Why do you still shoot film?” you ask.

Because I can still whip out the original negative, prove my image was not manipulated.

The other reason I shoot film it because it is just so damn cool to shoot a beautifully crafted vintage camera that was made in the 1950s!

I just love the vintage cameras from years gone by. I love the sound the make, the smell of the camera. Yes, they do smell a bit, but I like the clunk they make when the shutter fires, and I love the chrome glistening in the sun.

To my eye, they are a beauty to behold. to my hands, they have a weight and depth to them. I love that they take larger hunks of film. I love a 6×6 square negative. I love the size, and shape of the print I can produce by hand in a wet lab darkroom; one at a time, handcrafted by the artist. I love the magic of the image slowing rising in the tray with the liquid chemicals in it, ahhh there’s that smell thing again, why yes, photography touches so many of our senses that you don’t think about.

I believe in the print movement. Why? because I have one very old, very nice, 8×10 handmade photograph from the 1950s of my mom that was created before I was born. That photograph looks the same today in 2018 as it did many years ago. My mom passed away eight years ago and that photograph is one of my most treasured memories of my youth.

Do I have other photographs of my mom. Sure, yes I do, most of them I took, on film, over the years. I still have the negatives. I can print them anytime I want. I am 58 years old and those negative span my lifetime.

Why do I harp on this this, on analog photography? Film photography, negatives, positives also know as slide film, old cameras, making prints in a wet lab darkroom? Because I spent 12 hours a few days ago, sorting through a bunch of thumb drives from 2009 till about 2015. Guess what? the files have started to go corrupt. Memories that I can never get back from those thumb drives. Electronics fail; the back ups failed; the back ups of the backups failed. Just ask my friend whose iPhone flew off the roof of her car; where are the precious memories of her granddaughter or her 82 year old mother. Who knows, floating down the highway somewhere in hot, steamy Arizona.

Technological advances have given us cloud storage. Some folks love it, others loath it. Excuse while I go dig out my beat up old shoebox of negatives, I need to make a few prints of my family! Yup, I suppose this old time photographic dinosaur is stuck in the loop of analog photography! Long Live Print!